Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Ford.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I consider myself to be an abstract and collage artist. I grew up in Charleston, attending a creative arts school and developed an appreciation for the arts at a young age. In college, although I had a strong desire to be in the studio, I talked myself out of taking a painting course for fear of failing and falling short. I opted for printmaking and sculpture instead. Those courses and a few other workshops I have taken in the past few years are my only real training.
After college I put my secret passion for art aside and focused on law school and becoming a lawyer. I wanted to find a sculpture class to take but my schedule never seemed to allow for it. I left the University of Georgia School of Law and headed to Atlanta to work for a big firm. My prints from college collected dust and my passion fell dormant for many years.
Fast forward to 2015. I was months away from heading back to work at the firm—this time in Greenville, SC—after a judicial clerkship. I took the advice of friends and family and decided to take a few months off. I called it my sabbatical. I knew during that time I wanted to explore my creativity and turn off the analytics for a spell, albeit brief. I thought about painting but I did not know how to start or “what to paint.”
Fortunately for my story, I stumbled into some training on the basics of color theory and collage from an established artist and experienced the tough love of being critiqued by seasoned painters. In the years and months that followed I kept at it. I committed myself to finding time to paint on the weekends and after work because my heart and soul craved the exploration.
Now I am a wife, mother of two, and an attorney by day. My days are full and long. But I promised myself to keep painting, to keep putting my work out there, to keep learning and exploring, and sharing my gift.
Please tell us about your art.
I paint what I love and how I feel. I opt for painting colors and have put aside the fear of rejection and imperfection. I am inspired by organic shapes, nature, and bright colors. My work has many textures, depth, and layers. I want viewers and collectors to want to dive into the painting, to touch and feel it, and explore the work with all of their senses. This is easy to do with collage and mixed media pieces. I often incorporate those elements into my canvas work as well.
And sometimes I paint with my four-year-old. He has a fearless approach to painting that I have come to appreciate and respect. Painting together allows us to spend time with one another and to explore a mutual love of creativity. I try to adopt a child like approach to starting a painting—usually unplanned, probably as a consequence of painting a great deal with him.
My message and inspiration are to “get in there and get messy…it does not have to be perfect.” I always say, “art is personal.” Not everyone will like every piece of work you do, and that’s okay. Something you do from the heart will speak to someone somewhere. And that’s all that matters. That you painted with love.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Social media has given artists a new platform for exposure and connections. Collectors are growing more comfortable purchasing art online which is rather neat. The exposure is also wonderful and opportunities for collaboration are endless. The openness, however, does create some drawbacks and challenges. It is important to stay true to your own inspiration and your own story.
I hope that cities can continue to encourage artists by creating a platform, in-person opportunities to showcase work, and provide these sorts of outlets where we can share our story, our feelings, and our dreams.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work is available on my website, www.helloallisonart.com and also follow me on Instagram @helloallisonart. I often participate in shows and pop ups in the Southeast to include Boco Art show in Greenville, SC and the Art Salon Charlotte in Charlotte, NC. I also currently have work on display and for sale at Domain in Cantonsville, MD.
- Website: www.helloallisonart.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @helloallisonart
Kimberly Gibson Photography