Alison, when did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
Well I’m not sure about artist, but I would say that as a child I loved to draw. Because I was a shy child, it was the one way I could express myself.The Beatitudes Matthew 5:8 and “Ace of Spades.”
What is your position at bluemountain.com and what is your background as an artist?
I’m an Assistant Art Director. Most of my time is divided between concept/art direction and designing ecards. Though I do manage freelance and in-house projects, I also get to create and collaborate with other studio artists.
Could you tell us some more about your work?
I have a B.A. in graphic design/illustration from Kent State University. I’ve always dabbled in illustration but in college I fell in love with design and typography. What I have really been enjoying the past few years is photo manipulation. It’s editing multiple photos to make them look like a single illustration and I love working in Photoshop using brushes and patterns. I’m now starting to work in Painter which is also quite fun. I do love to work with collage/typography and water colors in my free time, though my boys take up most of that at the moment. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.Here are two examples of photo manipulation “Sending Wishes Across the Miles” and “Moonlight and Magic.”
What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?
My inspiration for images and concepts comes from many sources–the card copy, design, illustration and blog sites. Plus, the artists around me are a constant source of inspiration. In the 15 years I’ve worked here, I’ve have never stopped being amazed.
What’s your favorite piece/ecard ever created and why?
I would have to say any ecard where I’ve collaborated with another artist. We get some of our best work that way. A few of my favorites are “Bewitched Halloween,” “A Touch of Christmas Magic” and “A Mother’s Heart.”“Bewitched Halloween” and “A Mother’s Heart,” collaborated with Pam Trautman and Dave Sommers.
Who has influenced you as an artist?
I think some of the best examples of imagination and illustrations are in children’s books. Nancy Tillman, Chris Van Allsburg and Maggie Taylor are some of my favorites.Influenced by Maggie Taylor’s art on both “Magical Card Game” and “Lucky in Love.”
How do you stay motivated?
My colleagues get me through challenging times. We have an amazing and supportive group of writers, artists and musicians.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully here, but if not, I can definitely see myself teaching. I took a refresher college course a few years back and when the teacher learned of my degree she asked me to help co-teach with her that semester. I really enjoyed it and realized I was good at it, too.
I believe great teachers inspire others.
What advice would you give to an aspiring young artist?
Don’t give up. The art industry can be difficult to get into. But if you’re doing something you’re passionate about and have talent, you’ll do fine. Also surround yourself with talented people. They’ll inspire you and teach you more than you could imagine. And love what you do, the minute you stop, it’s time to move on.
What do you do for fun?
I spend time with my family. I’m a mom of two boys who keep me on my toes. We go on walks, play in the park, and have movie nights. It’s great to come home after a long day and hear their voices. We have a ritual at dinner time where we go around the table and tell our favorite part of our day. Though I love what I do, my favorite part of the day is just sitting there, being with them.
We hope you enjoyed meeting Alison, seeing her beautiful work and the wonderful ecards she’s been a part of developing. We also hope that by learning a little more about the artists here at bluemountain.com, you’ll get to know the kind of special people and talents that are required to create our unique and very special brand of cards.