Eight Questions With Alyson Fox
Alyson Fox is a woman of many talents. Her work is by no means restricted to one medium; however, her artistic eye and impeccable taste are consistent throughout her range of creations. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Alyson moved around for most of her upbringing, and eventually landed in grad school at Boulder. Now, she resides outside of Austin with her husband and puppy, creating new works — from photography to silkscreens to design — every day. Read ahead for her story.
How long have you been creating, and how did you get started?
Alyson Fox: Gosh, for as long as I can remember. My mom says when I was two and a half she found me in a closet with her eyeliners drawing on the walls, and today, I continue to do a series of drawings with makeup — some are on my website.
Was there a point at which you knew you’d be an artist?
AF: I didn't decide to focus on art until after my sophomore year in undergrad. I took a photography class and fell in love with it immediately. It was the first time I remember loosing track of time. Then, in grad school, I tried it all. After school I just kept making, and now I do a little bit of everything. I was just starting to make things when the blog world was getting popular, and that helped my work get out there.
Why do you create?
AF: It makes me happy. It makes me learn more about myself and the world around me. It keeps me curious and healthy.
How did you find confidence in your creativity — were there ups and downs along the way?
AF: I’m still finding confidence. I'm always working on strengthening my creative voice and trying new things. I am 100% fine with being really bad at something, because you gain perspective in that. I’ve been creating things every day for over ten years now, and I definitely feel more confident in some things now. I know my limits more, and I know what I am willing to give my time to. I know what to say no to. I know that some days or weeks will feel like nothing is happening, and how to stick that out gracefully. As a human being there are always ups and downs. Working for yourself is challenging, and I give myself lots of hugs and my husband and puppy give me lots of support too!
Have you always been making things, or have there been other career titles/phases along the way?
AF: I have always been making things. My first job in college was teaching art to kids after school. But I can definitely see myself doing other things sometimes, too.
What major challenges have you faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?
AF: That there are a lot of talented people in the world doing a lot of amazing things. With so much talent out there, I used to struggle with why should I keep trying to do this. Now, I focus on how grateful I am to be able to wake up and go into my studio to make things. I also struggle with social media because it can feel like sensory overload, and it’s hard for me to share things. I only go on a couple days a week for 10 min or less. Less is definitely more in that world.
Do you have any artists or career role models you look up to? What is it about them you love?
AF: Lots. Anni Albers, Loiuse Bourgeois, Noguchi, Rachel Whiteread, Faye Toogood, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly. I could go on and on. I admire their dedication and strong aesthetic. You can look at their work and know it's theirs right away.
What do you hope to bring people with your work?
AF: Curiosity, inspiration, beauty sometimes, honesty and good energy. I love original work for that reason —the energy that is happening when it's being made is pretty damn awesome.
To see more of Alyson Fox’s work, check out her website here.