Today we’d like to introduce you to Allie Eileen.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Art has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my mom kept literally all of my work. If we were to go into my garage I’m sure I would find a binder full of finger paintings from when I was a toddler. My family has always been my biggest support system: when I quit sports in high school to have room in my schedule for art courses, when I got into college and decided to pursue a fine arts degree from St. Edward’s University, when after graduation I struggled to find my way and stopped making work all together for over a year, to now, when I work three other jobs to make ends meet while allowing a flexible schedule for my studio practice. I think they knew from the start what it’s taken me years to understand; that creating work is an essential part of who I am. It is how I process the world and connect to others. And in the past year I’ve realized that it’s truly what I’m meant to be doing with my time here, and I’m working hard to make it my life’s work.
Please tell us about your art.
Just like my artistic journey, my work has gone through incredible transformations. When I was little, I would draw anything and everything surrounding me, and I discovered that I had a knack for realistic recreations of the world around me. In high school I began to learn how to further develop and hone those basic skills, and when I got to St. Edward’s University, the small classes allowed for a unique and personal network of students and teachers to develop, which in turn created a stimulating and engaging environment to learn and grow in. My first few years I further developed my basic skills in every medium, but the further I got into my courses and the more my professors and peers grew to know me, the more I was challenged to push my boundaries. I tried every medium and dove into the processes and concepts behind my work and why I make it. It allowed me to take my skills and explore more in depth the how and the why.
In school I focused on the process of creation through the use of repetition, the transformation of material, and the self-discovery that is found through this practice. I worked mainly in clay and installation art, which is drastically different than the graphite, pen and watercolor drawings I create today. This background in process informs my work today, but my focus has shifted from my personal experience of repetition and creation, to the exploration of the idea of belonging and the connections that viewers will make.
I am influenced by my roots, by my present circumstances and surroundings, and by who I hope I will grow into and where I hope that life will take me. I am equal parts of my past, my present, and my future; and I am continuously exploring how all of these pieces of me fit into this life. My work searches for a sense of belonging, a purpose, and a connection to the world. Through the detailed, delicate and contained nature of my work I focus in on the physical connections that all living beings have to their surrounding environments. My artwork is a product of my artistic journey and a deeply personal process that is as essential to me as breathing, but it is also my connection with the world around me and the people in it. Through my work I not only explore the connections that I have to the world around me, but I seek to connect to the people in it through their own personal experiences of my work.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
I’m right there with ya! I’m not down with the whole starving artist lifestyle, so I work three other jobs to help supplement my income until I get to a place where I can rely on my artwork to support myself. It’s definitely not ideal, but you just have to decide how bad you really want it, and then make it happen. I’m a part time waitress, part time nanny, part time employee at a senior moving managing company, and full-time artist. It’s exhausting at times, but it also makes me truly appreciate my time spent in the studio, and it takes some of the financial stress out of my studio practice. Creating work is my escape, so I would hate to make it just another stress in my life. I might not produce as much work as full-time artists, or have the means to apply to as many shows or attend as many events, etc. but it works for me, for now. You just have to be honest and realistic with yourself and do what you can with what you have.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have a few upcoming shows in Austin this year that I am very excited about: September 7th and 8th I will be showing with Chocolate and Art at Fair Market, October 20th I will be participating in the Conception Art show at Friends and Allies Brewing Co., and in December I have been invited to participate in the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. I am continuously looking for opportunities though, so for an up to date list of shows check my website (allieeileen.com) or Instagram (@madebyallieeileen) for updates.
Coming out to shows, pop-up’s and events is the best support an artist can ask for, second only to buying our work of course. Engaging with our social media platforms is another way to help out artists that are starting out. Social media is such a powerful tool in today’s society, so helping to create visibility to our pages and our work makes the world of a difference.
- Website: allieeileen.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @madebyallieeileen
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadebyAllieEileen/
Artwork images are my own. Studio images are credit to the talented Shalee Stonehouse (@stonehouse.photography)