You cannot just label Alyson Fox. She is involved with so many things, that I practically lost counting. Is she a photographer? An artist? A designer? No one will ever tell, simply because Alyson must have two pairs of hands just as goddess Kali. Therefore in the following interview you will not learn what Alyson is, but what Alyson does. From clothing and furniture design and dinnerware to photography, textiles and painting, this peaceful, but yet restless mind, tends to stretch out the boundaries of creativity.She claims that ideas strike her any time and place and among her greater inspirations are simplicity and her husband.
I see all the things you are involved with and I can’t help but wonder what were you like as a child. I can imagine you sitting on the floor among papers, scissors and colourful markers. Is there some truth in that?
Yes,I have fond memories of creating small art shows behind my bed that I'd invite people to come and see. My mom said that once, when I was two, she found me in the closet drawing on the wall with her make-up pencils. From that day on she made a point to keep our art supplies well stocked. When I turned nine I got a pretty wood easel that I loved. Once I got into middle school I quit drawing as much, but then re-discoverd it when I was a sophomore in college.
You live in this wonderful sunny house in Austin, Texas. How does all this light and peace of the place affect your art and your psychology?
We live right outside Austin in a little town called Spicewood in the Hill Country. I tend to have a very overactive mind so I think the quiet helps my overall well being and fuels my curiosity. I love to stare out into the distance from our kitchen and just ride an idea for a while.
At what time of the day, do ideas strike you?
No clue. I take them whenever I can get them. Often times they are when I have nothing to write with so I sketch it out on with my hands in the air, in hopes that it'll help me remember it. I have ugly chicken scratch notes piled high on my desk rather than pretty notebooks.
What are your greater influences?
My husband, food, Wes Anderson, empty spaces, functionality, Rachel Whiteread, Agnes Martin, simplicity, Donal Judd, Malala Yousafzai, sounds, colour, negative space, communication, honesty... to name a few.
Name two colours that are the perfect match for you.
Navy and black.
Your work is characterized by mixing minimalism with edgy forms and bright colours. As Alyson, the every day woman, and not the artist, do you like it simple?
Oh yes. I tend to over complicate things internally, so I strive for simplicity externally.That's the goal at least. Our house is pretty minimal and I am launching a clothing line this summer that is very simplistic. It's inspired by Charlotte Perriand's modular wardrobe concept. It consists of a few garments that can be mixed and matched with each other.
What do you enjoy creating the most? Is it furniture, clothes, textiles?
It's all the same process to me. I am grateful to be able to work on a variety of things.
Isn’t it confusing, to express yourself through so many fields of creation?
Not yet. I am happiest when I am working on a few ideas at once even if there is no end goal for some of them. They all inform each other and seem like one medium to me.
Are there any interesting collaborations ahead that you could talk about?
I am working on a few goodies with Hawkins New York that are multi-use that I am really excited about. Also, I've just started collaborating with Leigh Patterson on a small publication of images and text. I love page layouts and am really excited about having a collection of thoughts, illustrations and photography, and it's so fun to collaborate with someone like Leigh where you can build on each others ideas.
Did you ever have a concept that you haven’t managed to carry out yet?
I have a couple of bigger concepts that have been brewing for a while, who knows if they'll ever make it out into the world. I start little experiments all the time that don't go very far, but I'm always learning from them. Sometimes ideas transform into something else along the way. Like I said, the process is one continual ongoing project for me, so even the things that seem like a dead end are important.
If you would have to write a note to your future self what would it be?
Stay present.