Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “art imitates life?” Now, art becomes fashion. Talented artist Allyson Block has created a line of colorful, gorgeous accessories – from essential crossbody bags, to stunning cosmetics cases, to adorable bracelets, plus more – all based on her original abstract art.
According to Allyson, “Art is all around us and should be inspirational in the products and accessories that enhance our lives.” And, her gorgeous fashion pieces are visible proof. Her work may have been shown in galleries throughout the United States, but now, through her fashion line, you can own a little piece yourself!
I caught up to Allyson recently, and learned more about her journey from artist to fashion designer. Below is an excerpt from the interview. If you’re a budding artist or designer, Allyson shows you how it’s done!
What is your first art memory?
In grade school, I took an afterschool class where we made Play-Doh art and also made figures out of colored wire. I loved that class! As a family, we traveled often and visited museums. My parents appreciate art and brought that appreciation into our lives. Art was always within reach.
How did you get your start as an artist?
I had a wonderful 7th/8th grade art teacher. I remember making a variety of art projects that I loved such as masks, clay projects, word art, etc. She educated us about many different art forms. I returned to art in high school by making and selling (to my mom’s friends) hand painted t-shirts with faces and abstract designs along with a few abstract art canvases. The real turning point was in college when I became a Fine Arts Major.
What mediums do you prefer?
I have tried oil, acrylic, watercolor and sculpture. I prefer acrylic, watercolor and sculpture. Those mediums are more fluid and allow me to manipulate and alter the artworks quickly and often.
Where did the idea come from to merge art with everyday objects like handbags and backpacks?
I have been painting since college (for over 20 years). I once used markers to create a design on a handbag that my mom purchased. It came with markers and was meant to be hand drawn. I loved making it, and it turned out great. I think ever since then, I have always had it in the back of my mind to make my own handbags. The backpacks were at the suggestion of my family and the bracelets are something that I love to wear and incorporate, as well.
What do your pieces express?
Making art has been, and is, a labor of love for me. It is exciting to see my artwork printed on fabric and made into wearable objects which can be enjoyed by everyone. Each painting can be expressed in an object in multiple ways, depending upon how you place the fabric. Fabrics can also be combined for a totally new image. For me, that is another level of the creative process. Designing the type of bag to fit, and showcase, the artwork is also part of the fun and challenge.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your pieces?
I want them to feel special, knowing they are wearing a unique and artistic piece that was created with thought, heart and emotion.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
I think anything goes. I feel that buyers are interested in expressing their unique personalities and points of view through fashion and accessories.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I am at the beginning phase of the business. I am excited to see people wearing and incorporating my art into their daily lives.
In your opinion, what is the future of fashion?
I believe fashion is what we make it and want it to be for ourselves. We choose the colors, styles and expressions that enhance our lives and make us feel good.
What advice would you give a budding artist or fashion designer?
It is a winding road. Keep doing what you love, keep an open mind and heart and see where the road takes you!
What’s next in your line?
I am launching handbags, backpacks and accessories. I hope to offer new designs each season and keep the products fresh and exciting.
How can readers purchase your products?
My products can be purchased directly through my website at Allyson Block Designs.
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PHOTO: The Art of Fashion images used with permission by Allyson Block Designs.
Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com and is your guide to a life filled with style. Inside, you’ll find everything from must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. In addition to editing Susan Said… WHAT?!, Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!