We had the good fortune of connecting with Alea Hurst and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alea, how do you think about risk?
For me, risk taking is about stepping out of my comfort zone. I believe being uncomfortable makes you grow as an artist and business person. Personally, I have gotten many opportunities from taking a risk in my career, whether it’s applying for proposal calls that I thought I had no chance of getting to pushing a painting into new territory that I wouldn’t normally do. You never know what can come out on the other side. That said, you are always taking a gamble with the outcome. I always try to weigh the benefits versus losses before making decisions. I’ve taken risks and have fallen flat on my face. It’s all about learning from the experience and taking that knowledge with you as you move forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My main body of work focuses on the role of masks in society and reverses their purpose to reveal information about the wearer’s soul or personality. I’ve expanded into screen printing in the last few years taking these ideas and expressing them in a different stylistic language. This year, I found my creativity drained by all the events and negativity that took place. This launched me into an exploration of new subject matter loosely based on my mask series, but instead focuses on nature, florals, and femininity. Beyond subject matter, I took some risks and worked with materials and formats that I normally shy away from, such as, small paintings on panel. It forced me to slow down and paint in a new way which I really think kicked my skill levels up a notch and ultimately led to my favorite piece to date. Becoming an artist is not an easy career choice. I mean some people are lucky and things just fall into their lap. That was never the case for me. I’ve struggled to get where I am today and still have a long way to go. But persistence is key. I try to never let a “no” discourage me. I always try to find as many opportunities as possible and take risks. Eventually the “yesses” come back and erase all the “no’s”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, as an artist, my favorite spots are going to be art related: Forward Warrior Murals along Wylie St. in Cabbagetown ABV Gallery Mason Fine Art Little Five Points
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes way back to the beginning to my high school art teacher, Domini Re-Darling. I had my first real art class as a freshman in high school. I’ve always loved drawing and creating, but at the time, my dream was to become a fashion designer. Less than one year into her class, I started considering becoming a visual artist instead. It was something I never thought of before, but she encouraged me and cultivated my talent. She has always been there whenever I needed help from prepping for GHP to applying to art school. She still even comes to my art shows over ten years later!
photos taken by me