We had the good fortune of connecting with Alison Duncan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alison, can you talk us a bit about why you love what you do?
I absolutely love being an artist for so many reasons. Most of all, it’s life-giving. Translating a feeling, a moment, or a concept into a painting is something I love. Creating challenges me in a way that can simultaneously energize and frustrate me, but if I keep pushing through, I can create something that I find beautiful and purposeful. And I learn something almost every time I paint! Through the use of a medium—layers, texture, lines, juxtaposition of color– art can make a viewer feel something…and that is always just so incredible to me. Art can express things that words sometimes cannot. I love that art is a language understood by people of any age and from anywhere. Also, I just love creating something that suits a room and its inhabitants—knowing that life happens around my work. It’s an honor when my work is chosen to be the backdrop for someone’s space.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Like many artists, I am constantly influenced by the world around me. Accordingly, my influence has changed through different life-stages. My kids inspire me more than anything else–they are truly an amazing gift and it’s so fun to create alongside them! They influence my abstract work—my color choices and my mark-making, as well as (and perhaps most directly) my kids-at-play portraits. I started selling my work right after my twins were born, and I love that they have been part of the process from the beginning, and that I can show them all the sides of my small business. Being a mom is my primary job, so that comes with its challenges–and right now puts limitations on how my business can grow, but I would not have it any other way. I think the best lesson I have learned is to have grace with myself and with others. I cannot do all things for all people all the time, but what I do, I want to do well. Sometimes that requires saying ‘no’ and sometimes it takes more time than I had planned, but making choices that align with my values and what is a priority to me, and having grace with myself along the way, means that I can always feel successful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Haha–I am not current on the super-trendy Atlanta scene since moving to the burbs and having all my babies, but I’ll give it a shot! Pre-pandemic, my husband and I loved going out to fun local restaurants, so we would definitely have to head to Roswell and eat at Monkey 68 (creative cocktails, yummy sushi and fun date-night atmosphere), Table and Main (delicious food and a sweet Southern feel), or 1920 Tavern (good food and a pub—a perfect combination). We treat ourselves with season tickets to The Fox and love all of the shows that come through! If we are taking kids, a walk on the Beltline to Ponce City Market (finished with King of Pops, of course), the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Zoo Atlanta are always crowd-pleasers…but we are always just as happy going to a roller-rink and grabbing a pizza!
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?
I could not do this without the love and support of my husband. From the beginning, he’s been such an encouragement and sounding board and my biggest cheerleader! I also love my community of artists and entrepreneurs. I am surrounded by great women who have been supportive and inviting, and I’ve formed some beautiful friendships with other artists who have given me guidance and encouragement. It’s wonderful to know that growth is accomplished with the help of others in your corner.
Facebook: Alison Duncan Art
Kayla Harrison Breece (headshots) Office Space: Bailey Ward Interiors (design) and Christine Straub (photography) Dining Room: Gordon Dunning (design) and Emily Followill (photography)