We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Healy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, why did you pursue a creative career?
For as long as I can remember since being able to hold a pencil, all I’ve ever wanted to do was draw pictures. It was just something that naturally clicked for me. I’ve dabbled in a few different hobbies growing up, but drawing, painting, and crafting always stuck with me. I could never imagine myself doing anything but that in the long term.
I’m blessed to have family that saw my potential to be great at art and encouraged me to go further. I’ve always felt like my mom, older sister, and grandma in particular have always wanted to see me grow as an artist from day 1, so there weren’t many times where I felt like it wasn’t a valid career choice. My grandma in particular was a living example that art could be profitable. Every time I visited her, we would always draw or paint together, and she would tell me about the pieces she was working on and who they were going to.
Once I truly started using social media, it became abundantly clear that artists were able to make a living off of their work. That meant it was possible for me, too.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
By the time I was in 5th grade, I had already made up my mind that I wanted my future to be in an artistic field. I was still experimenting with different things like animation, fashion design, and even film production at the time, so my options felt vast. By the time I entered middle school, I knew that I wanted to do something where I could just draw/paint my own scenes and characters. I did a lot of practice and studying in my free time about anatomy, color, and different drawing techniques. This was also around the time where I started to seriously post my work on Instagram and keep up with other contemporaries on the internet. I found out about artists having their own merchandise shops and monthly subscription services like Patreon, or taking commissions. It finally clicked to me that making money from my creative work was actually very feasible.
However, when I got to high school, I began to have slight doubts about the chances of me being a successful working artist. I was suddenly exposed to other students that seemed to be miles ahead of me; I felt so small. I went through some tough phases where I felt like I couldn’t produce anything unless it was perfect, or that no one was going to want to buy my work. I’m very fortunate to have met my art teacher, Mrs. Sahirah Dean, at just the right time in my artistic journey. She is the teacher that I am personally the closest with. She’s offered me plenty of guidance and support to try new things without the fear of failure clouding my vision. I felt like I was finally starting to improve again after a creative rut.
Nowadays, I truly feel I have not only developed my technical skill set, but my creative voice as well. Much of my work is very recognizable as my own unique style inspired by my interests and experiences. Taking AP level art classes has given me the opportunity to truly dive deep into the themes I want to portray in my serious work, such as the importance of mental health. Even in my not so serious pieces, there are still bits of me that you can pinpoint, such as my signature pastel color palette, or the way I draw eyes. A lot of my current inspiration comes from really “girly” and childish aesthetics, anime, and nature. I used be interested in doing more realistic portrayals of people, but now I find doing that kind of work a little boring. It’s heartwarming to know that there are people who find pieces of their own interests in my work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m actually not too brushed up on all the hot spots of Atlanta yet! I do have some go-to comfort spots I enjoy, though. I would of course recommend a visit to the aquarium or the High museum. I also just enjoy walking through midtown and stumbling into random stores and eateries that look interesting. Six Flags is a good place to have fun. Another fun spot I like that’s a little more niche is Skate Along USA. I love the vibes there; it just reminds me so much of childhood, and everyone is always having a good time skating to good music. But really in all honesty, we would probably both just find some new place to try together since I don’t know too many.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I credit a lot my artistic success to my supportive family members, such as my mom and older sister, who have always encouraged me to think outside of the box and continue doing my own thing. I also hold a lot of respect for my art teachers, especially Mrs. Sahirah Dean, for offering me guidance and space to foster my growth as an artist.