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VAVVOUNE // Allison Strickland

Allison Strickland is an Artist based in New York City. A long time friend of the brand, we caught up with her at her Studio in Brooklyn to chat about her artistry, the joy that it has given her, and how anyone can tap in to their own wellspring.

Where are you from? How did you end up where you are?

I'm originally from Seattle but have been in Brooklyn the last 6 years. I loved growing up in Seattle, it's beautiful but small. At the time I was interested in theatre and felt I kind of did all I could do there. New York just called my name. I booked a co-pro between a Seattle Theatre and a New York Theatre, Seattle being the second run... one of my New York based cast-mates let me use his 300lb shipping credit. So I put 300lbs worth of my belongings in boxes, with zero savings, and somehow landed on my feet. It sounds romantic and it kind of was, for about a year or two.

I’ve always known you to be a creative person. You used to act and now you paint these beautiful fluid images. Tell us about the transition and if acting resonates in your art?

The transition felt a bit out of my control, seemingly overnight I just fell out of love with acting, I couldn't explain it - I still can't. I call it my divorce. It was really the only thing I'd ever loved and one day it was gone. I was going to auditions and just found I didn't care. An older actor friend was visiting from Seattle who's also a painter, knew I had painted growing up and urged me to start again, telling me I needed to do something creative for myself that didn't depend on any outside permission. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. That's why it's so important to me now to spread the word to feed your creativity no matter what, it doesn't have to be a profession, but I think it's genuinely key for the soul. It definitely helped heal mine.

Who are you as an artist? And are there any nuances to who you are as an individual?

I like thinking of myself as a conduit that creativity runs through. I don't think art is ever made in a vacuum it's a participatory process between the maker, spirit, energy, and the materials you use so it's always co-creative. I don't think I've ever made anything that I saw in my head first, I'm still just kind of showing up and seeing what happens, which is terrifying and so exciting when it works. There's a quote by the artist Pat Pasloff I love - "Art is truth not fact" so I think that's my intent, to tell the truth as much as possible as an individual and an artist.

Where do you go internally or externally for inspiration?

 Always both! I think inspiration comes from listening to everything and noticing what tugs the hardest and going in that direction.

You’ve been a day one supporter and a long time friend of the brand. What bag or bags have you been eyeing and why?

I've always loved the Mishe bag in pear green! I feel like it's so versatile, classic without being boring. And the Riya Shoulder Bag in Gerbera Red.I tend to keep my clothing pretty simple and neutral so I love wearing accessories that have a twist or a bit of interest to them. I'm pretty minimal so I buy things I know I want to wear forever and these always feel relevant.