Tag Archives: Houston

Wigging Out & Taking Action

Guys, you are awesome. Seriously.

Man, what a fantastic weekend it was. I don’t know about you but this was one of the first Mondays in a long time, where I actually felt excited and energized to get to work, rather than woeful that my weekend was over. I think it’s entirely due to Saturday’s purpose-filled activities and the presence of so many loving people surrounding me.

On Saturday morning, I headed down to Houston City Hall to participate in the Houston Women’s March and I have to say I think this was a life-changing experience for me. I neglected to wear sunscreen, I forgot to bring water, and I was sweltering in rain boots which proved not only to be unnecessary but downright cumbersome. And yet… I have never felt so reassured and comforted by my fellow Houstonians. These are scary times, but witnessing a sea of signs and tshirts and messages all echoing the same unifying messages of love and acceptance and freedom was moving beyond words. On the train ride home, I was lost in thought and finally turned to one of my friends to say, “I’m serious, I want to do more, I need to do more. I’m going to be more involved and active on issues I feel strongly about.” And I meant it. I mean it. And I need you, dear reader, to hold me accountable. We need each other now more than ever, to keep each other honest and brave and safe and hard-working if we want to shape the future into something we can be proud of.

Upon arriving home, I was tired and dehydrated but managed to put the finishing touches on last-minute art show tasks, and I arrived at Space Montrose a mere 2 minutes before my art opening. Hey, I’ll consider myself being on time a small victory in itself! All in all, it was a blast and I was totally touched to have so many friends stop by. A big thank you goes to Leila and Carlos at Space for hosting, providing drinks and snacks, and always being so supportive. And of course thank you to everyone who was amused by my work — seeing people smile and laugh in response to illustrations of punny dogs in hairdos made my night!

And now, I’m taking a brief moment to catch my breath before it’s back to the drawing board (literally). But be sure to stay tuned! I have another art show coming up in March in Tucson, and two art markets here in Houston, so there should be lots of updates headed your way.



Thanks, WHAM-Goers!

‘Tis the season to get out there and support your local artists and craftspeople and boy, did you! Last weekend was my fourth year participating in Fresh Arts’ 11th Annual Winter Holiday Art Market, and I had a blast getting to meet my fellow art-lovers. If you didn’t get a chance to swing by, check out the official Fresh Arts photo album highlighting the event.

Here I am, animatedly discussing who-knows-what with a friend who stopped by the Friday preview party…WHAM 2016

I was pretty happy with how this year’s setup turned out. Thank GOD for those Ikea shelves! They were certainly more work on the front-end (positioning, measuring, re-positioning, running to Target to buy a longer extension cord, drilling) but super convenient any time a framed piece was sold. Or you know, any time I had an OCD moment and felt the urge to rearrange… and rearrange again. Yay for enabling indecision!

After WHAM, I immediately flew to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with the fam (and the cactus-fam)…img_0345

…don’t you think my cactus-brother and I look alike?

This week it’s back to the grind, working on more original illustrations and trying to organize for the holiday rush. If you still want to see me to do some holiday shopping, I’ll have a booth at AIGA Houston’s DesignCraft at Market Square Park this weekend! And for all you vinyl lovers out there, rumor has it I’ll be sharing a spot with my fellow design comrade, Tim, where he’ll be promoting Record Props (check it out to support his kickstarter!)

Hope to see you this weekend!

Heartmade Art Market: This Saturday!


Heartmade Art Market at Art Blocks: The Big Bash!

Guys! I’m so excited — This Saturday, the Downtown District is kicking off its inaugural public art project at Main Street Square with Art Blocks: The Big Bash. I hope you’ll grab your friends and family and head over to Main Street Square to celebrate with us as we showcase a talented bunch of local artists at the Heartmade Art Market! There will also be the Stella Artois Beer & Food Truck Garden, live entertainment featuring Amy Ell and VauLt, a kids crafts zone sponsored by Young Audiences. And dude. Houston’s own The Suffers will be there! Art + music + food & drink + an afternoon outside? Winning.

Saturday, April 16
Noon to 6:00 pm

Main Street Square
900-1100 Main Street
Downtown Houston

It’s FREE!

Entertainment Lineup:
Noon-6 pm    DJ Sun
12:30-2:15 pm    Craig Kinsey & Crew
12:30, 1:30 & 3:30 pm    Havikoro
1, 2 & 4 pm    Amy Ell & VauLt
1:15-2:15 pm    Divisi Strings
2:30 pm        Second Lovers
4:30 pm        The Suffers


P.S. I’ll even make this goofy face for you.
P.P.S. Hope to see you there!

Houston Drivers: STOP Being “Nice” to Me!

A couple of months ago, I purchased my very first bicycle (well, the first bicycle of my adult life.) I was a late-bloomer and didn’t really learn to ride until I was about thirteen. I blamed it on all kinds of stupid things, like growing up in the “desert” (um, do you know what a cycling hotspot Tucson, Arizona is!?) Really, I think I was just scared. It’s hard to explain, but I was never an adventurous kid. I didn’t really like making a commotion, I was fairly quiet, and I loved quiet, lazy activities such as drawing and reading and staring off into space to contemplate things like trees and wolves. And although I had a wonderful upbringing with loving, nurturing parents, my mother was a worrier (as I suppose most mothers are). I do think I was somewhat shaped by this. Throughout my childhood, I was aware of this unspoken fear. That by simply leaving the house, you were opening yourself to the possibility of injury, and danger was always lurking just around the corner.

Eight years or so went by before I found myself on the seat of a bike again, and let’s just say that experience did not go so well (I have four words for you: “muddy ditch” and “no breaks”). Jump ahead a few more years to present tense and here we are. I was apprehensive and a little frightened to get into biking in a city that I am already afraid to drive in. But the ability to get from place to place without a car is really appealing to me, so I was (and still am) determined to make this work. But Lord Almighty, does the incompetence of drivers make it hard sometimes! I just biked home from the gym, and considering this has happened not once, not twice, BUT EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE RIDDEN MY BIKE SOMEWHERE IN THIS CITY, I feel that I really need to get this off my chest…

When I approach a two-way stop at an intersection and the cross-street traffic does not have a stop, DO NOT STOP FOR ME!!!! Especially do not stop for me when I have already slowed to a complete stop and am sitting there, staring at you, waiting for you to continue on your bloody merry way. You know that awkward experience you encounter when you are on foot and reach an intersection at the exact same time as a car? If you’re anything like me, the voiceless conversation seems to go something like this…

Me: “Oh, after you.”

Faceless Car Person: (inches forward, then breaks) “Oh, no please, after YOU.”

Me: (takes a step) “You sure? I think you were here first, also you are bigger and faster than me. It will take me longer to cross the street.”

Faceless Car Person: “No no no, I insist.”

(Pause, pause, pause, crickets chirping…)

Me: “Dammit this is ridiculous, I have places to be!!!” (angrily storms across the street)

Do you know how much worse that is when you’re at a complete stop, on a bike, on a slight incline and you have to clumsily hurl your feet back onto the peddles, and pretend to still have strength left in your thighs after an hour-long bar method class, all the while frantically steering your handlebars to-and-fro in an effort to not tip over? SO MUCH WORSE. I know I should be more patient and I should be thankful that these drivers are cautious and courteous, rather than mowing me down. But what people might not realize is that these rules of the road are there for a reason. I need to follow them and you need to follow them to keep cyclists and drivers and pedestrians safe. Last week, I was waiting to cross a busy street on my bike and a woman actually stopped her car to let me go, forcing the eight cars behind her to also stop. Though she had the right-of-way and did not have a stop sign, she stopped. Didn’t motion me across, just stopped. A line of cars a few blocks in front of her meant I couldn’t see whether I had a clear shot from traffic in the other direction. She was being “nice” but as the cars behind her impatiently began laying on their horns, this put me in an awkward position. Do I say thank you, and ride across the street without full view of the traffic? Do I follow the rules of the road and appear ungrateful, shaking my head and motioning her to continue? Now I’m the one holding up traffic, which sucks, because as I mentioned earlier I’m not one for making a commotion… On the other hand, I’m not that crazy about getting hit by cars.

So I’d like to know: Are you a cyclist? Are you a driver? Are you a Houstonian? Have you had the “nice” experience? Have you had similar experiences in other cities, or is this unique to Houston? Am I crazy for complaining about this? Should I shut up now?

K, thanks for listening to my rant…

Be safe out there!
Xoxo Allison


Animals for People — From Concept to Completion

Dog Sketch

Over the past few months, I have ventured out into unknown territory: the territory of solo art shows (gaaaah!!!) Unsurprisingly, it’s been a learning experience. I initially felt overwhelmed by the prospect of creating all new works of art with no real outside direction placed upon me — Anyone with a background in graphic design will understand the comfort associated with having project constraints. But a blank page (or really, 15 blank pages), 3 months, and no requirements for media type, dimensions, or theme? Terrifying.

Luckily, I am a list-maker, which means I had a plethora of concepts to choose from, some of which had been stewing in my brain for years. I narrowed it down to two possibilities and eventually settled on the one that I thought was realistically doable in the amount of time I had available. The result is Animals for People.

In a nutshell, the concept for Animals for People is relatively simple: animals, doing people things. But (and forgive me for getting all art-school-critiquey for a moment), for me the concept is slightly deeper than that. Yes, I wanted to draw animals in clothing, but I also wanted to allude to our human feelings of discomfort, inadequacy, and feeling troubled by what is expected of us. I think we can relate to the beaver who knows it’s in his nature to cut down the tree, but feels ashamed by his own destruction. We can relate to the hippopotamus who feels the pressure to “be fit” and reluctantly laces up his sneakers, despite a body type less suited for running.Refined Dog Sketch

Throughout, I struggled with balancing imagery of cute furry creatures with more serious topics. And now that the pieces are complete, there are perhaps changes I would have made here and there. But my hope is that in the end, the work reflects life: fun, playful, and humorous with just the tiiiiiiniest inkling of sadness hidden beneath.

Animals for People: A Solo Art Show by fuzzy grapefruit
Saturday October 4th, 7-10pm
Space Montrose, 1706 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098
Free Admission & Open to the Public
Music, drinks and nibbles provided
*First 25 attendees will receive a limited edition fuzzy grapefruit print!*  Bodie Looks for a Job

Winter Holiday Art Market — THIS WEEKEND!

2013 WHAM
Okay, so I’m freaking out about everything I have to get done before this thing, but it’s going to be awesome!!! I have three entirely new holiday-themed notecards, a slew of new art prints and a new running animal! (I’ll give you a big hint… he’s known as the king of the jungle.) Stop by to see my new work, grab some beautiful handmade gifts before the holiday rush, and rock out to sweet tunes. Can’t wait to see y’all there!

Winter Holiday Art Market
Winter Street Studios – 2nd Floor, 2101 Winter Street, Houston TX 77007
Friday, November 22, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  ($10 general admission/Free for Fresh Arts members)
Saturday, November 23, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Free admission)
Sunday, November 24, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Free admission)

Art! Puppies! Cupcakes!

Dearest art lovers,

I have been a terrible blogger lately 🙁 But sometimes, life just gets in the way. I recently had a TON of design work and custom orders to complete, then went on vacation to the United Kingdom, and now I am back and full of inspiration for new work (hooray!) Stay tuned to see some new prints and notecards inspired by the landscape across the pond.Lucky Lucy

In the meantime, you should totally check out the fantastic art submissions recently put up at Celebrity Cupcakes here in Houston. I was honored to be asked to submit a piece and I’m really happy with how my “Lucky Lucy” painting turned out. All the work is available for purchase and all proceeds benefit Corridor Rescue, a fantastic organization committed to rescuing abandoned and mistreated animals. So support local artists, help animals in need, and eat cupcakes… sounds like my kind of party.

‘tiny’ Arts Pop Up – Artists OpeningAugust 18th, 2-4 pm
Celebrity Cupcakes (Rice Village)
2343 University Blvd., Houston, Texas

Houston Etsy Craft Party

Houston Etsy Party Flyer

Every year, crafting supersite Etsy.com throws a global celebration honoring art, craft, and design. This year, the theme is “Craft for Community” so our humble little Houston team is excited to be putting together a party to benefit local shelter and very worthy cause, The Women’s Home.

On June 20th, we’ll be crafting up a storm by creating pillowcases, bedding items, soaps, body products, hair accessories, and jewelry to donate directly to the women at The Women’s Home. We’ll also be collecting new and gently used items, as well as monetary contributions.

Check out a helpful list of suggested supplies to bring, and RSVP for the event HERE!

Pop Shop Houston: THIS Weekend!

Are you excited about this weekend’s Indie Craft Fair, Art and Music Festival, Pop Shop? Of COURSE you are — Over 70 of Houston’s talented artists, craftspeople, and artisans will be there, Pi Pizza Truck will be there (OMG, all-weekend access to one of my favorite food trucks? This is going to get dangerous…), a mobile photo booth will be there, lots of cool bands and musicians will be performing, and there will be FREE crafting for kids and families. Also, did I mention I have some new work to show? Golly!PopShopHouston2013

So grab your momma this Mother’s Day Weekend and show her a good time!

Check out the Pop Shop’s Facebook Event Page to see the schedule of events and officially join!