"My goal is to basically create art that is fun and expands your mind and makes you think a little differently"
How did you get started as an artist?
“I’ve always been an artist. I kind of had a nontraditional upbringing. I didn’t take to school very well, I didn’t like being in class, I didn’t really like going the way that was set out for me. So I just being creative with my time. From an early age, my family and people around me could tell that I wasn’t gonna work in an office.”
Can you describe your creative process?
“Lots of drawing, sketching, and grabbing colors. Swatches. I think in colors and shapes, so I will do sketches that seem a bit abstract, and they’ll eventually turn into something material in a three-dimensional space. But it’ll start with a circle or square or a couple of lines. And same thing with color: I’ll start with a couple of swatches and if I like the way two colors interact with each other, I’ll go from there.”
Do you have a mission as a designer or a singular idea that drives you?
“Yes and no. I haven’t had a very linear path in design, so it’s always evolving, my idea of what my ‘mission’ is. But my goal is to basically create art that is fun and expands your mind and makes you think a little differently about what things can look like. As long as I’m doing that, I think I’m reaching my goal.”
What do you do to stay creative and avoid blocks?
“Take care of myself and surround myself with people who are fearless and staying true to themselves. That’s where my inspiration comes from. Just feeling fearless and knowing things are gonna be okay, because you can really get caught up in your mind. And I know how to turn off so, when I’m deep in projects I make sure to take a day or two so I can just be present when it’s time to work.”
Any advice to up-and-comers who admire your work and want to follow in your footsteps?
“Don’t worry about taking the right steps. I fell into a lot of the opportunities that I’ve come across. And it’s because I stayed flexible and fluid and was just willing to try a lot of new things. And not being too attached to one idea or one way of being or one career path, and that’s really allowed me to find my place.”
How would you describe your own personal style?
“That’s a hard one for me to define. I love to have fun with color, but I tend to keep things more simple with a uniform. I wear the same boot I’ve been wearing for years, and I have 6 or 7 varieties. I have certain colors that become signature for me, so those are always incorporated into my wardrobe and I can really dive into a uniform. I hear people say ‘Oh, that’s an Ali red.’ It’s a vibrant red, almost a blood orange.”