Art/Now/Next: Interview with Allison Marie Garcia


This November 16 through December 31, 2017, the Santa Cruz Art League will present Art/Now/Next, an exhibition featuring 10 emerging local artists under the age of 45. In anticipation of this event, Local Santa Cruz has handed over the mic to some of the talented participating artists whose innovative work is coming into the spotlight.

Allison Marie Garcia is a Santa Cruz-based illustrator and graphic designer. Her captivating and mysterious subject matter ranges from people and nature to folklore and fantasy. Allison recently painted a series of portraits featuring women from around the world, using acrylic paints, iridescence and metallic leaf on stretched canvas or wood panels. Her vibrant work goes beyond physical appearance to reveal the spirit of each character and convey a sense of powerful feminine energy.

Read on for an interview with Allison and learn more about this up-and-coming artist and her inspiring work.

Local Santa Cruz: Please tell us about your art. What inspires you and what is your preferred medium and creative process?

Allison Garcia: My preferred medium depends on the day! I primarily work in either acrylic paint on canvas or ink on paper but lately I have been enjoying digital painting. I’m not the type of artist to work on the same piece for several days – I kind of go into a trance when I get ideas for a project, I work fast and nothing can break my concentration until I’m done.

Local Santa Cruz: What is your connection to Santa Cruz and how has it influenced your creative work?

Allison Garcia: I grew up in Hollister, but I’ve lived in santa cruz for about 9 years. I’ve worked at a few different creative places where I met Knitters, Photographers, Quiltmakers, Costume Designers, Filmmakers, Taiko Drummers, Fire Dancers and hula hoopers from so many different walks of life. I feel like the community here is outrageously expressive and supportive of makers. I am inspired by the people.

Local Santa Cruz: Tell us about the art you’ll be showing in Art/Now/Next. Why have you chosen the pieces that will be on display and what do they mean to you?

Allison Garcia: This series of portraits started out as an attempt to incorporate my online community of female artists and friends so my creative process was really dependent on the public. I asked for submissions of self portraits to paint, and I pretty much just painted the ones that jumped out at me. I would use their photo for reference towards the beginning layers of paint and then use abstract markings and expressive colors to frame their face in a way that felt right to me. I was inspired by the willingness and supportive nature of other women who wanted to be a part of my project. I also painted these fairly quickly, the entire series was about 15 pieces and I think I did them all within 2 months. There is something very satisfying to me about painting or drawing people. It scratches an itch I have. I’ve just always loved it.

Meet this artist and experience her series of portraits in person at the Art/Now/Next Opening Reception: First Friday, December 1, 6-8pm at the Santa Cruz Art League.

Follow Allison Marie Garcia and her work on Instagram: @blindperson


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