Interview| Alica Jones Designer & Artist
I had the opportunity to interview the very talented Alica Jones. We talked about some of her goals, inspiration, her process, and some other things. I hope you enjoy.
I noticed a lot of your designs have flowers or floral patterns, whats your infatuation with flowers?
I love that I am able to create art that is important to me and has meaning for everyone who loves nature. The environment fascinates me and is a big source of my inspiration. I love to experiment with techniques and bright colors so as a result, I create paintings that exaggerate the colors within flowers and create depth in my Environmental ocean collections of imagined seascapes. For my inspiration is nature and the tricky thing about nature is its variety and its vastness. There is so much of the earth that we have never seen and cannot possibly ever see in this lifetime. As an artist, I hope to create a little bit of that wonder and that vastness really allows me to create almost anything for my collections and/or for customers.
Whats your favorite design you created to date?
My favorite design to date is my Environmental Considerations, Deep Sea Water Bubbles painting. It started me on a path of exploring a large collection of work focused on bringing voice to the environment.
Talk to me about your process, are your designs starting off as paintings? How are you getting your designs on clothing and other products?
All of my designs start as paintings. Painting is really the vehicle that I use to get the process started. The best part about this is that everything afterward still pays homage to the painting and thus they all have a story. I do transform many of them into patterns and into repeat textures to then transfer onto products. I started ANoelleJay in 2014 to show my paintings to the world and it has developed not only into a way to create imaginative paintings but also into fashion, design and home décor. I’ve been blessed to find partners who also see the joy in my work and create fabulous products that remain true to my art.
What is the kind of things you do when you want to get away from creating or designing?
I love watching movies, reading books and spending time outside with my friends and family. Everything becomes a source of inspiration even the quiet times of rest. I do need to find more time for travel, I love painting while looking at a new landscape or relaxing on the beach.
Living in New York City comes with a higher cost of living then most places, so is designing and painting lucrative enough for you to do it full-time?
The one lesson I’ve learned is that even if you have a full-time job outside of your passion you can always make the time to do both and fulfill both your needs and your passion. Focus on doing what you love. Once you start enjoying what you love it becomes much easier to create pieces that others will love and to move to creating commissions and items that they want.
As a black woman, have you ever encounter any inequality as an artist?
As a black woman who is also a melting pot of many cultures across the globe, sometimes it becomes difficult to fulfill all the contrasting avenues that I can focus my art on. There are times when I want to start a collection focused on women of color, the impact of slavery or the immigrant experience in a new world. As a black woman, it becomes so easy to absorb the pressures of representing everyone and standing up for equal rights and it becomes difficult to balance all of the ideas pulling me in different directions.
I do feel that women in art are not represented enough which makes it hard to find inspiration from someone who is “like me”. Also as a black artist, it is also difficult to find inspiration and to represent black people in not only a way that they need representation but in a way that also stays true to me.
What I have to continuously remind myself is that I am not letting down any of these contrasting aspects of myself in anything that I do, but rather regardless of what I create I am representing all of this by just being myself and continuing to shine a light on representation. By continuing to push myself into venues and into the hearts of many hopefully, someday I will be looked at as an artist that cut a chunk out of our unequal representation.
What’s your ultimate goal?
I hope to continue to showcase my designs on platforms like HSN /QVC to get my designs into households across the country and world.
Any future projects your working on that you we can look forward to?
I actually have 2 project ideas that I hope to get started on soon. Both will push forward my representation of the “black diaspora” as well as women in art.