Get to Know Allison Bamcat
Brought to you by Talenthouse (@talenthouse)
Allison Bamcat (@bamcat) is a textile print designer, painter, illustrator, and culottes-enthusiast from Los Angeles (formerly Boston). Her work is currently being shown as part of the Spectra Exhibit at Helikon Gallery (@helikongallery) in Denver through June 2.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello's Social Media & Email Manager. She lives in Evergreen, CO with her husband, two dogs, and one hedgehog named Ditters who hates everything except for mealworms and tunnels.
Want to win a piece of Allison's work? Leave a comment and you could win a print of "Liberation," (featuring a toucan, below) a piece she made to celebrate pursuing her art career full-time.
Photos by Cayce Goldberg
First off, how did you become an artist? Have you always been a creator?
My mom has been encouraging me to draw since I was tiny. She saw a love of drawing and coloring in me and let it bloom. I began attending weekend art classes in fourth grade and knew I was destined to be an artist.
You recently moved from Boston to Los Angeles – has that move influenced your work in any way?
The culture shift has made a big impact on me and my art. Being surrounded by so many practicing artists has motivated me to work harder, make bigger paintings, and get out to art openings more often. So inspiring, I just want to draw all the time here!
Photos by Cayce Goldberg
Okay, onto what we’re most excited about: Tell us the story of getting your work shown at Helikon Gallery.
I’ve been using the Ello service since it came out, posting finished paintings and submitting to the calls for art. Helikon Gallery found me through their account, and we started chatting. Over the course of a few months, they invited me to participate in a group show for color-forward artworks called “Spectra,” and I submitted nine pieces (when they only asked for a couple). Cayce, the curator, asked if I could send all nine paintings, and I hustled to get the last few framed and in the mail. The show looks amazing hung up, so many vibrant works on clean, white walls. Cayce and his team did an incredible job, and I flew out for opening night at the gallery! So much fun.
Who are some of your favorite artists to follow on Ello?
Tyler Spangler (@tylerspangler) posts often and I’m always happy to see his work on my feed, with clever typography and neon colors. I also follow Amber Vittoria (@amber_vittoria) on every platform there is and never get tired of the lumpy ladies she illustrates.
You’ve done a broad range of art, from textile design, to illustration, to painting. What’s next on your list?
The next evolution of my art has been in the form of murals. I’m learning how to paint bigger, more impactful pieces that bigger audiences can enjoy and interact with.
How do you balance the magical and imaginative aspects of your work with the darker or more surreal elements?
Everything in my work is candy-coated in bright colors, so even the darker elements appear friendly and organic in my characters’ worlds. My characters are unfazed by their strange surroundings.
Your work is incredibly fanciful and colorful. What advice do you have for artists who are still developing their own aesthetic?
For me, it still feeds like I’m developing my own style. For me, recently, it’s helped me to pick a few elements that I enjoy drawing and re-incorporate them as many different ways as possible. Constant creation and practice is the only reliable way to figure out your aesthetic, in my opinion.
What are you doing when you’re not creating art?
When I’m not making art, I like to go on walks and listen to music/podcasts. I take the bus and the train often as I’m still learning my way around LA. And I like to park myself at the pubs by Venice beach and sketch on days I can get out of my studio.