Meet a Muse: Q&A with Artist Allison James

Allison James Art

Allison James exudes joy – with her presence & with her art. It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of our recent days, but Allison reminds us that it takes a consistent conscious effort to stay in the present to find moments of peace. In these moments is where she finds her inspiration to paint. Allison is a contemporary artist, who also offers creative guidance to fellow artists. Her abstract pieces explore the relationship between colors & space & the story that is told between them. 

I was introduced to Allison through a mutual friend specifically because I wanted to create assets for Sonhouse that felt like art & exemplified the brand through another form of creative expression. Thanks to her, we have a hero image for the brand that will change out every 6 months or'll see it on the website, our postcards, our social, & beyond. 

A brief synopsis of you! What you do, what you love, where you live, anything to describe your true nature...

I'm Allison James: artist, guide, friend and champion of many. I'm primarily known for my energetic, bold paintings and motivational attitude (both of which I am very proud to claim.) I'm a small town girl at heart with a love for big city style and kind people. My biggest goal is to help people see the beauty within themselves and to help others trust that little voice inside, through my art and through everything that I do.

When did you start painting?

I've been painting for 15 years but I've been drawing since I could hold a crayon in my hand (30+ years). I was into everything as a kid -- I had two ceramic wheels, more dirt and grass stains on my clothes then my poor mom could keep up with, Barbies galore and coloring books out of the wazoo. I have always loved creating things and staying busy! I made clothes for all of my paper dolls and copied everything out of every picture book I could get my hands on. I'm still very much this way, always collecting and thinking up my next project.

Allison James Painting

Where do you feel most inspired?

When I'm in nature. I know, I know... that's such a typical 'artist' answer but is there anything better than being in the stillness with only God and the birds and the grass beneath your feet? I think not.

What’s your daily activity or ritual that gives you time to pause and reconnect?

Oh I have an entire regime but I save the laundry list. I don't look at my phone for 2+ hours after I wake up (and before bed. No blue light.) I use this time, especially in the mornings, to connect with myself through meditation and then journaling. We are blank slates right after we wake up so it's vital for me to create that mind-body connection and set my intention for the day. I drink my water and get those feet in the grass, stat! I seriously love being outside. I'll take my rescue golden Reggie for a walk with no music, no distractions. It's all about connecting back to myself, over and over again, all throughout the day.

Favorite color? (Or current color you’re loving!)

Peacock blue. I can't get enough of it. A blob of cyan with a little black on my palette... mix it up and it's always perfection.

Best vacation or travel experience?

I'm fortunate enough to have been to Maui twice. If you want to feel like you're on another planet with only the ferns, birds, and the ocean around you, go to Maui. It's the ultimate.

What are you most excited about right now?

After 5 years of focusing on growing my practice I've found so much happiness in slowing down and making time for things that are separate from my business. I've learned how to arrange flowers and create a thriving herb garden. I've started running! And I have two projects in the works that are totally out of my wheelhouse. It's just all new things and all for me. It feels good to have outlets that are contributing to my daily happiness with no strings attached. If they all blow up in my face or are a total success, it doesn't matter. There's no pressure and I love that. I needed that.

Favorite Sonhouse piece?

Oh, no brainer. The Sling Bag in Ivory. I get stopped every time I wear it which is... 5 days a week. It's chic, it's easy and it's functional. You need this bag.

Sonhouse Sling Bag


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