q+a with alison martin of @amartincreative
Alison Martin, or, as most call her, Ali, is a rare gem. Seriously. Those who know her know that she is one of the kindest, most beautiful, creative, incredible people out there. This, friends, is a fact.
Ali also happens to be a hell of an artist. She illustrates, hand letters, and paints like a boss, all while maintaining the humility and genuine loveliness of some sort of Disney character who has little pretty birds flying around her head and a personality that makes giant hearts form in the eyes of passersby. Okay, enough gushing. Let’s chat.
GD: How would you describe yourself?
AM: Art educator, artist, illustrator, letterer, wife, daughter, big sister, child of the King, cat mom, would-be-chef, wannabe athlete, occasional traveller/explorer, friend to the end, and lover of creativity.
GD: What’s your greatest fear?
AM: I’m really not comfortable with heights – but this is more to do with a fear of falling than anything. My greatest fear however is the idea of losing the people I love.
GD: What are you most proud of?
AM: I’m really proud of my marriage. It’s the most rewarding and joyful thing – something to work hard at as well as to cherish every single day.
GD: What’s your best quality? Worst?
AM: My best quality is kindness. Kindness, to me, is a quality I really value in others so I try to make sure it shines through in me. I wish more people cared about just simply being kind. My worst quality is people pleasing. It’s a terrible idea for everyone involved and it’s directly connected to other unhealthy behaviors like indecisiveness, dishonesty, lack of boundaries, stress, and becoming a human doormat.
GD: Most treasured possession?
AM: My collection of ‘The Little Prince’ books. Every time I see a used bookstore I have to go in and ask if they have a copy. I have copies in English, French & Spanish. I’d love to get my hands on a first run edition hardcover sometime.
GD: Guilty pleasure?
AM: Staying in my PJs for as long as possible.
GD: Who do you admire most?
AM: I admire people who fearlessly chase their dreams everyday and aspire to find genuine happiness in their lives.
GD: Dream project?
AM: So many! I’d really love to illustrate for Bon Appetit magazine… or work on a children’s picture book… or paint a huge mural… or design labels for wine… or come up with colour names for paint swatches and makeup.
GD: If you could meet an artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
AM: James Rosenquist. He’s still alive but he’s 83 now. He started out painting billboards in NYC and transitioned into Pop Art. A lot of people think Andy Warhol is the best artist from the mid 20th century but he’s not – it’s James. His images are so mysterious and surreal.
GD: Best meal you’ve ever had?
AM: Sampling tapas at ‘Tickets’ in Barcelona. Tapas might not really count as a meal per se, but I’m a fan of appetizers or finger food anytime. It was the best meal mainly because it was so memorable. The creativity from chef Adrià and his team extends way beyond the food. The whole experience is pure whimsy and magic and you want to take a gazillion photos of everything even though you probably look like an asshole.
GD: What’s your favourite dish to cook?
AM: I love making paella on the BBQ.
GD: Most well-worn cookbook?
GD: We hear you’re a lover of spicy food; what’s your must-have hot sauce?
AM: Cholula is always on hand but Sriracha is another go to.
GD: You’re planning the ultimate dinner party. Who’s coming? What are you eating? What’s the décor, music, and vibe like?
AM: It would be simple, stress free, and cozy. I’d have a few close friends over. The food is rustic and simple. There would be bottomless cava or champagne. There are excessive amounts of pillows, the warm glow of too many candles, the sounds of some proper chill house music and lots of laughter.
GD: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? What would you do?
AM: I’d love to see ALL of Spain. Spain just gets me. I have been so fortunate already to travel to Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, San Sebastian, Bilbao and a few smaller villages in between. This summer I’m going to check out Mallorca but I need to get over to the west coast and the south ASAP. I just immerse myself into the place and the culture. Which, for the Spanish, is always a delightful mix of exploring and relaxing.
GD: What are the three most-played songs on your phone?
GD: Share a secret with us. Don’t worry, we won’t tell…
AM: I could probably eat popcorn for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not sure this is a very adult decision.