Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Romero.
Allison, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was a little kid, I was always too shy to do most activities. I tried to join teams and take extracurricular classes, but I just didn’t enjoy having spectators. Then my mom suggested I take an art class. By then, I had a lot of coloring tools, and I incorporated art into almost every school project. I guess I just had always liked to draw.
Waking up early for my first Saturday morning class was not easy, but ten years later, I was still doing it. Art became something that I could share when I wanted, or that I could enjoy alone. At the end of high school, when I learned about the field of illustration, I realized it was the perfect fit for me.
I built up my technical skills within my BFA program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I also took a summer class at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I gained a better understanding of the children’s book illustration business. Since then, I have been working on my art, developing and evolving as I travel, discover new interests, and meet fellow artists and writers.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Naturally, there have been obstacles along the road. Sometimes it is hard to come home from work, and then pull myself away from relaxation to complete a finished piece. Sometimes it feels like exposure in such a competitive business is just about luck. Sometimes I wonder where to meet like-minded creative people, who are also professional and knowledgeable.
I think I am like most artists because I constantly need more–more encouragement, more motivation, more time, more exposure, more connections, or more inspiration. However, I think my awareness of these obstacles helps me plan each step of the way.
Artwork by Alli Romero – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I work as an illustrator, with a focus on children’s book art. Naturally, most of my pieces feature children and animals, but I also like to incorporate different cultures when I am inspired by a folktale. In recent projects, my process starts with researching the context of a story or idea–the author’s background, where and when it was written, or a specific region.
From there, I study imagery and textiles from that locale or genre, looking for predominant colors and consistent designs. Finally, I compile motifs from the story and my research to create my piece with watercolor, gouache, and Adobe Photoshop. Do not be surprised if you find a fun, little detail hidden in the patterns of a character’s shawl or an animal’s fur. I love doing the research, learning about other cultures, and trying to capture the author’s world–all with a twist of my own.
I also sell cards during the holidays and display my fine art at the ArtHub in Nashua when I have time. During the day, I teach art classes and even had the opportunity of working at an elementary school last year. Teaching is not a replacement for creating, but it helps me think methodically about the process of making and understanding art.
When I share art with someone who is just learning, putting concepts into words helps me reflect on things I never questioned before. Of course, it is also just rewarding to watch students have that “a-ha” moment in class.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is so subjective but for me, it would be getting to do what I love every day–in all aspects of my life. Success would mean that I enjoy my work and that I am able to support myself with it. Success would mean that I am able to travel and pursue my hobbies.
Success would mean that I have enough time and energy to spend with family and friends. At the same time, I need to feel that I am achieving success in a decent way. Overall, success for me is really about living a full life that is valuable to me.
- Website: https://artworkbyar.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtworkbyAR/