Visiting Artist Spotlight: Aly Aga

In an effort to bring art (and the artist) into a casual, approachable arena, we’re offering a Visiting Artist series. Artists from the Boulder and Denver area come and set up a temporary studio space, allowing the public all to get a behind the scenes look at their artistic process and a chance to pepper them with questions.

Aly Aga is Two Hands’ first Visiting Artist this spring in our 4 part series. Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Aly is an illustrator, painter, and lover of art, and I had the chance to have my own questions answered. Check out Aly’s interview with Two Hands below, along with some of her fabulous illustrations!

What medium do you primarily work with?
What I love most is to paint and draw on paper. To me, it means no huge time commitments with intense preparation and clean up. So the ideas that pop into my head can be quickly put on paper before they get away!

What or who drew you to illustration?
I think all of the beautifully illustrated books I loved as a child made me want to make things myself. I had the fortunate experience of having Eric Carle come to my school in second grade and give a tutorial on tissue paper collages! Actually getting to meet someone who made things for their job was a huge inspiration. Also, I have always had a really supportive group around me who encouraged me to make art. My family, friends and teachers have all given me the confidence to keep making things.

Your illustrations are so simply fun and visually pleasing. Does your life/house/studio mimic this simplicity and lightness?
Thank you! Currently, my house is pretty simply decorated, but mostly that is because I intend to stop renting some time soon and don’t want to invest time in a temporary space! I have dreams of having a home that is decorated in a mix of clean and simple spaces, as well as some over-the-top, busy areas. If everything were simple and clean, I might be afraid to continue to collect crazy knick-knacks and things, and who wants that?

What are your essential tools?
In order to get anything done, I have to have Golden Fluid acrylics, a big window with lots of light and plenty of good music.

What are you working on right now?
I recently did some logo work for an environmental non-profit and got to draw lots of fun animals like a lynx and some prairie dogs. I also designed an engagement party invitation for a couple of friends this month. All fun projects – but I am very excited to get back to working on some personal projects soon.

How does your ‘studio time’ look? Do you follow a strict schedule?
I don’t follow a strict schedule. Although, I have recently noticed I am turning into more of a morning painter. It’s nice to wake up, get my coffee and get started before the craziness of the day beings to steal all the creativity from my brain.

How did you transition to a full time artist?
I do have a day job, but luckily for me, my day job lets me be an artist 70% of the day! I feel lucky to get paid to do work I love and still have time to take on some freelance and personal projects, too.

What tips do you have for people who want to pursue art?
Always make it your goal to create work that you would want to own.

What are your tried and true sources of inspiration?
Being a passenger on a road-trip has to be the ultimate inspiration for me. The combination of great music playing, that feeling of freedom and the ever-changing scenery just make me feel like I can’t even keep up with all of my ideas!

Where are you from? Would you say it influences your art in anyway?
I was born in Arizona, but moved to Colorado when I was a teen.  I’m not sure the southwest has influenced my work very much…yet. I tend to be attracted to Asian and Scandinavian aesthetics.

What on the agenda for you? Where can we find you or see your work next?
You can find me in Denver, enjoying life with my guy and our two awesome goldendoodles… And you can see my work and learn about upcoming projects at www.alyaga.com

So stop in Friday, March 15th from 2:00-5:00 for this casual Visiting Artist event. No need RSVP, and check out our Free Event section for more upcoming dates for our Visiting Artist Series.