Bold Visions and Intense Colors to Heal and Inspire : Interview with Alicia Wilkinson
Alicia Wilkinson is a mother, painter, mixed media artist, arts ministry leader, and a senior registered interior designer at 10Fold Architecture + Engineering in Ames, IA. Alicia creates paintings with thick texture, fiber, and other mediums while exploring beauty, texture, color, and things she is processing internally. Alicia’s inspiration comes from her Creator as she processes the pain and joy in her life alongside the desire to bring transformation into other people’s lives. Her heart to end injustices drives her to create work that has the hope to bring restoration and renewal to the earth.
Alicia’s artwork has been a conduit to restoring her back to her original design. Join us in the conversation with the artist Alicia Wilkinson where she shares how she started to create, how she started incorporating different textures and mediums in her work and how she wishes to create a change to end injustices and restore Earth and more. Read on to discover more about the interview.
1. Alicia, when did you first start creating art?
I created a little bit of art during my high school years. When I attended Iowa State University to pursue my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree, I continued to explore visual art through a variety of classes. The point at which I truly dove into creating artwork as a holistic part of my life was around 2007 during a major turning point in my life.
2. I love the touch of fiber in your work. Alicia, from where do you draw inspiration for such bright artwork?
Ultimately, my inspiration comes from my Creator, who created me to be bold, bright, and vibrant. Even more specifically, in my creative practice, bold visions often come into my mind and, as I create, dramatic inner healing takes place through the bold, bright, and sometimes pastel colors, textures, and imagery.
3. How would you say your artistic style has developed and changed over the years? Was there a time when your art took a significant turn, either visually or conceptually?
When I began creating more seriously in 2007, I incorporated a medium into my paint to make it thinner which resulted in work that had more transparency throughout the layers and did not have texture. My style was very loose, gestural, and more representational of actual things we see in the world. My artwork began to take a turn when my faith journey was making more beautiful turns and I began slowly incorporating thicker textures into my work through heavy gel mediums, fibers, and other things like packaging material. Conceptually, my work also began to be much more contemporary and less representational, and more focused on balances and interactions between shape, texture, and color. The tie that holds this variety of work together over the years is that my visions for the work often come from the Holy Spirit. The visions from the Holy Spirit have transformed over the years, much like the work the Holy Spirit has done inside of me over the years has transformed my inner being.
4. Have there been any major life events that have influenced your work?
Yes. As I’ve become more aware of and involved with playing a small role in fighting injustices in the world, I have been driven to create work that shines truth and light on injustices with the hope that my work can be a part of bringing restoration and renewal to the earth.
5. Alicia, one last question before we finish this interview. Would you share more about your journey, from being a mother, painter, and interior designer? It has been quite a ride.
Yes, it has been quite a ride! One of my greatest joys is being the mother of one young adult daughter. When my daughter was very young my main focus was on her and my interior design practice. With a vibrant career practicing new store concept development for a major retailer, I enjoyed a lot of my space outside of work raising my daughter and being a part of my faith community. The support from this community and some of my family made it possible for me to thrive in both of these areas. As one can imagine, it wasn’t all a piece of cake! A few years ago I stepped into my dream interior design job at 10Fold Architecture & Engineering in Ames, IA where I lead the firm’s interior design department and dream up authentic, inspiring, creative, and smart solutions for our clients. Our firm is much closer to my home than my previous job, so it opened up big doors for me to navigate from work to my daughter’s activities and home life much more efficiently. It also enabled me to press even more into my painting career, which began to flourish during this time. Being more immersed in my local community had a huge positive impact on the visibility, accessibility, and sales of my work. As I reflect on the journey of being a mother and having two artistic career avenues, while I didn’t do it perfectly, I am grateful that my daughter was able to experience her mother living out who she was created to be, thriving in and loving her work, as well as getting a glimpse into how beauty can be created out of uncertain and challenging times.