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At IM we love a good ceramic piece, love it even more when the maker is a friend AND part of the IM work fam too. Alyssa M Julian makes her ceramics out of her home right down the street from the shop. We took the afternoon to hang, talk about ceramics, good music, and the balance of life and creating. Read on to learn more about her and get a peek of her life.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do:
Hi! My name is Alyssa Julian and I make things out of my home in Los Angeles, CA! Most often these things are made out of clay (think functional table wares), but sometimes I like to draw with my eyes closed and turn them into prints and tote bags.
What connections between ceramics and life have you seen or realized?
I notice parallels between the two constantly, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned from ceramics is that ya can’t get too attached to anything. Much like in life, there is a chance for loss in every part of the ceramics process, and it’s helped me to appreciate things in the moment, as they are, for what they are.
In what ways do you see yourself in your work?
I’m not sure I see myself in my work as much as my surroundings! I feel so lucky to live in Southern California, where the colors of both LA and surrounding, more rural areas (Joshua Tree, Angeles National Forest, etc) play a part in my color palette and shape inspiration.
Any upcoming concerts you’re excited about going to? Or any you'd recommend someone to see?
I just saw Julia Jacklin last week, which was stellar. Her new album killllls me. Nothing planned for right now, but the beauty of being in a big city (and having a sibling in the music industry) means that nothing needs to be planned too far in advance! I recommend everyone see Sir Paul once in their life — truly a magical experience to see a Beatle play live! It’s hard to limit who else I consider to be a “must see” — the list would be a mile long! So we’ll leave it at that for now :-)
What are some of your favorite ways to recalibrate and ground yourself?
GETTING OUTSIDE! I find it’s the only way to calm my thoughts, get myself out of my head (which happens often), and recalibrate. That could mean local and low key like a nice long walk in my neighborhood, or something more calculated and considered like a weekend utilizing my National Parks pass in Joshua Tree or Big Sur.
What other mediums do you like working with?
Beyond ceramics, I mostly like to draw! Nothing too serious, though a few of my friends have gotten my drawings tattooed on them, which is pretty cool. Mostly playful, blind contour drawings which help me to relax and not take it all so seriously! I think it’s important to remind ourselves, especially as we get older, that it’s okay to do things you’re not “””good””” (excessive quotes necessary, because what even is good?) at, just because you enjoy them. We don’t have to be so serious all the time!
Someone you would love to gift one of your pieces to?
Oh oh, what a question! This one’s stumped me. I am not one for fan-girling mainstream celebrities (besides Timothée Chalamet, ha!); I’d rather see my work in the hands of people I find personally inspiring (I suppose that makes them a celebrity of sorts): Laura Dart (@dartphoto), the Block Shop ladies, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, hmmm...
Three spots everyone in LA should know about, go:
Just three!? I’ll try!
Thank Alyssa! Check out here pieces in the shop here.
Photos by Marielle V Chua
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