Alison Hunt encourages people who view her art to embrace their individuality and strangeness. The 22-year-old Grand Valley State University student graduates in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration. Hunt’s work brings together bright colors, defined lines and classic movie monsters. This blending of scary, darker themed content with traditionally happy, bright colors resonates throughout her work. We spoke with Hunt about her art and the joy you can find in the unusual.
How long have you been an artist?
For as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawing and sketching during school. That’s what I would do instead of actually doing school. I decided that’s the one thing that I was really passionate about. It’s always been a part of my life ever since I was little.
How would you describe your style?
Quirky, bold, bright, graphic and kinda freaky. My use of color and clean lines is something that defines most of my work. I like my work to really pop and grab people’s attention. I think that there’s a juxtaposition that’s in a lot of my work. Sometimes it’s darker themed content but then I have a style that’s really bright colors and clean lines. I think that comes from my personality a little bit. I’m into dark humor.
I really like how vibrant your work is. Is there a reason you like to use bright colors?
I used to only do black and white work for a really long time. I think when I got to college and I took a color theory class and I got exposed to a lot more artists, I just realized that color is so much fun to play with. You can make it as bright and ridiculous as you want. I always feel really happy when I’m painting with super bright colors.
Could you tell us a little more about your website's tagline: Welcome all you freaks, geeks, and creeps.
It’s a phrase that kept coming to mind when I thought about introducing people to my body of work and something I identify with myself. I really enjoy mixing fun, playful colors and themes with more dark subject matter. So sometimes it gets weird and the tagline serves as a preface to that. I want people who view my work to embrace that, and find some personal freedom in enjoying something that isn’t conventional.
You mentioned that you love it when people embrace the weird. Why is that?
I want everyone to be able to embrace their individuality and feel pride in the parts of themselves that aren’t ‘normal.’ It’s really fulfilling for me to be able to express myself through my art and make all the weird things in my head come to life. I want to be able to share that joy with the people who look at my work. We can do whatever we want in this life, so why not do something fun and crazy just because it brings us joy.
How do people react to your work?
I feel like some people don’t understand it, some people get really excited about it and some people think it’s weird and gross. I’ve been told that the way I draw eyes can give people the heebie jeebies.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I get them from everywhere. My recent work has been inspired by old cheesy horror movies, like Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon. They just have those classic iconic monsters. That imagery has lasted for decades and it’s still recognizable. I draw a lot of inspiration from that.
Are you working on any current projects?
I have a couple of commissions I’m working on. I’m hoping to open up an online shop soon with T-shirt designs, so I’ve been working on coming up with ideas for that.
Left: My Mind is a Fire. Middle: Alison Hunt. Right: Toxic Terror. Courtesy Photos
What has been the most challenging part of being an artist?
Finding your own voice. As an illustrator, there are so many different styles, mediums and ways to work. I think experimenting with that and trying to figure out what really spoke to me and helped my art look the best way it could look has been a journey. It’s still an ongoing process, finding your voice behind the art. It’s an evolution that never stops. There’s pressure to be unique and different and stand out from what everyone else is doing, but you also don’t want to do something just for the sake of being unique.
What do you hope people will experience when they view your art?
Any amount of happiness I can bring someone through my work is a job well done. I hope that they can find an appreciation for the things in life that may seem ugly and scary. Nothing is all good or all bad, and monsters can be beautiful too.
Find Hunt’s work at alisonhuntart.com.