Name: Alyse Brock
Location: Newark, DE
Bio: Alyse Brock, a Delaware native, is a self-taught artist who primarily works in acrylic on canvas. With no formal training, Alyse uses different techniques to weave together her expressions and thoughts. Alyse’s experience as an independent woman has shaped her body of work with strong themes of female sensuality. Alyse has participated in several events in Philadelphia, New York, DC, and Delaware.
Social Media: IG @WNDRLNDART
Describe your experience as a current artist:
I went to a paint and sip event in November of 2016 and it was the first time I had picked up a paint brush outside of elementary school. I enjoyed myself so much that a few months later, I decided to treat myself to my own makeshift paint and sip at home. I bought some canvases at Walmart, used my daughter’s left over paint, brought up a tutorial online and I fell in love. I watched hours and hours of step by step tutorials and evolved to watching tutorials on specific techniques and with enough experimenting and mistakes, I have managed to teach myself just enough to be dangerous.
What was your occupation/education prior to becoming an artist?
I am a retail store manager. There is not a wealth of inspiration there but I am grateful for the flexibility it provides. I started seriously marketing and showing my art work in January of 2018 and shortly after, I realized that there was a possibility for me to be an artist full time. Creating has really taken over my life and I have a financial plan to allow myself to make the transition.
What was your biggest challenge/obstacle in pursuing art and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced since pursuing art has been getting out of my own way. I am a pretty regimented in my day to day life and painting demands that I let go of the control. Sometimes I mess up and I don’t know what I am doing most of the time. Being brave enough to paint with abandon has been my biggest obstacle.
Describe your biggest milestone or project/series achieved since pursuing your art.
It might sound corny but my biggest milestone is being seen as an artist by my mother. She is a classically taught oil painter and has her master’s in art education. My childhood home is practically an art gallery and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could do anything resembling what she does. Fast forward and she now asks for my advice with techniques and marketing. She buys pieces she likes and is always finding more work for me. It’s one thing to be admired by strangers but when you’re recognized and supported by your own, its an amazing feeling.
How does your personal style and identity translate into your artwork?
My art is a very clear reflection of myself at the core. In my life I focus heavily on my role as a single mom and as a leader in my career, so my art shows a softer, more vulnerable, more sensual side that I don’t express so often in my daily experience. I feel that women sometimes forget to honor our feelings because we are too busy trying to hold up the world but it is important that we remember to value ourselves too.
What is your favorite art technique and why?
My favorite art technique is using acrylic gels. I have only used it a few times but I really enjoyed the the texture and dimension that it gives to the canvas.
How do you maintain your mental health and inspiration?
I push through creative blocks by not forcing it. I try not to paint from a place of desperation and let inspiration come to me when it does. Every time I have forced myself to work on a piece, it never comes out right. I try to paint when I am really in the mood or have a particular vision that is tugging at my heart. I am not alway able to paint the moment that I get an idea so I keep a running list of project ideas on my phone that I’ll refer back to during dry spells.
What is some advice or tips you would give to a fellow BGWP interested in furthering their art goals and/or owning her own business? :
To my fellow BGWP, I would say to stay the course. It’s easy to doubt yourself and doubt your work. I’ve been guilty of comparing my success with others and feeling like I’m not moving fast enough. Remember to stay true to your voice and your vision, work hard but don’t beat yourself up if you are doing all that you can.
What does being a "black girl who paints" means to you?
Being a BGWP, means that I can be completely and unapologetically myself. I am a black girl who paints. That’s my point of view and that is how I express myself. As a mom to a beautiful black girl, I want her to see what I think is beautiful.