My Little Dark
Dream World of Old:
with Alyssa Hobson
SDWI has the privilege of seeing more of talented photographer Alyssa Hobson since her feature as the cover artist on last year’s Vol. 15 anthology cover. Hobson is returning as this year’s October solo artist in our Liberty Station space, Inspirations Gallery, where her lovely art will be displayed for the month. Here, Alyssa describes her artistic inspirations, some upcoming projects, advice for artists, and more!
Meghan Coley: Your photography has a specifically vivid aesthetic. Are there any specific forms of inspiration, like certain TV shows, movies, or books, that have contributed to your particular style?
Alyssa Hobson: Thank you so much, that’s a great question. Growing up, to [say] I had my head stuck in books would be an understatement. (My grandma always would say “ We could burn the house down around you, and you wouldn’t notice” haha. ) And within that realm I was really drawn to high fantasy and classic gothic literature. And through that, it lead me to discover different artists and art movements. Illustrators like Edward Gorey and Alan Les. Film makers like Tim Burton, Baz Luhrmann, Hayao Miyazaki, and Guillermo del Toro. As well as the Pictorialism movement and just the overall grandeur of the Victorian Era have all contributed in inspir[ing] my little dark dream world of old.
MC: How did your time studying at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco lead you to where you are in your career now?
AH: Attending an private art school was such a privilege, everyone there was there because they loved art and creating art. So you were able to just absorb so much inspiration and creativity just being around your fellow students no matter what their major was. The class [and] education style was also more geared towards my style of learning. The Academy was very hands on learning. Which is perfect for me. As much of a book nerd as I am, I need to learn by doing something, not reading about it. Most of the professors were also working artists so they were coming to you with actual first hand experience and knowledge not textbooks. I had several really influential instructors; David Wasserman, Chris Hardy, John Vano, Kent Marshall, and our department director Jim Wood. They really helped push me when needed and guide me through my journey.
MC: What are some of your favorite locations to shoot outdoors?
AH: My favorite outdoor locations are the woods and old (often abandoned) cemeteries. And don’t worry, on the lighter side I also love a foggy beach or a high desert ghost town. I also love to shoot at historical places. It’s just a privilege to be a California-based artist because there’s just so much diversity in climate and a rich history.
MC: You’ve been featured in the San Diego Writers, Ink’s Inspirations Gallery before–what are you particularly looking forward to about participating in the exhibition this year?
AH: This year is super exciting because I have been given the opportunity to do a Solo exhibition, Which is such a honor. And [I’m] really excited for people to be able to see a large grouping of my works all in one place. It’s a honor and a privilege to be able to have this opportunity, and to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.
MC: What are your thoughts on being the cover artist for Volume 15?
AH: It was such a delight to be involved. And as a reader it’s very poetic in a way, to see my work on the cover, when what began my journey, was reading.
MC: What kinds of new projects are you currently working on?
AH: Coming up next, I have a collaboration with fellow San Diego artist Christina Sanchez, of Stygian Metal. She’s an amazingly talented jewelry maker and metal worker. She does beautiful hand carved metal jewelry. She releases small batch collections and I love to create images for her collections. Additionally, I am a proud mom to [a] sweet little boy, so I’m starting some new work that brings my style of fantasy to children portraits and maternity shoots. It’s a really fun avenue to explore. As well as my normal on going projects.
MC: What is some advice you’d like to give to artists?
AH: Tune out the noise and focus on yourself. It’s so hard in this day and age to not get caught up in hustle culture. It’s so toxic and not healthy. Make art at your own pace for yourself. I saw another artist say, “You’re still an artist if you only create one piece a year” and I really loved that. It’s so easy … [to] feel like you have to constantly be creating to be an artist, but that’s not true. Be healthy and create at your own speed.
MC: Is there anything else you’d like to cover that I haven’t asked?
AH: If you’d like to see more of my work, buy a print, or want to reach out about collaborating , check out my Instagram, website or shoot me an email!
Alyssa Hobson (b. 1990) is a fine art photographer living in San Diego, California. She has a life long love for history and the remnants of the past. Alyssa’s work, much like herself, exists in between realms. Alyssa graduated from Academy of Art University in San Francisco , receiving a BFA in Fine Art Photography. While in school she met her husband. The two were early collaborators and still work with each other whenever possible. They currently live in Southern California with their son and two cats.