British-Seychellois artist Alyssa Adams who was inspired to paint by her father, the renowned painter Michael Adams, has ventured into designing fashion.
The 42-year-old has recently set up Alyssa Adams Designs where she is printing her art on clothing and these include swimsuits and bikinis as well as bags, scarves, pareos, kimonos, dresses and shirts.
Like her father, she is also building a collection of silkscreen prints aside from her original artwork.
SNA met with Adams to learn more about her new venture.
SNA: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your journey in the art world began?
AA: I was born in Victoria many moons ago and feel a strong magnetic force with Seychelles – the whole environment of this magical Gaia gives inspiration so generously and we are so lucky to be in the centre of the world.
I’ve always been inspired by art and nature and the most wonderful guide and an inspirational person is obviously my father Michael Adams. My mother Heather and my father began the first gallery in Seychelles. My dad has inspired so many artists and people here. So, my art journey began as a child. I then went to study art at Kingston University and the Chelsea College of Art in London for 4 years.
If you have been to our gallery then you will understand what I mean. There are creatures made from newspapers and driftwood and they just come to life with my dad’s magic touch. And then we have the paintings too, with my dad, my brother Tristan Adams and myself all having our paintings/prints and silkscreens in the gallery at Anse aux Poules Bleues.
SNA: What technique do you use and what influences it?
AA: My main influence is nature and staying still enough to allow all the magic to happen. From the energetic morning light to the warm afternoon sunlight, all the leaves and trees look different at each time of the day and shadows cool them down and create an escape for dark and cool escapes in a painting.
Adams said she has always worked with watercolour paints on paper and occasionally oils on canvas. (Alyssa Adams) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
SNA: We have seen another account of yours on Instagram under the handle of Alyssa Adams Designs. What is Alyssa Adams Designs?
AA: When my children were born it was hard to find the power to paint and be in the right mindset, so I realised another parallel path to my painting is having my art on clothing. I had fun using existing paintings or new ones with fabrics in mind.
My friend Amir Moalem has recently opened his business called ‘Socialista’ and he is absolutely fantastic. He contacted me about doing my promotional work on Instagram and Facebook. He literally has made such a difference in my world on the fashion side and now he will start with the paintings. People have been asking when did I start and I say ‘well over 20 years ago.’ All of a sudden, only after a few weeks of Amir being in charge of promoting my work, things have taken off.
SNA: What inspired your move from canvas works to prints?
AA: I’ve always worked with watercolour paints on paper and occasionally oils on canvas. I’ve been building a collection of silkscreen prints like my father. The silkscreen process is very challenging and it takes a long time but the outcome is that of a lot of depth.
You literally have a hand on all the prints as I do the separations, as I’m separating the colors so they are printed individually. They are all signed by me and numbered and when the silkscreen edition is finished there are no more printed.
SNA: What is a typical workflow like before getting the final product?
AA: An original painting starts in nature. Recently, I did a series on the beautiful Fregate Island in the banyan forest and also Silhouette Island at the Hilton Labriz, which are both very different islands and they have their own magic. Paintings can then be finished off in the studio.
SNA: What does moving to prints mean for you as an artist?
AA: Making silkscreen prints means that I can keep my originals and sell the silkscreen prints as I take so long doing a painting and you get attached to them at the end of our journey together. I do like doing a commission too.
SNA: What are some of the products being offered under the brand ‘Alyssa Adams Designs’?
AA: I’ve got some wonderful seamstresses and tailors on Mahe who are doing my sewing.
Haig Vidot is doing my swimsuits and bikini while Johanna Didon the founder of ‘Katiti’ fashion range, is sewing for me too, making bags, kimonos, dresses, and shirts amongst other things.
Jenny Griffiths is making my cushions with the piping and Lisa Padayachy at Nest Design is making also the kimono. All of these tailors and seamstresses mentioned are so talented and I’m very grateful to them.
Adam said she has some wonderful seamstresses and tailors on Mahe doing my sewing. (Alyssa Adams Design/Facebook) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
SNA: Where can an interested person buy your pieces?
AA: I am selling my items at Yves Caches – Camion Hall, Jardin du Roi, Silhouette Labriz – Toi Et Moi shop, Le Duc boutique shop- Praslin, the duty free Seychelles Travellers Edition shop [at the airport].
Also, on Alphonse Island, Denis Island, Le Repaire, La Digue, L’Orangeraie Hotel, La Digue, and soon at the Vallee de Mai on Praslin.
SNA: Are you collaborating with anyone for the production of the pieces?
AA: I am collaborating with Velorum Dubai for the men’s swim shorts which will arrive in a couple of weeks.
SNA: What are your future plans as an artist?
AA: I plan to continue painting Seychelles and exploring all these beautiful islands. There is so much to paint and so much beauty.