We had the good fortune of connecting with Alina Hayes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alina, how do you think about risk?
The world of ceramics can sometimes feel like a very small, purist niche. Some artists make the same style of work for 30 years. Shifting gears from pottery to sculpture was scary- especially since most of my follower base was used to seeing functional, glazed pottery. Ultimately, I had to stay true to myself and follow the move my work was taking. As a result, taking the risk propelled my work into a wider art/design market.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
How do you measure success in art? Is my work successful if it sells? Is it unsuccessful if it doesn’t? Why should anyone care about my art? These are the questions that immediately enter my mind in response to this question. I am a natural maker, so I will always continue to make art. It is my response to the pressures I experience as I navigate the world. My work is an attempt to bring some joy and tactile sensation to the viewer by using form and color. A pleasant distraction if you will. What excites me most is the reaction of the collectors/galleries who purchase my work. They are genuinely delighted when handling the work and bring their own ideas and personalities to the biomorphic creatures I create. I find their feedback inspiring, which sometimes leads to exploration of new work. Jerry Saltz says “Make an enemy of jealousy”. It’s easy to become jealous of the success of other artists. There is no set path for every artist. Control what you can control, make your art and submit, submit, submit. Apply to group shows, grants, residencies, and reach out to galleries. Don’t expect these opportunities to come to you. Also, I should say that I am not in anyway “better” than anyone else. I am as insecure, lost and clueless as ever. 🙂
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow- this is like the ultimate dream given our current COVID situation. I would take them to Eataly in Century City. We would go on a Malibu Wines Safari and dance the night away at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. We would do a little museum tour hitting LACMA, The Broad, Hammer Museum and the Norton Simon. We would sample fares at Jon and Vinny’s Petit Trois and Beauty and Essex. And who doesn’t love a visit to Universal Studios and San Diego Zoo.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many people who encourage me and help with my confidence.. Patsy Cox, my ceramics professor was the driving force from the very beginning of my professional journey. My husband Peter is my support system at home. He’s learned to live with clay scraps all over the floor, my dreamer artist disposition, while helping support our family financially. Jenchi Wu, my colleague and friend at Ventura Community College. Who helped our department navigate the unknown waters of teaching online during this pandemic. And of course my core “ceramic crew” Alexsandra Papoban, Cayla Korven, Cat Chidester, and Sara Nishikawa who have been my biggest cheerleaders from the very beginning.
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