We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadine Allan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nadine, what inspires you?
I find the most inspiration in parks or on hikes, spending time among plants and natural systems. I love learning about the ways in which plants try to outcompete each other. This reminds me that even in human-centric systems, nature makes the rules. A large aspect of my artwork seeks to reconnect to the source of the artistic materials. I enjoy foraging for pigments, using recycled fibers, and choosing materials that can be reused. It is important to foster a relationship with the our materials – the more we do, the more we can care for the world around us.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I grew up in a world of opposites, shifting between two very different heritages. Raised in a multicultural environment has fueled my determination to create my own “truths” through art. I’ve always felt the challenge of never belonging, of being an “other,” yet my inability to conform to a single niche is also what sets my work apart. By not limiting my creative identity to a single practice, I view art as a way of exploring my own life. Managing my creative energy so that I can quickly switch across creative projects is essential. It took years of practice and effort to learn the patterns that affect my creativity, and to schedule my days based on this creative flow. As an artist, I create work to explore my connection with the environment through video, soundscapes, recycled fibers, organic materials, and natural pigments. Through my small business, Feral Botanics, I create eco-conscious products in the hopes of inspiring others to reconnect to the world around them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best thing about Los Angeles is the access to diversity in cultural experiences, food, and environments. If a friend were visiting the area, I’d bring them to my art studio which is right by the Los Angeles State Historic park. I’d bring them on an unsolicited tour of all the plants through the park until we reach the train station. When people think of Los Angeles, public transportation isn’t what usually comes to mind, but unlike most people, I feel the best way to explore any area is by not driving. We’d explore more of the city by hopping on the train to get lunch somewhere like tacos in Highland Park or hand pulled noodles in Arcadia. Other places I would bring them to are museums and galleries such as Hauser Wirth or the MOCA, and then a hike at one of the wide-ranges of natural biomes, at which point we’re back to the plant tour whether they like it or not.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am thankful to have many supportive people in my life. I’d especially like to dedicate my shoutout to my parents. To my mom who never understood my art, yet still got behind my efforts to pursue it throughout my life. To my Dad who taught me to sew and to appreciate things that have a bit of history. I’d also like to give a special shoutout to all the dogs who have been part of my life. They’ve taught me that unconditional love isn’t dependent on anyone’s definition of success or achievements. All it takes is some quality time and small treats along the way.