We had the good fortune of connecting with Alison Seraphina and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alison, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
If I’m in a rut creatively or emotionally, I take a step back and think about what next steps or actions would make me happier/fix the problem I’m having. I don’t really give up so much as refocus or take a break. If working on a certain project is going to cause me more pain than happiness, I either modify the project or set it down for another time without judging myself for doing so. If I’m not happy, I want to make the needed adjustments so that changes.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Making pretty art is nice, but I’m much more interested in making something interesting; uncomfortable, even. This is not everyone’s cup of tea and my conventionally attractive work gains more attention, but the projects with more detailed, fleshed out concepts are the ones that make me feel alive and seen, even if by fewer people. I do a lot of “silly” projects like photoshopping men’s nipples over my chest to protest instagram’s sexist community guidelines or filming a short about a girl who sweats hotdogs and I absolutely love not only the absurdity of it all but the deeper social commentary behind those projects. One of my favorite things about all types of art is finding words or images that fit with a truth deep inside you; seeing someone else put words to a feeling you could never quite articulate. I’ve learned that you will never truly regret making something meaningful to you. If you spend your time making nothing but what you think other people want, art almost becomes math and isn’t satisfying at all. It’s impossible to have everyone like or agree with you, so you might as well do what makes you happy.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m quite the introvert and deal with chronic pain and illness so, during a pandemic, options are very limited to me. If I had an unlimited amount of energy, I would take my friend to this amazing Italian spot called Macheroni Republic for their homemade pasta! We’d also have to stop at Porto’s and Voodoo Doughnut to get that sugar fix. I would definitely take my friend to a Dodger game. I love baseball and the atmosphere of a game is electrifying. I’m a big reader, so we’d definitely visit The Last Bookstore. The Mystic Museum, The Broad, and MOCA would also be great choices.

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 come from an extremely supportive and tight knit family; I absolutely would not be where I am today without them. I was very lucky to grow up in an environment where pursuing art was not just supported but encouraged. Never once have they suggested I stop making art in favor of something else and that is incredibly rare in a capitalist society.

Instagram: Instagram.com/alikazam

Image Credits
Amanda Rebholz, Allegra Messina, Gus Martinez, Madeline North, CLU Echo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.