We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Hobson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, what inspires you?
Inspiration is a strange and beautiful thing. It can appear anywhere; an antique store, a dip in the ocean, a painting, book, or even a strange dream. In a general sense I am inspired by storytelling. My work is visually dark and often takes place in a timeless dream, holding a sense of nostalgia and always driven by a narrative. Growing up I either had my head stuck deep in a book, or lost somewhere between my imagination and the hedges in my Grandparents backyard.
If I wasn’t reading a story, I was creating my own. Something that I now see heavily influences my work. Some of my work may be inspired by a myth or legend. Other images were inspired by found objects, that I created the story for. Or a combination of the two. My image “Carry me away” to use as an example, was inspired by a piece of cloth and a crow foot. Crows are one of my favorites, having such a presence in myths and lore around the world. Often being seen as creatures that can cross between worlds.And I came up with a story, of someone being carried off by crows.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I think what sets me apart, is my style and aesthetic combined with my eye for stories. My style and aesthetic have been with me for years. You could even see it trying to come out as early as my high school sketchbook ( back when I wanted to be an illustrator). When I first changed mediums to photography, I struggled with trying to incorporate that same aesthetic to my work. But once I had the tools to do so, there was no looking back. In the last few years have I really started to find others that are interested in this type of work. And what I think that sets me apart, is sticking to my style, and the story telling aspect to my work. Not just being a dark moody image, to just “be dark” or follow a trend.
For the longest time, I struggled with was how to define or label my work, and myself. While I use a camera to create these images. I always felt “photographer” that didn’t really encompass my work. It never felt right to call myself a “photographer”. It felt dishonest. In the last year I have been getting away from using that as a label, and instead introducing myself as just as an artist.I think when I used to introduce myself as a “photographer” people would a certain idea and get the wrong impression. And would ask if I could shoot their wedding or baby pictures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m not the person to do that. And always recommend some amazing photographers in that case. But once they saw my work, I would often hear “Your work doesn’t look like photography” . And I love that about my work! Now by not saying “photographer” it doesn’t put any expectations to the work. Relabeling myself as an artist, gives me more of a freedom to create my work, and let it speak better on it’s own.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When people visit, I like to take them to places they wouldn’t necessary find on yelp or a “best of” list but also I know they’ll have a good time at. For Food and Drinks; First hit Fall Brewing, make sure to go on a day when my favorite food truck Corazon de Torta is there. You won’t regret it. Next check out a few more of my favorite places; Blind Lady Ale House ,Common Theory,52 Realms,Cannonball,The Grass Skirt ,Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten,Panama 66,Kindred. Finally wrap up with Stone Liberty Station.I favor this location not only because of it’s central location and it beauty. but also because my husband and I got married there.
As far as destinations: Torrey Pines,Balboa Park Museums and the Whaley House . The Whaley House Im always taking people to, I’m a sucker for ghosts, afterwards go to Tahone for drinks and dinner. Other things I recommend are a walk through the shops in South Park. And a visit to Petco Park even if you don’t like baseball, the field is beautiful, and the food is amazing, Everyone can have a good time there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Danny Mendoza. Without him, I can’t imagine where I would be. We met during the first semester of art school, and we became quick friends and collaborators. Before him, I didn’t show my work, I would just shoot it, turn in an assignment, and that would be it. He encouraged me, and built up my self confidence, and even set up my first website. Through out school and beyond, he has always been my biggest supporter and balances me out. Where I’m much more the dreamer, he is more grounded. He thrives with the technical logistical, and organization of the projects, leaving me free to create. He himself is also a talented artist. His work can be seen at https://www.dannydozer.com/
“Personal Photo” Headshot by Danny Mendoza (dannydozer.com) All other photos are my own. Copyright Alyssa Hobson