Alyssa Pisciotto is a queer artist originally from LaSalle, Ontario, who now resides in Toronto. She graduated from OCAD University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2016, majoring in Drawing and Painting, and minoring in Printmaking.
Painting and textile work are central to her practice. Her current work revolves around themes of colour, line and shape, and how they interact with each other.
"My art practice consists primarily of painting, but material exploration is very important to me. It's a major tool I've used to help me overcome art blocks, as well as work through ideas. Working with a new medium always gets the creativity flowing. Walking around DeSerres and seeing the new products and mediums always helps jumpstart ideas.
My painting practice is primarily acrylic-based, and finding new and interesting ways to work with paint is something I’m always stumbling upon. I currently like to squeeze paint directly from the tube to make heavily textured lines. I also really enjoy piping paint on like icing to create elements of heavy texture."
Alyssa has been a DeSerres sales associate for 5 years and has hosted several demos in-store. Prior to working at DeSerres, Alyssa shopped for supplies all through her university schooling.
What does your creative process look like, and what do you like about it?
My creative process takes many forms and is constantly evolving. I draw a lot of inspiration from my visual surroundings, media, and the research I do. I often start with something I see or come across, whether that be a colour palette, a combination of shapes, or the design of a pattern.
From there, I document what I see with a sketch or photograph; I then use that documentation as a starting point for my creative work. I start combining these inspirations and compile visual data into compositions. These compositions are then transformed into final works of art. This process does not always go smoothly, and I often run into art blocks. The best way for me to work through this is to take a medium I don’t normally use and just start creating.
The creation doesn’t have to be good, finished or well thought out, as the process alone often leads me to unexpected creative places. Allowing myself to create freely is something I quite enjoy because I don’t feel limited by materials I typically use.
What guides your creative flow?
Although I often plan my work in advance, I’m a very intuitive creator. I follow my intuition while working, and change things when I see fit. I often focus on images that inspire me and keep those ideas in mind while creating. I like to surround myself with a lot of visual imagery to keep the inspiration flowing, and when I feel stuck, I look at these images to help me get through a project.
I almost always have music playing while I’m in my studio, which helps me through creative processes and keeps me motivated to keep working.
What tools do you like to use, and how do they contribute to your creativity?
I like to experiment to find tools and objects that work best for me. Sometimes, the more unconventional, the better. I’ve discovered that I prefer to apply modelling paste with a large filbert brush rather than a palette knife because I can get a more precise application, and it leaves a softer, less angular texture.
I have also come to enjoy using paint tubes themselves as a tool. Squeezing paint right out of the tube leaves a crisp 3D line that I can’t otherwise get. I’m always experimenting to find new and unconventional tools to use in my practice.
What are the products you use more often, and why?
Some of my favourite products are:
- Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic Paint - I love this product because the consistency is just right for me, the pigment content is high and the colour range is fantastic.
- Liquitex Light Modelling Paste - This product allows me to create texture without the weight of standard modelling paste. This is something I need when working on textile, especially if it is stretchy.
- Sennelier Abstract Acrylic Paint - The packaging is my favourite for creating 3D lines. Applying right from the tube is perfect for creating bold, but delicate linework.
- Molotow Acrylic Paint Markers - These markers are opaque and blend well on surfaces with other acrylic paints. Plus, they’re refillable!
- Patons Canadiana Yarn - This yarn is the perfect weight for rug hooking and the colour selection is great.