We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Morton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Being creative and artistic is all I know. When I was younger I would constantly be drawing and doodling over everything; I even drew with markers all over my moms car. Drawing and painting has always been an outlet for me; it has always been a way I could let my anxiety and stress go. It taught me how to turn my brain off and tune out my problems. In high school my yearbook teacher Ms. Elwood introduced me to photography as a freshman. Both my parents were photographers when they were younger, but I was never interested until Elwood taught me. She showed me how I could apply my creativity to this magical little device and it lit a huge fire in me. After I graduated in 2015, I have been determined to build my name and brand.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would say that what sets my art apart from others is the realism I try to bring to everything I do. I want my drawings and paintings to feel real on some level, but with a hint of wonder or weirdness. My photography on the other hand, I try to play with colors and angles. I always want the viewer to feel something when they look at my photos. Applying my style to a professional project is always difficult. You want to do the project justice by staying on track and finishing the goal, but on the other hand you want to make the project yours and create something you are proud of. Finding that balance is the key. Be okay with saying no, but also be okay with saying yes to things you don’t normally do. I have learned that I might not always have the best ideas; so its okay to reach out and ask for help or input. Sometimes you just have to throw it at the wall and see if it sticks. Don’t be afraid to fail or to learn. I have taken on huge photography projects that I thought I was going to nail with no problem but boy was I wrong. The clients weren’t happy and I thought my career was over. I was terrified to photograph anything again after that. But after a couple of weeks I realized I needed to take this frustration of failure and put it towards something better. I used that negative energy to turn it into something positive. I looked back on how and why I failed, why they weren’t happy and I worked on it. I fixed it, and I didn’t let it bug me anymore. Failing that bad also lifted a huge weight off my shoulders because I knew I was never going to fail like that again. I know I wont always be perfect, but I will always have the chance to do better.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a week all to my self and best friend with never ending gas or money, we would definitely be hitting up every single venue in Arizona. From big ones like the Marquee to little house venues like Big Surf (RIP). I crave live music. I seriously can’t live or breath without it. I love seeing not only big bands but local bands. The local concert scene means so much to me. All of my friends are involved in it in some way. Some are front and center performers like my best friend Kaz Mcclain from The Linecutters and others are behind the scenes putting the concert on like my good friend Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen. If you ever get a chance to see a local band, go. Do NOT hesitate! It will be something you have never experienced before. Not only is it really laid back most of the time but the music is very intimate. Just you and the band; and maybe a handful of strangers. It always feels like the band is singing directly to you. Local concerts are not only my favorite scene to photograph but my favorite place to be.
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 would love to shoutout my photography and yearbook teacher from 2011-2014: Ms. Elwood. Krissy Elwood not only taught me but pushed me to create my best. She gave me all the tools and resources to be a skilled photographer. My senior year of high school I was introduced to Devon Adams and Joe Abbruscato. They both taught me my last year and wow did they challenge me. These two are the best photographers of their generation. Not only were they all amazing teachers but they all had one goal, to make me better at what I do. They all changed not only my process but my whole approach to art. Without Krissy I wouldn’t know how to use a camera or photoshop. Without Devon and Joe I wouldn’t be constantly pushing not only myself but my work ethic and creativity. I still to this day have never seen anyone work as hard as these three; and I thank them for the artist I am today.