Your name: Avery Williamson

Your pronouns: she/her

Where you live: Ypsilanti, Michigan

What you do? I am an artist and designer.

Can you tell us about your journey becoming an artist? I’ve always been an artist. Growing up my family was supportive of my creative work. I’ve always felt at home making, experimenting and designing. I can’t even really express how beautiful it was to be supported and taken seriously as a very young artist. I wish that for all people! 

I studied visual art in college. For many years my paid work was not related to art, but I always had a studio practice whether it was at my kitchen table, desk or sketching on the train ride home. I’ll always be an artist making art -- even if that’s not what pays the bills. It’s just who I am and how I process the world. In the past few years I’ve transitioned to making art full-time. My practice includes drawing, painting, weaving, murals, wearable art and animation. I am always experimenting and expanding my practice. I find inspiration in the natural world and the changing seasons. I often use color, texture, and layering to express complex emotions that are difficult to put into words.

What projects do you have on the horizon that you're excited about? Last year I did animation work for a film called “Detroit We Dey” that is premiering this year. It’s an excellent short film that is the result of collaboration among so many skilled people. This is my first time contributing animations to a film and I’m proud of this work!

How would you describe your personal style?  I like to balance style and practicality. When I’m in the studio there is the joy/risk of mess so I have a few studio uniform pieces that can get messy. For jewelry, I like my Lingua Nigra pieces for everyday wear. For going out and special occasions I adore my colorful pieces by Octave Jewelry. In the winter I am just trying to stay warm and survive so I’m all about my satin-lined beanies and puffer jackets. I used to wear shoes that hurt my feet but after 30 I stopped doing that and life is much better. 

Can you talk a little about what it's like to be an artist on social media? 

Lately, I've been viewing my Instagram account as a personal archive and portfolio which helps me detach a bit from individual image engagement. Right now it functions as a bit of a time capsule. My social media process is about putting combinations of words and images out into the world that invite people to reflect and engage with their own creative practices and sometimes mine. I hope that the work I share can serve as a prompt or jumping off point for analog creation, for stealing a few moments out of a busy day to sketch, to think about how delightful certain shades of green are, to make a little collage out of the junk mail collecting near the door. 

The hard work of engaging with social media right now is holding the truth that it is both a space of joy and a space of sadness. I have my own social media rules that help me protect my creative spirit and other parts of my life. I try to balance online sharing with deep and meaningful in-person conversations with fellow artists because IRL connection makes me feel the most seen. What I share on social media is a taste of studio life but it is not the whole story. In a world where we are all getting and giving a lot of information to the internet, I am thinking more and more that mystery is a beautiful and critical part of the artistic process.

What was the last excellent book you read?

I’ve been reading a lot of books so far this year so it’s tough to just share one! Shoutout to the Library. It’s one of my favorite places. I read Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for a Time Being which was a wonderful book to disappear into with lots of rich character development.

What's your favorite Bryr clog and why?

Emma Closed toe in nubuck! 

What are you excited about for 2023? Finally seeing all the bulbs I planted in the yard pop up, my vegetable garden, long warm days and swimming in the lake and pool.

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