The Minis: Alyssa Julian
Hi Alyssa! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Alyssa! First planted in Orange County, sprouted in London, continuing to grow in Los Angeles, and splitting my time between digital and physical mediums. I spend five days a week in a lofty studio in DTLA working on content for Vrai & Oro, one or two days a week in my home ceramics studio, and find time in between for dinner parties, flower market field trips, and used book store raids.
You recently set up a little pottery studio for you to make your own work. How long have you been working with clay and what made you want to get your own equipment?
I really only started working with clay maybe two–two and a half years ago when a friend and I signed up for a beginners class at a local studio. From there, I continued consistently for a year before taking a pause—it wasn’t until I came across a Craigslist deal that was too good to pass up. Before I knew it, was on my way to go pick up my new Brent pottery wheel! My kiln was a similar story, so I guess just luck and timing led me to setting up my own space. I’m so grateful for it; ceramics is really the best teacher. So much of the process is out of my control, I’ve learned a lot about letting go since picking it back up. Really, I feel like there’s opportunity to learn a new life lesson every time I sit down at the wheel; it’s been kicking my ass in the best way.
What is your ideal home environment?
My ideal home environment is full of light, happy plants, and things that mean the most to me. I live on my own, so it’s been really fun getting to select what I bring into (and take out of) the space without having to run it by anyone else. Light is so important to me (and my leafy friends)—I lived in London for years and will never again underestimate the impact of sunshine on my overall mood. Luckily, I currently live in a space with more windows than walls, so it’s flooded with light all hours of the day. I also love to fill my house with things that are special to me: my favorite books, art made by my friends, local finds and flea market finds alike. I DIY-ed a lot of my space and built most of my furniture, but I love that there’s even a story in that. For the most part, everything in my home has been gifted, made, or found on travels / at markets, but I’m constantly switching things around.
Where are some of your favorite travel destinations?
I recently got back from a trip to Mexico City which was a dream! Such great colors, plant life, and architecture. Otherwise, I took a trip to Iceland last summer where I spent 5 days sleeping in a Peugeot hatchback and exploring as much as our little car would allow, only pulling off the road to sleep and get coffee at rest stops. To be honest though, I think a lot of people underestimate the beauty of what’s in our own backyard. I spent 6 weeks traveling the country with my twin and we saw so much of the country—from major cities to small towns and just about every national park in between. It’s really something people should do more often. Everyone is so keen to get out and see the world (and I get it, I’ve done that too!) but they forget about everything our country has to offer. That being said, the next big destination on my list is Morocco, but I have some domestic trips planned until I can make that happen.
What are some of your favorite places in LA?
I spend almost every Thursday morning before work at Sqirl, so that must mean something. Otherwise, food recommendations include Gjusta, Ostrich Farm, Kitchen Mouse, avocado toast at Blacktop Coffee (it really is the best around/worth every dollar), and Leo’s Taco Truck ($1.50 a piece, which is great to offset the $9 avocado toast). For coffee, Go Get Em Tiger or Eightfold, always. I love Individual Medley, General Store, Flowerboy Project for gifts and things you can’t find at other boutiques and Poketo for stationery, though I’m sure I’m regretfully forgetting so many other favorites. Los Angeles is hard—it’s experiencing so much growth and change in addition to being so sprawling that I really only spend time on the east side! But I love it unconditionally, traffic and all.
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