A Conversation with...Alison Jones
In every issue we have a section for parents/carers to share their thoughts around the chosen topic. The Art Issue explains the importance of art and the benefits involved. Find Yourself and Lose Yourself in Art, written by Alison Jones, sharing the benefits of art and how you can experience art with your child.
The Art Edition, available to buy here
"Art isn’t always happy, it can be a way for both
the artist and the viewer to process the hard parts
of life. Jean-Michel Basquiat said, “I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work.
I try to think about life.”
- Alison Jones
Welcome Alison. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Chicago, lived for several years in the San Francisco Bay Area and now raise three small kids with my husband in Amsterdam. Besides reading and writing, I have a strong interest in city planning and urban design, especially bike and transport accessibility, which was kindled by moving to the best biking city in the world. (Take that Copenhagen!) I also love painting and photography, especially instant film. My favourite camera is called Mabel. I studied Creative Writing in university and am working on writing my first middle grade novel.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
Writing is work that even when I don’t want to do it, I want to do it. I love building worlds, watching my characters take on personalities that are too big for my mind to contain, but most of all, I love storytelling. I love weaving an idea that has my reader asking what happens next?!
What was the last book you read?
I just finished a short story collection by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson, My Monticello, and it more than lived up to all the praise it’s been receiving.
How many books are on your TBR list? What are the titles?
I am too embarrassed to say how many books are in my TBR stack at home, next to my bed, let alone on my virtual list, but some books I am most looking forward to reading soon are Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed, Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson, and The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Do you have a favourite genre?
I don’t actually have a favourite genre. I read a few books at once and make sure that I have a mix of genres–memoirs, YA fantasy, middle grade, literary fiction, and lots of picture books thrown in–to choose from, according to my mood.
Do you have any advice for budding bookworms out there?
Read what you enjoy reading. I think that so many people lose a love for reading because they are forced to read certain books for classes or by well-meaning adults. Reading should be a joy, so if you love thrillers, or graphic novels, historical fiction, SFF or whatever else, find more books that you love, and branch out when you want to/feel comfortable doing so. There may be a book that you don’t enjoy at this point in your life, but a few years down the road, you will try it again and it will resonate in a new way for you. Not all books are for all times or people; that’s ok!
If you would like share your voice in our next issue, please drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org