Shop Talk! Women in the Arts Q&A with…
By ADAA writer
ADAA: Your fondest memories of your time at A&D?
Allouf: When I was elected vice president of the student council and when Salvador Dali, Norman Rockwell and Betsey Johnson came to the high school and spoke to the students.
ADAA: Which teacher(s) most inspired you? Who in particular?
Allouf: Anthony Masi. He believed in me and he inspired me to work hard and do well!
ADAA: In what way did your time at A&D influence your decision to become an artist?
Allouf: I found true happiness as a creator and trying new things, especially during “rotationals” in our sophomore year.
ADAA: Do you have advice to high school students considering a career in the arts?
Allouf: Drawing skills can never be underestimated and being the “BIG IDEA” person.
ADAA: What other career path would you had taken if you weren’t an artist/designer/photographer?
Allouf: I played viola in the orchestra and taught myself guitar, so I would have probably gone down a musical road.
ADAA: Any regrets?
Allouf: I have not illustrated a childrens book… yet. Today, with digital publishing one can produce E-books which may be easier to self publish.
ADAA: Do you use social media? If yes, how has that effected your career?
Allouf: I have three Facebook pages. I’m on Linkedin, Freelanced and I have a square space digital portfolio. This has helped expose my work to a wider range of potential clients which gives them easier access to review my past and present work.
ADAA: If you can go back and change an event in your career path, what would you have done differently?
Allouf: I would not have spent ten years at a infant wear company that was not expanding and growing. I stayed only for steady income.
ADAA: Writers sometimes experience “writers block”, what process do you do when you find yourself “blocked” on a creative concept?
Allouf: I get out, run in the water, take a Zumba class, get some coffee then go back and try again.
ADAA: What is the best career advice you ever received?
Allouf: When you cease having new things to learn, it’s time to move on.
ADAA: How do you keep your ideas fresh?
Allouf: Always checkout my favorite websites, walking around the streets or going to Manhattan looking into store windows. Also, attending trade shows and watching videos.
ADAA: What is your proudest accomplishment?
Allouf: Teaching my Saturday art students (ages 8-12) and watching their creativity get more and more fantastic! Inspiring imagination is awesome!
ADAA: When the going gets tough, where do you go?
Allouf: Hang out with a compassionate friend and have that relaxing glass of wine.
ADAA: Steve Jobs said, “I want to put a ding in the world?” What ding will you make?
Allouf: The ding that makes people smile when they take the time to look! The ding that is magical and inspirational to the children too.
Art and Design alumni Gail Allouf each year awards an Art and Design sophomore student a gift of a portfolio and art supplies worth $250 in memory of her mother, Minna Gordon Debel. Candidates are identified by teachers on three levels: First- talent, spirit and enthusiasm. Second-the financial need from a challenged situation. Third- student must express in writing an essay how having the “TOOLS OF CREATIVITY” will help them realize their dreams.
To see more of Gail Allouf’s illustrations, view her facebook page.