Meet Allyn

pink punch is happy to share,

A closer look : the person behind the art

Allyn Howard

Posing with my painting on the glass door of a local toy store

Posing with my painting on the glass door of a local toy store

What's your favorite shade of pink?

I lean towards the warmer shades and hot pink

What's your go-to medium?

Acrylic paint, specifically Golden Fluid Acrylics. I've started using colored pencils again, too.

What medium is new to you or would you like to try?

I recently bought an iPad Pro and started playing around with the Procreate app, it's as cool as they say! I'm sort of addicted to painting, but this is a nice alternative when I need to travel or visit my parents (less mess ;)

What do you listen to while you paint or draw?

1st thing I do in the morning is put on NPR. I like to hear morning news and then listen to the Brian Lehrer Show and Leonard Lopate. I catch up on podcasts at various times - Radio Lab, Fresh Air, Freakonomics, the Moth Radio Hour, This American Life, The New Yorker Radio Hour and On the Media. I also listen to some serial programs, like S Town and Crimetown. Homecoming on Gimlet Media, is really good, it's fiction and it's timely and politically relevant. I'm anxiously waiting for season 2. My favorite podcast has to be WTF w/ Marc Maron, I rarely miss one. If I listen to music, it's mostly Spotify mixes and KEXP, a Seattle based radio station. 

Where do you live?

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

I've lived in NYC for quite a while. I grew up in Richmond, Va. 

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How do you stay inspired?

A mix of things inspire me. Sometimes, I just see a shape or hint of a face on the subway floor, for example. I created a dog called Floaty bc there was a splotch of paint that looked like a puffy dog on my jeans. It sounds so silly, I know, but some animals come about that way. A gorgeous color combination I spot, can inspire me. Walking around my neighborhood, travel (of course), day at the museum, daydreaming. If I'm at a loss, there's always Pinterest and I love Edition PAUME books, looking at charming interiors and gardens always gets me. 

This is where I do all my painting, these days. I love this room.

This is where I do all my painting, these days. I love this room.

What's your typical working day like?

When I'm home and in my studio, which is a room in my apartment, I wake up around 7:30 or 8, have coffee and sit at my kitchen table pondering what I'd like to paint. I'll upload something to Instagram and eat cereal. It's perfect. If I have a project, I'll try to get started right away. I recently finished a custom painting for someone and created some specific themed art for Oopsy Daisy Fine Art for Kids. If there are no deadlines looming, I'll sketch, paint some backgrounds, kind of loosen up or if I'm in one of Lilla Rogers' MATS classes, work on the assignment. By lunch, I'll read my emails and on good days, I'll tackle organizing and emailing samples to potential clients and companies for licensing opportunities. That's not my strong suit. I have to push myself to work on the business side of things more than the fun creative aspects. I wish I could say, this is what I do everyday, but the majority of my income comes from working in the film business.

Sampling from scenic jobs -

I was lucky to get into the Scenic Arts Union (USA Local 829) in 1998. When I'm on a TV show, like I am now, I wake up at 5:15am and start work on the stages where our sets are built at 7am. Scenic artists, basically execute the plans of the Production Designer and Art Director. We do everything from plastering, prep work, painting walls to wall papering, faux finishing, staining, lettering, signage (often applying vinyl signs) occasionally creating the art for the sets and often, doing lots of "aging" and distressing to give spaces the look of reality. I try to take projects that can give me time off when I get an assignment or custom commission. I like being a "day player" when possible. The best part of the job, besides the occasional creative task, is the people. There are some really talented, interesting people on the crews with whom I work on a regular basis.

Making wood look like concrete - set being built on a rooftop in midtown

Making wood look like concrete - set being built on a rooftop in midtown

What other jobs have you had?

Lifeguard, cashier & selling concessions at movie theaters (in high school in Va. and in grad school, here in NYC), waitress (in college and also here in NYC), receptionist at ad agency, cell painter for animator (old school), salesperson at trade shows, set decorator, scenic artist, mural painter and finally, licensor (I'm new to this, but got my foot in the door last year :)

What movie have you seen several times?

I skipped the favorite question bc I have so many, in different genres. Here are the ones I've seen many times over - All the President's Men, Rosemary's Baby, Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall, Sleeper, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Tootsie, All that Jazz, The Way We Were, Erin Brockovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Bridesmaids, 3 Days of the Condor and I can barely resist Hitchcock, especially Dial M for Murder, To Catch A Thief, North by Northwest, or Vertigo

What's your favorite TV show?

I'm a big fan of BBC Masterpiece Mystery series and I also love the darker crime/dramas like "Breaking Bad" and my latest favorite, "Spiral" (called "Engrenages" in French), I can barely wait for the 6th season to air in the US

What Book are you reading right now?

I just started "Swell" by Jill Eisenstadt and I love looking through my Florine Stettheimer "Painting Poetry" book, just saw this wonderful concise show at the Jewish Museum.

What do you collect?

Ceramics, I guess most are pretty kitsch - vintage pastel colored animals, planters, salt & pepper shakers, mugs... I've cut back and now only buy something if I just can't live without it. A lot of them are gifts from friends, also. 

 Always drink milk 

 Always drink milk 

What's your favorite city?

This is so tough, I think I've been most fascinated by Venice. I've been twice with my mom and we stayed at the Hotel Excelsior on Lido. We took one of the private boats in & out of Venice proper each day, so on the one hand, you experience this charming resort town and on the other, this stunning historic city surrounded by water and no cars. I loved that! It feels like such a magical and mysterious place, especially at night. I also love Rome, Paris and Barcelona. There are many left to see, too!

With whom would you like to have a coffee?

I would like a mix of people that include David Lynch, David Sedaris, Helen Mirren, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Louis CK and Gregory Fitoussi (I don't know how great his English is, but I think he should be there ;)

My pal, Greg 

My pal, Greg 

What is your next big goal?

I plan to look more seriously at illustration & licensing agents. I think you can tell by reading my previous answers, I have trouble narrowing things down. I want it all - a home decor line, a fabric line, paper goods & stationery, kids' games & products, picture books, novelty books and why not throw in a cover for The New Yorker!

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I look up to artists whose work runs the gamut of projects and product lines, like Nathalie Lete, Anna Bond, Carolyn Gavin, Lisa Congdon, Helen Dardik, Ingela P. Arrhenius,  Molly Hatch and of course, the quintessential illustrator's illustrator, Maira Kalman. I would so love to be doing everything they are! 

Fingers crossed :)

Fingers crossed :)

  • Film Clips above: Annie Hall Woody Allen, Bridesmaids Paul Feig, Rosemary's Baby Roman Polanski, To Catch A Thief Poster Art - unknown (if you know, tell me :) I love it!
  • TV Clips above: Madmen Matthew Weiner Twin Peaks David Lynch , Engrenages and Better Call Saul Poster design - unknown