Artist Profile: Alana McDowell

Downloadable protest posters in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Alana McDowell is a multidisciplinary designer with a passion for Illustration located in Belfast. Alana describes her art as ‘ Rebellious with heavy line-work’ , she has been working for the past 6 years across the board, creating murals, designing stalls, and making graphics for start ups and charities. Alana spoke to The Jumble Magazine about finding a creative style, the lock down, and moving back to Belfast after living in London. 

The thing that’s most inspiring for me is seeing other people be creative. I think creativity is incredibly contagious and freeing. The thing that gets me most excited is bringing a sketch to life through a campaign or design project, (that and pizza with artichokes). I’m a sucker for a piece of great typography and am convinced there’s nothing better than a good looking screen print or hearing a song you like live for the first time. 

It’s taken me a while to feel like I have settled in own creativity, but in that time I feel like I have been able to craft my skill and really hone my interests.

“My work is a summary of all my previous experiences and interests in a style that I feel reflects my enthusiasm for pop-culture and current affairs. It steers clear of corporate in favour of adding a little ‘edge’ to a project”

Lock down for me has been all about adjustments. Last year I was working a full-time job in the centre of London, now I am back at home and learning to adjust to freelance working again, all whilst living at my parents house. The freelance climate seems to be a little tougher, and putting yourself out there can be exhausting when you don’t always see the return for your efforts. It’s really easy to be hard on yourself when you don’t feel creative, particularly when the media is so full of heavy news stories and so many people are in such a transitional period of their work/life. But recently I have been finding solace in the fact that almost globally, everyone is going through a similarly tough time and in spite of that there have been some amazing examples of solidarity and creativity arise in the face of it all. 

‘The Resilient Ones’ a campaign in which I teamed up with Sense New York to create a series of Illustrations designed to bring colour and resilience into these unknown days.

I have been blown away by the Belfast art scene since I moved back. 7 years ago when I graduated I felt like there wasn’t the same opportunities or artistic expression in the city that there would be in London, and although I may of misjudged that entirely, I still feel amazed at how far Belfast has developed to become a real creative hub and a place that I feel proud to call home. It’s a small city with the heart and support of a place much bigger.

You can check out more of Alana’s work on Instagram, or on her website.

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