Alyson Morgan makes her quiet life beautiful every day…
After moving from California to the Midwest in search of a slower pace of life, she took up farming and growing plants with her husband and children. Alyson uses visual storytelling to inspire eco-consciousness, and she writes about farming and eco-activism on her IG, @alsyonsimplygrows. She’s a writer, photographer, creative, mother, and folk herbalist – and we couldn’t be more thrilled for you to get to know her today!
What was your very first job?
My very first job was babysitting, in the most literal sense. I must have been 11 or 12 years old and I spent my summers at my grandmother’s house while my parents worked. Next door to my grandmother’s house, our long-time friend ran a daycare center that I had attended as a child. My first job was to hold newborns. I would sit and hold them for hours. Comfort them, feed them and change their diapers. A babysitter! I think I’ve always enjoyed dealing with beings: plants, humans and other species. There are so many ways to live, and I am fascinated by the different ways to take care of ourselves and others. My next job right out of high school was in retail at Crate and Barrel.
A mind-blowing styling moment via @alysonsimplygrows
Tell us about your journey in the creative industry and when you realized you could turn your passion into a career.
I have always had a creative spirit and I thank my parents for their influence in sharpening and sustaining this energy in me. My father taught me as a young girl techniques, composition, perspective, and he really cultivated my artistic eye. He always called me to look at a tree, a leaf or a sunset with an appreciation for beauty and for life itself. My mom had worked at a Crate and Barrel since before I was born, and I’m sure this exhibit predisposed me to crave home interiors and spaces that feel good. I was always in art classes all through elementary and high school. This is where I found a sense of security. After a car accident in high school, I realized that I couldn’t take my life for granted.
At university, I turned to a completely different field of study, and my passions and creative urges went underground. I hadn’t realized that I needed a creative space to really feel myself. Then motherhood came and I didn’t want to lose myself completely. Exploring my creative passions was an act of self-preservation. My husband and mother gave me a camera and that’s when I started remembering what it was like to see through my lens. I started creating spaces to share myself and my perspective and found it resonated with other people. The gift of beauty, a slower way of life, intimate connections with plants – I could share them with other people to inspire them. Art, creation, the beauty of nature, are a balm for the ills of this world built by man.
If you could turn back time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I thought I had to do what everyone seemed to be doing or considered successful. I would tell my younger self that I was sure to create and sure to be myself and follow my own intuition. What is this experience called life other than to live it fully and wholeheartedly? I would encourage myself not to be afraid of making mistakes and mistakes, because that is where the advantage of growth lies. This is where you realize what you want and what you don’t want. My father always told me to have patience, perseverance and passion; I try to always embody those words because sometimes the good things in life take time.
Going through @alysonsimplygrows
Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?
I am inspired by the natural cycles of the earth, the changing seasons and the textures, colors and structures of flowers, plants and rocks. I find inspiration in the phases of the moon and stars. Inspiration comes to me from a deep connection with the natural world around us, our collective home. Whether it’s the plants I grow in my garden or a hike in the green hills of Wisconsin’s Driftless region that I call home, there is so much wonder and energy to be found. For the construction of our home, the color palette and texture inspiration came from a small rock my daughter found on the shores of Lake Superior while on a family vacation last summer. I use it as a touchstone, a piece to align the materials I bring in for construction. I am also deeply inspired by historic architecture, heritage design and antique furniture. Timeless styling and heritage pieces built to last and stand the test of time.