British-Seychellois artist Alyssa Adams who was inspired to paint by her father, the renowned painter Michael Adams, has ventured into designing fashion and setting up Alyssa Adams Designs. The Seychelles-based brand includes swimwear, bags, scarves, pareos, kimonos, dresses and shirts. The designs printed on the fabric are all done by Alyssa. Alyssa was born in Victoria, Seychelles, and the beauty of Seychelles’ nature inspires her artwork. Alyssa works mainly with watercolour paints on paper and occasionally oils on canvas. She shared her artistic journey with Cosmocreole.
I feel a strong magnetic force with Seychelles – the whole environment of this magical Gaia gives inspiration so generously, and we are so lucky to be in the centre of the world.
I’ve always been inspired by art and nature, and the most wonderful guide and inspirational person is obviously my father, Michael Adams. My mother, Heather and my father began the first gallery in Seychelles. My dad has inspired so many artists and people here. So, my art journey began as a child. I then went to study art at Kingston University and the Chelsea College of Art in London for four years.
You will understand what I mean if you have been to our gallery. There are creatures made from newspapers and driftwood, and they just come to life with my dad’s magic touch. And then we have the paintings, too, with my dad, my brother Tristan Adams and myself all having our paintings/prints and silkscreens in the gallery at Anse aux Poules Bleues.
My main influence is nature and staying still enough to allow all the magic to happen. From the energetic morning light to the warm afternoon sunlight, all the leaves and trees look different at each time of the day, and shadows cool them down and create an escape for dark and cool escapes in a painting.
When my children were born, it was hard to find the power to paint and be in the right mindset, so I realised another parallel path to my painting is having my art on clothing. I had fun using existing paintings or new ones with fabrics in mind.
I’ve always worked with watercolour paints on paper and occasionally oils on canvas. So I’ve been building a collection of silkscreen prints like my father. The silkscreen process is very challenging and takes a long time, but the outcome is that of a lot of depth.
You literally have a hand on all the prints as I do the separations, as I’m separating the colours, so they are printed individually. They are all signed by me and numbered, and when the silkscreen edition is finished, there are no more printed.
An original painting starts in nature. Recently, I did a series on the beautiful Fregate Island in the banyan forest and also Silhouette Island at the Hilton Labriz, which are both very different islands, and they have their own magic. Paintings can then be finished off in the studio.
Making silkscreen prints means that I can keep my originals and sell the silkscreen prints as I take so long doing a painting, and you get attached to them at the end of our journey together. I do like doing a commission too.
Alyssa Adams Designs
I’ve got some wonderful seamstresses and tailors on Mahe who are doing my sewing. Haig Vidot is doing my swimsuits and bikini while Johanna Didon, the founder of ‘Katiti’ fashion range, is sewing for me too, making bags, kimonos, dresses, and shirts, amongst other things. Jenny Griffiths is making my cushions with the piping, and Lisa Padayachy at Nest Design is also making the kimono. All of these tailors and seamstresses mentioned are so talented, and I’m very grateful to them.
I am selling my items at Yves Caches – Camion Hall, Jardin du Roi, Silhouette Labriz – Toi Et Moi shop, Le Duc boutique shop- Praslin, the duty free Seychelles Travellers Edition shop [at the airport].
Also, on Alphonse Island, Denis Island, Le Repaire, La Digue, L’Orangeraie Hotel, La Digue, and soon at the Vallee de Mai on Praslin.
Collaboration and Support
I am collaborating with Velorum Dubai for the men’s swim shorts. My friend Amir Moalem has recently opened his business called ‘Socialista’ and he is absolutely fantastic. He contacted me about doing my promotional work on Instagram and Facebook. He has made such a difference. People have been asking when I started, and I say ‘well over 20 years ago.’ All of a sudden, only after a few weeks of Amir being in charge of promoting my work, things have taken off.
I plan to continue painting Seychelles and exploring all these beautiful islands. There is so much to paint and so much beauty.
Photo credit : Alyssa Adam Designs