Five Minutes with Allison Castillo | Artist, Designer

by Kaitlin Street on May 10, 2018 in Living Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Art, Fashion,

“All my paintings are made up of many layers and textures— just like life.”

Allison Hoffer Castillo, who comes from a long line of artists, grew up in Fort Worth. She established Allison Castillo Designs in 2017 and has found an instant following with her bold, graphic, Texas-inspired line of scarves. With an artist’s eye, she draws inspiration from personal life, cultural experiences, travel and the everyday to bring a fresh, fun spirit to her line of accessories. Currently featuring a line of bold, Otomi-inspired Texas scarves, plans are underway to design and create many new and exciting accessory and homeware products.

You are both a painter and a designer. Which one came first, and how did you get from one to the other?

It is interesting how each phase of my life has built upon where I am now. I worked in the corporate world as a graphic designer and shifted to large scale abstract painting when my youngest was born. Being a creative person, I enjoy working with lots of materials and media. Whether that’s designing textiles for scarves or pillows on the computer or painting a blank canvas with fresh paint. (The best feeling ever!)

We loved your Texas Forever Otomi-inspired scarf featured in our ’21 Greatest Gifts for Mom.’ What was your inspiration?

I love to travel. I am always inspired by the vibrant colors and textiles that I see on my trips. The Texas Forever scarf was influenced by the beautiful and traditional designs of the Otomi textiles found across Mexico. I also love the cute coordinating gift bag they come in. Bonus: it doubles as a wine holder!

Allison Castillo’s “Texas Forever – Otomi-Inspired Scarf” was featured in the recent Texas Lifestyle Magazine “21 Greatest Gifts for Mom” guide. Photo Bree Linne

Where is your favorite place to create?

It may sound weird, but I get a lot of my creative ideas when I’m surrounded by water. A hot bath or shower lets my mind kind of wander in a meditative state. I paint in my studio at my home and carry a journal with me to jot down ideas. Really, inspiration can hit me anywhere.

As an artist, what does an average day look like for you?

Ha! Much like my brain, my days are kinda all over the place. Sometimes I spend hours at a time on one painting. Sometimes I have three or four paintings I’m working on simultaneously. I have been working on several designs and ideas for new scarves and textiles, so I’m in front of the computer more than usual lately. I have three children, ages ranging from 5-14, so there is usually a child “helping” with whatever I’m working on!

Your art has a very fluid and organic look to it. Do you plan out your paintings beforehand, or do you paint what you feel in the moment?

Most of my paintings happen organically, but I do typically plan a color scheme or pattern with certain styles that I paint. The seasons have a lot of do with how I’m feeling, so I think that shows up in the painting process. All my paintings are made up of many layers and textures— just like life.

Allison Castillo truly loves to create and enjoys working closely with clients to customize not only a beautiful piece of art but a family heirloom as well. Photo GITTINGS

Did you always know you wanted to be an artist? If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?

I’ve always known I wanted to do something in the creative field. Before I had my three children, I don’t think I had the confidence to really put myself out there vulnerably as an artist. I really can’t imagine wanting to do anything else! I would probably be an art teacher….or a spelunker?

Do you have a favorite color?  

Not really. I’m sort of drawn to colors depending on my mood or if I’m working on a certain collection. I’m really loving pinks right now which is odd because I don’t consider myself a “pink” kind of girl. I love blues and greens naturally, and love the surprise pop on neon yellow or orange.


Cover photo Bree Linne