Allyson Bennett is a visual artist and a tattoo artist currently working at Staring Without Caring here in Tucson. Although I’ve never been tattooed, if I were to be, I’d pick her to do it. The Buffalo Exchange on Speedway and Campbell put up some of her vicious and adorable paintings in August, and her works have been shown elsewhere, and will be shown more places, as you can read about on her website. Catch her before she goes back to Portland, Oregon, where she first learned her trade.
Natasha Stagg: What are you up to lately?
Allyson Bennett: Lately I’ve gotten back into sewing after a long hiatus and made a bunch of ridiculous little outfits for my cat. After I finish the Halloween costume my sewing machine might go back in the closet for a while so I can get back to painting all of the time. I have a short attention span, so there are usually several projects hanging out on the back burner.
NS: You’re still in Tucson, right?
AB: Indeed. My vocation brought me down here from Portland, Oregon in February of 2009. The weather is better here.
NS: What are you reading?
AB: Short story collections are right up my alley these days. I can read one or two or three or four, then put the book down and pick it up when I get a chance without feeling like I’ve lost my momentum. Currently I am reading Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut.
NS: Suggest something to do in Tucson.
AB: Oh jeez, where do I start? I moved here about a year and a half ago and feel like I am constantly doing touristy type things. I still have a long list of activities to tackle.
Last week I went to Biosphere II and the tour was absolutely incredible. I feel like some of the most interesting aspects of the history of science are the dead ends, not to mention all the controversy involved with that place.
Other than that, just driving around the outskirts of Tucson is pretty great after growing up in the Pacific Northwest. The desert continues to amaze me.
NS: Suggest something to read.
AB: One of my all time favorites is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I have read that book at least ten times and am always coming back to it. On the short story front, a friend gave me a copy of Mark Helprin’s Ellis Island and Other Stories a while back and it is a beautiful read.
Go to Allyson’s Etsy store.