Style siren Alyse Rodriguez
Owner & Creative Designer, Alyse Studios
Photos: Natalie Mancuso
Q: What is some of the best advice you have ever received?
A: Artist and entrepreneur Ashley Longshore once said, “If you feel like things are getting too easy, if you feel like things are too good, it may be because you are going downhill. When you’re going uphill, it hurts a little bit. So keep going uphill. Push yourself. Push yourself in uncomfortable ways and greatness will happen from it.”
Q: What is something that you wish you would've known when you were 20?
A: There is no defined path.
Q: What does living a conscious life mean to you?
A: It means maximizing every second of every day, and spending my waking hours doing exactly what I choose to be doing. Seneca once wrote, “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” We as humans all have expiration dates, yet we often move through life as if this is a dress rehearsal. There will never be a better time to get stuff done. Do it now!
Q: How do you create a sacred space at home and work? What inspires you?
A: There is a subconscious sensation we experience with subtle cues in our physical environments that profoundly influence our mood, mind, and well-being. Based on that premise, I’m all about intentionally designing my surroundings. I intend everything in my environment to remind me of where I’ve been, who I am, and what I want. My living space, the places I travel, my clothes, the music I play, and everything in my world amalgamates and translates to color palettes, pattern design and placement, and so on.
Q: What is essential to creating a personal sanctuary?
A: With the key word being “personal,” I believe design should be without rules. There’s nothing wrong with design rules, but you’re following a guide created by other people. Trust your eye and your perspective more than those of others, because the key to a creating a personal sanctuary is designing an environment that reminds you of who you are and what you want.
Q: How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos?
A: I tend to thrive in environments of chaos. One of my biggest fears is a life of boredom and stagnation; therefore I deeply desire progress in any manifestation. However, let’s assume we are referring to chaos in the context of undesirable circumstances. In that case, I gain perspective through gratitude. Scientists estimate that the likelihood of becoming a human being is 400 trillion to one. That makes me feel incredibly lucky to even be alive. Getting outside, breathing the good air, and sweating always helps.
Q: What is essential to nurturing your creativity?
A: Creating space in my mind through unscheduled time is a must. I need to feel as though I’m not being pulled by external agendas. Traveling is the most natural means for me to escape that pull. Operating in this space where there are no expectations, schedules, or deadlines gives my brain permission to go into exploration mode. When I allow myself the time to follow things that make me curious, this is when I feel the least resistance to a free-flowing mindset.
Q: Tips for designing a nurturing home/space?
A: Try bringing plants, objects made of wood, and other natural elements into your living spaces. We are all influenced by our surroundings, including the objects we choose to place in our homes. Based on this premise, adding symbols of the natural world to our interior environments has the power to bring peace and harmony to our lives.
Alyse is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose love for vivid hues and eclectic style is evident in her collections of décor and accessories. Alyse’s design concepts come to life in her studio, located in the heart of historic New Orleans.