Where She Came From Allison Handberg

Drawing, Painting and Everything in between

From a young age I was taught to be creative, my grandpa loved to paint, draw, write and work with wood. I can remember spending time sitting at the kitchen table painting on scraps of wood and sketching pictures of the animals I would find at his cabin.

We continued the tradition until he passed away in December of 2013 the year I was to graduate High School. After he passed away I stopped painting and drawing because that was our thing and doing those activities without him didn't seem right to me at the time.

Once I went away to college I started to draw and paint again, I used it as a coping method to deal with the stress of my first year away from home. Being a Junior/Senior in college is not easy and keeps me busy, I have not been able to keep up with drawing and painting but look forward to starting up again soon.


My grandpa wasn't the only one to encourage my creativity, my dad encouraged me to learn to play any instrument of my choice. Over the years I learned to sing, play guitar and the violin.

In 5th grade I picked up my first instrument, the violin. I had fallen in love with the organic sound along with the fact no spit was involved. I am not kidding the only reason I refused to do band was because of all the excess disgusting spit.

I played and continued learning how to read music and play my violin throughout Elementary school, Junior High and High school.

Somewhere in either Junior High or High School I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar. Both my dad and sister play electric and acoustic guitar, the one rule my dad had was that I had to start out on acoustic being that it was more difficult to hold down each string and more difficult in general to play. All three of us took lessons with the same person and each lesson was catered to our needs and learning abilities. I almost always chose to learn country music, the first song I learned was "Our Song" by Taylor Swift.

As a Freshman in High School I decided I wanted to start taking voice lessons, I learned a lot on how to correctly sing. Singing in the shower and car is way different than singing using the correct breathing methods. I learned how to sing in Italian, that was the most fun and difficult lesson because I had to learn how to hold a note for longer periods of time and how to breathe to reach the notes I needed to. I did get a chance to perform at my High School for a cultural event they were holding.

My mom and dad enrolled both me and my sister in a rock and roll camp. I participated two years in a row, the first year I was lead singer and learned to play the keyboard. The second year I was lead singer again and played the guitar. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to young girls who love music!

I now stick to singing in my car or the shower


I started dancing at the age of 3, and dance became my entire life. At first I took the main three classes including; Tap, Ballet and Jazz. My first few years of classes began at the local community center near my home.

When I grew out of the community center classes I transitioned to my first studio, The Gallery of Dance. The years I spent at that studio I stuck with Tap, Ballet and Jazz, after a few years the studio name changed. I really wanted to compete once we transitioned to the new location of the studio, but dance is really expensive and the money was not there at the time nor were my skills. One of my favorite experiences at that studio was the daddy daughter dance, at the time my sister and two of my best friends were both dancing at the same studio. Our mothers convinced our fathers to participate in the daddy daughter dance... the theme was hippies. I never want to see my dad as a hippie or shake his "Bootay" again.

A year before the studio shut down a neighborhood friend's mom opened her own dance studio named Escalate Dance and Theater Studio, I decided that I wanted to go dance with all my friends. That is where I fell in love with Hip-Hop, I decided and argued with my mom that I did not want to take ballet or tap anymore! I stayed with jazz and added hip-hop to my new schedule.

Junior year of High School the studio decided to create different competition teams one being Hip-Hop. I auditioned along with a bunch of my friends and made the team. At the same time my High School brought back the school Dance Team, my parents decided that they wanted me to experience both opportunities. My junior year I competed through school and my studio, It was a lot of work and put a lot of stress on me as a student and dancer.

My senior year I decided that I could only handle one team and that my heart was with the studio. I competed two Hip-Hop/Jazz pieces as well as a Senior solo. I had performed solo's for years but had never competed one, competing a piece that was about graduating and leaving home was a huge accomplishment that I will always be proud of. At my first competition that year I received a High Gold for my solo as well as first place in my category!

I had planned on trying out for the University Dance Team the summer before my freshman year, I had been having issues with my back and I had sadly lost the opportunity due to my built up injuries. When I got to school I decided I want to join the Dance Ensemble, I really struggled with my back pain through that experience and ended up stopping after my first semester.

Dance will always be a passion of mine but self care and keeping my body healthy is also important. I do still love choreographing but performing is not an option as of now! (I live my dancing dreams through the instructors that I still keep in contact with)


Starting sophomore year in High School I started to fall in love with Fashion Design and it ended up being my original major in college but even if you love something it wont always be your passion forever

"I don't design clothes. I design dreams." —Ralph Lauren

My first fashion design experience was with Design Diaries in Minneapolis Minnesota.

This program gives young women a safe space where they can learn to make a pattern and sew an outfit with the help of a mentor who designs clothing as a living.

I designed my own formal dress that I have worn countless times. I worked through emotions of frustration, stress, pressure and joy.

As a senior in High School I constructed a dress completely constructed out of magazines.

It took me over a year to complete the design and a lot of magazines and tulle.

I was also featured on Kare 11 News which gave me the opportunity to get professional photos taken and brought out even more people to the High School's Senior Showcase

I then decided to major in Apparel Design at the University of Wisconsin-Stout

That was short lived because I lost the passion for sewing and designing clothing, it is a cut throat major and It was not for me so I switched majors to something I love!

Where My Creativity Has Brought Me

As of now I am a Junior in the major Cross-Media Graphics Management at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. What I love about the program is that I get to work with print projects like labels, posters and brochures but I also get to work with designing projects.

Currently I am in love with layout & design as well as graphics, I have completed many projects in class as well as outside of class. I have a separate page which contains all my past projects that I am proud of.

Currently I am working on a recipe book, I am allergic to Monosodium Glutamate, Soy protein, Soy lecithin, whey, malt and am lactose intolerant. It is very hard to find recipes that are delicious and don't contain these additives. I am combining recipes that I know do not have the additives so other people with allergies like me can easily find a meal that they are sure won't make them sick. The Recipe book will also contain information about MSG and common foods that it can be found in. I hope to have this project completed by the holidays if not next spring, keep your eye out for my recipes!

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