London-born artist Alaiyo began studying art from a young age, eventually pursuing her studies in the United States. She earned BFA in Illustration, Fine Arts, and Art History in 1985 from the University of Michigan. In 1989, she earned her MFA in Visual Arts and Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. After that, she pursued the Graduate Program in Fine Arts at Pratt University. Currently, she is based in Brooklyn, working as an illustrator and art instructor, as well as an assistant professor and Associate Director at Parsons School of Design.
Alaiyo trained in several media, but for now chooses to focus on watercolor, primarily for its translucency and ability to layer. Her paintings are unnaturally intense, the luminous colors made possible by the layering of thin paint, allowing light to travel through the paint, hit the paper, and reflect back. The result is that something as solid as the earth seems to give off an otherworldly glow. In this way, Alaiyo mixes fantastical elements into her scenes, drawing the viewer in with the shock of luminosity, then encouraging him or her to slow down and study the narrative depicted. Some elements repeat, such as nests and wreaths, but she approaches each painting as individual, self-contained stories. She explores dream imagery, transporting the viewer to a strange and alien, yet somehow inviting world.