Friday, October 27, 2017

Interview with Alex

For a twist, I'm hosting an interview with someone whose talent lies down a different creative path from my normal visitors.

Alex is a 28 year old self-taught artist from Jamaica. I met Alex in the gaming community and quickly discovered her love of creating art. I'm so excited to now be able to share her talent with all of you!

Kristen: Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions for me today, Alex. I'm curious to learn what got you interested in art. Was there that special moment? Or did you just always know?

Alex: I’ve been drawing since I was very small. The first thing I remember drawing as a small child was pokemon. A relative had bought me a book containing the pokemon from the first season of the anime, and I used the pictures in the book to copy them, then I cut the drawings out and stuck them on the wall in my bedroom.

Kristen: I bet that relative had no idea their gift would inspire you in such a long-lasting way! I'm sure your walls were an interesting sight.

What form(s) of art are your favorite?

Alex:  Ever since Primary School (Elementary School) I’ve been a fan of cartoons and anime. It was by watching my favorite animated programs on cartoon network that I developed a love for art, and to this day my favorite art form is anime/manga.

Kristen: Can you tell me a bit about your work and how you've progressed on your artistic journey?

Alex: During high school I put more focus and effort into my drawings, and in early high school I began to copy more complicated things like Yu-Gi-OH cards. My classmates were always fans of my work, but they began to ask if I could draw something else besides monsters. After hearing their comments I decided to try my hand at human characters, and it so happened to be around the time when Naruto first premiered on cartoon network. My first human character drawing was Gaara. I became known for being the weird girl who could draw, and classmates sometimes asked me to draw their assignments for them. At a certain point, even teachers started asking me to draw their diagrams on the chalkboard-I generously accepted.

During the latter part of high school some of the boys who were taking art as a subject began to criticize my abilities-they thought I couldn’t draw actual people. Now while realistic portraits are hardly a thing you’d expect from a child artist, I willingly accepted that challenge, and succeeded once again. As a senior in high school I started creating my own characters. 

Kristen: When you're not drawing, what do you spend your time doing?

Alex: After high school and into young adulthood I started to add to my hobbies. I learned how to do digital artwork and tattooing, and experimented with other styles. I also got into video games and weight lifting.

Kristen: Awesome! And I'm going to go ahead and share one of the pictures you sent me right now because I think it ties into that.

This was actually the first piece of artwork from you that I saw. I remember you talking about it as you worked, and going through a lot of preliminary work to get inspiration for it. And at the time I wasn't sure what the result was going to be. Then you finished it and when I saw it .  . . I was amazed. I still say you have a lot of talent.

So yes, readers, this is my favorite piece from Alex because I do remember the creation process. And the one in the stunning pink hat is Alex's fantasy incarnation.

Kristen: Out of curiosity, I punched some numbers and discovered that my state is 22 times larger than Jamaica. Holy crap! I just imagine you going stir crazy! I'm always wondering if islanders feel cagey after awhile or if it's just normal.

So on that note, iff you could go anywhere for a vacation, where would you go and what would you do?

Alex: It would be wonderful if I could one day visit Japan and experience the awesome culture first hand, that would be the best vacation imaginable.

Kristen: LOL, so another island! I guess I'm just imagining myself with island fever if I shifted suddenly from where I am to an island.

What inspires you? Is there anything about your country, town, area that you find particularly inspirational?

Alex: Living in a poor country, and being the harshly realistic person I am, I wouldn’t say I’m inspired by anything from my country in particular. Along the way however, I have met persons with whom I have things in common, which has helped me to be more enthusiastic about my work. In a place where you’re the outcast because your favorite things are foreign, it’s nice to see something that you can identify with. Whenever I feel like I can’t decide what to paint I watch a few cartoons, or maybe some episodes of bleach and a few minutes later ideas flood my mind. 

Kristen: What would you say to other artists to encourage them?

Alex: If I could give any solid advice to the other artists out there it would be-draw, paint, and sculpt, etc. what you enjoy. It’s more difficult to do something you don’t like than to do something you like. If a style speaks to you, learn it, practice it, and perfect it as much as you can. Don’t worry about if someone else’s work is better, because there are probably many artists out there who’d wish their work was like yours, and even more still who have no artistic talent. Remember that your art is tied to your emotion and is an expression of it.

Kristen: Great advice!  And so applicable to many forms of creative expression. Do what you love! 

What are your plans for the future?

Alex: In the future I plan on branching from realism to photo-realism, taking a crack at animation by studying at an art school, and perhaps practicing my tattooing skills more. 

Kristen: That sounds great for you! I wish you the best of luck. :)

And lastly, if people are interested in finding out more about you or your work, how could they do that? 

Alex: If anyone reading this would like to see some of my best pieces please feel free to visit my online gallery at Thank you for reading, now if you’ll excuse me I have to return to my pokeball ;)

Kristen: And thank you, Alex! It's been a pleasure to have you and good luck with all your endeavors

(All pictures included are ones created by Alex that she gave me permission to share with you!)