Illustrator Alexandria Coe manages to make the must unladylike of tasks look beautiful, just see her animation ‘How To Heist’ as proof. Which is why we had to show you her work in this month Illustrators Portfolio, you can thank us later…
How did you first get in to Illustration?
I guess I’ve always drawn, since I could hold a pencil, though I didn’t always see it as a career. After doing what feels like everything else; from textile design, production to Visual merchandising, I realised that illustration was where I wanted to end up. It’s a slow process to build yourself up but nothing is nicer than saying to someone as a dinner party ” yes, I get paid to draw pictures!”
Like most illustrators you draw mainly females, what is it about women that you think artists are so drawn to?
I suppose as a female, expression is often not as free in the way we might like. There are within society restrictions around how one may act, speak or feel. Art offers a place to explore ideas that cannot be said another way. We will always create work from our own experience, its what we best understand and often reveal what we don’t understand. Within drawing we can explore politics, the media, and most especially the body.
Most of your work depicts women in various states of dressing/undressed why so?
Its often an act which advertising plays on, a women on the verge of nudity but never quite. Sexuality plays a huge part of our lives, though for women sexuality can still be a dangerous game. The characters are neither active nor passive, they sit on the line between, representing the unspoken tension within the sexual difference in society.
We love your video’s ‘The Art of Dressing’ and ‘How to Heist’ do you think this is something you will do more of?
Yes I love it to. It’s a long process, but the results are really rewarding. Within the digital age, the more analogue the process the more exciting it is. As a society we are so over saturated with digital imagery that traditional techniques can really offer a sense of relief. I am currently working on a few personal pieces as well as being in talks for a new exciting commission
Do you model your illustrations on anyone?
Generally if I see a picture I like they take that form. There isn’t a person in particular. Though Like a photographer’s muse, there is a certain something I am looking for in the model. Some people say my work looks a bit like me, so maybe I see a little of myself in them too.
How do you create your work?
I collect images (I have way too many screen shots on my desktop). Usually working with a theme, I set out my inks and paper and just go with it till it works. I work very fast, often creating 20-50 images at a time. Often only a few will work and some days none will work at all. Usually I post it on instagram to see my followers reactions.
Where can fans get their hands on some of your work?
I haven’t yet set up a shop. I’ve had a few people ask me so perhaps I should. Though I do take requests and have posted prints to Italia all the way to New York.
What Instagram accounts, bloggers or other Illustrators are you loving at the moment?
I love instagram, I am not sure I have time to look at blogs myself (I get easily distracted) I am loving Tina Berning, @joanaavillez and @tanya_ling, to name but a few….I also follow a lot of curated accounts like @ppennylane for example for picture inspiration all the time. My phone is like a scrapbook of instgram screen shots
What piece of art do you wish you had created?
Seated woman with bended knee – Egon Scheile. He was an incredible marksman. When you see his drawings up close they are no mistakes, he strikes his pencil with purpose and authority.