Interview: ALEXA COE, Artist

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The beautiful work of UK artist Alexa Coe is one of the latest print collections to join Apache Rose 'On The Wall'. In truth, we started stocking it some weeks back, but it came and went so quickly we didn't have a moment to post about it! 

We interviewed Alexa to get more of an insight into her work and the inspiration behind it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself background as an artist.

I have a Bachelors in Textiles Design and completed a Masters earlier on this year in Fashion Communication. I've always drawn since I could, and both my parents are artistic so I grew up seeing art as a part of everyday . I interned and did a lot of other things from production, visual merchandising and PR, but wanted to come back to my first love, drawing, as everything else felt wrong. When I draw I feel like me.

You work focuses largely around the female form, quite often in a state of dress/undress. What draws you to this work and why do you think artists and art lovers are continually drawn to this subject over the years?

I think female identify and female form are so interlinked that one can never be separate from it. I suppose for years it was about how men saw women, now its about women taking it back. My work becomes a comment on my own feels around how it feels to be a young women, both proud but also living with the negativities around the pressures around the female form. My characters are often in flux, half way between dress and undressed, representing the shifting mood around the female gaze.

Tell us about your creative process.

I usually spend quite a while searching for images, either in print or on my iPhone (which reads like scrapbook of screenshots) I then compile these, and start to experiment. I usually draw a lot of images at one time.
I use instagram to get a feel of what works. If something gets a lot of love I'll sometimes mock it up larger scale. Its all about immediacy and the simplification of images.

What qualities do you think are your best assets to compliment your work as an artist?

I'm rather impatient. I move on from one thing to the next very easily, which has it's good and bad points. It makes my work very fluid but often gets me in trouble as I am not a good finisher. I am my own best critique which I think is an important point of being an artists. You have to learn that you may like a new piece of work but you will never LOVE it, you have to strive for the new all the time.

What materials do you like to work with?

Ink and graphite. The line both materials offer is very immediate and fluid. 

How do you think technology and the digital age effects creatives?

I think it's good as it offers a voice to a whole range of people who may never of got to show work before. It allows for conversation and a new language. Though the issue is now everyone wants something for free, because they see it online for nothing. 

As an artist do you think it is important to you to put a lot of your time into advertising and social networking as well as the creative side?

Oh yes, or I think it would just be a hobby and I would never get paid! Especially as being a creative is often quite lonely, having engagement with the outside world is an important boost even if it doesn’t go anywhere.

What has been your most exciting project so far?

I am currently working with a Photographers group in LA called GirlGaze. It's really exciting to work with like minded creatives who are also passionate about changing the way the world sees women.W

What would be your dream project?

Something I get full rein with! Im loving animating at the moment, so anything with movement is really exciting.

Name two females who inspire you.
I recently saw an exhibition of Georgia O'Keefe in London. Her story is amazing inspiring, as both a woman and an artist. 
Laura Bates, who’s a “modern feminist” who started a project called Everyday Sexism, which is really changing how people react to some of the more casual sides of sexist behaviour in society.

Name three places you look to for inspiration.

My Phone (my gate to the internet)
The city- not necessarily the visuals but the experience of it.
Reading, and the power of words. I have always been inspired by the way word play can transform a statement or an image.

Name three creatives who you are loving at the moment.

Tina Berning - illustrator
Petra Collins - Petra Collins
Ella Kruglyanskaya - Artist

You can find Alexa's work in our online store here

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