The Creatives: artist and illustrator Alexandria Coe
Celebrating the month of WOMEN. Creative, ambitious, inspiring, vibrant, real, power women.
London-based artist and illustrator Alexandria Coe explores the feminine shapes in her line drawings. Mostly black and white, but sometimes with a splash of color, her art makes us scroll frantically through her Instagram feed and dream of having one of her pieces in our studio. We will have to settle with picking her brain about the creative life. For now.
You have said in previous interviews that you went to study in CSM to pursue your passion for drawing and clearly, you are on the path to success. What inspired you to do that and what are the daily challenges that you have to overcome as a young artist in London?
To be honest, once you have spent a vast amount of time and money on studying you realise that you might as well pursue your truest passion. I have communicated via drawing all my life and it feels very authentic to me. It would feel false to pick up a camera or write to express how I feel. Drawing is the only way in which I feel that what I am saying is from the heart.
Tell us a bit more about your life before that. We have stalked you a bit and learnt that you have a background in fashion illustration. I suppose it was kind of inevitable to not be interested in fashion surrounded by so many inspiring people. Have you always been keen on it though?
Fashion has always been a part of my life. Though once you start to study it you see it in a new way, you begin to analyse it both historically, socially and symbolically - it is fascinating. Then I started to study how the body itself is " fashioned" and what you can learn from the shape and rituals that surround it, which led me to my interests now in the naked form.
We must all face similar problems as creatives, for example, the confusing and a bit boring business side of the job. Is this indeed like this for you, do you do this part by yourself, basically how do you manage to manage?
Oh yes, I was never expecting the admin side to take over at times. It’s very rare that I get a day without e-mailing for example. But I know it’s an important part as you then start to learn the value of yourself as a creative.
Your drawings of nude female bodies are truly enchanting but they have a deeper meaning as well. What is it to you and do your fans share these thoughts with you?
For me, it’s about finding a balance between accentuating a form but also leaving it to the viewer's interpretation. Although they are nudes, they are not posed or presented in a way that is contrived. It’s about sensuality, of both drawing and expression as well as the body.
There are so many people out there, we are sure you have met some of them, everybody has, that says they don’t understand modern art, they mock people for finding meaning in abstract art pieces for example, etc. What are your thoughts on them, do they annoy or provoke you?
Not at all. It’s not my audience and that is ok. Although society is very visual in some ways, people are given Everything on a plate. To see me sing in abstraction is a process of interpretation which is always moving. Something that isn’t for everyone.
You obviously work alone, isn’t this a little lonely from time to time or maybe the solitude helps you in the process? Do you have a strict process when you work actually or is it more of an impulsive kind of work?
I work best alone but I do need a burst of company. I gladly have a lot of creative friends who I can talk too but would find it way distracting to work with people.
Are you a morning person and what is your ritual in the morning?
I am. I like to go to yoga first thing or take a walk. I like to clear my head and start fresh, so when I get back to work I feel the most focused.
What are your favourite spots in London that get you inspired or simply calming you after a rough day?
London is pretty hectic, so it's good to learn to find peace in the madness. I often like to visit the Tate modern and look at the permanent collection, followed by a walk down the South Bank, you get an amazing view of the city and a grounded perspective of where you are as you're surrounded by some of London's most known landmarks.