Interview with Ashley Alexander

When you are a child, animals have a kind of magic aura around them: in fairy tales and stories they can talk and dress like human beings. When you grow up, however, this magic somehow gets lost, Ashley Alexander is convinced.

So in her artworks – which we want to feature today with this interview – she tries to bring back this magic to our daily life.

Read on if you want to know what else she had to tell us…

Why and when did you start making art?
I started drawing horses when I was very little. I’m not sure if that counts, but I have always loved drawing animals.

What kind of art do you make?
I mostly make drawings and photographs.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Mostly from nature and children’s stories and old movies.

What does your usual workday look like?
I teach, so a lot of time is spent doing that, but a day making art likely involves finding a sunny spot to sit in and a lot of different pencils and a nice cup of tea.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
I love having a yummy breakfast with friends (our neighborhood is full of breakfast places), walking down to Lake Michigan with the dog, doing crossword puzzle, taking a nap and making dinner with my fiance. Does that sound boring?

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?

Oh, Martha Stewart has the BEST and easist one bowl chocolate cake recipe. It is seriously the best chocolate cake and SO easy. I make it all the time.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
Gosh, I have to pick ONE?? Joseph Cornell’s Taglioni jewell casket has been my holy grail for ages. I once touched it in New York. I felt kind of bad, but for me, it was like touching some kind of shrine. On that same trip I learned about Annette Messenger, who has also been a huge influence. Recently I have been enjoying the work of J.J. Granville. I can’t believe how much my work resembled his- and I had never seen it when I started doing animals dressed as people! I only found out about him about a year ago.

Whom should we interview next?

Debbie Carlos. She does gorgeous, large scale photography and is one of my friends!

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
Lotta Jansdotter. She just seems like she would very cozy and would probably make some great food for lunch.

What is your philosophy of life?
It has changed a lot since losing my mom three years ago. It is so short and unpredictable. I am thankful for each day that I get to spend doing things I love. There are very few things worth being a jerk to someone else about. I try to find little bits of happiness and beauty in everyday life.

Thank you, Ashley!