Interview by Madeleine Dore
Art by Alexis Winter
Alexis Winter draws portraits of women with vines for eyelashes, terrariums for torsos, and gardens for faces. While her creations feature elegant lines and often coloured with demure pastels, she admits to compulsively drawing puns while on the toilet. Clever and candid.
With an impressive output on her Instagram and an Etsy store stocked with her illustrations, wearable pins and quirky motivational posters, you'd wouldn't be to blame for thinking Alexis does the whole art making thing around the clock. But in actual fact it's just a part-time passion as she works as a lifestyle facilitator for people with disabilities while simultaneously obtaining yet another post-graduate qualification. Talented and hardworking.
Featured here is just a small selection of works belonging to her Things My Friends Do Project. What started out as a weekly project has extended to an indefinite endeavour to illustrate her superbly talented friends and the inspiring and sometimes bizarre things they do.
We find out some of her quirky rituals and the advice Alexis would give to her 18-year-old self, not that it seems she really needed any!
On the difficulty in switching off...
Switching off is definitely something that I struggle with. A lot of the time I’ll illustrate through the night, not because I have a deadline looming, but because I’m too excited to sleep! When I finally finish the illustration I have so much adrenalin pumping through my body that it usually takes me about an hour to settle down.
Oh my god, am I an adrenalin junkie? I’ve started implementing a “no illustrating after midnight rule” to assist with my sleeping patterns… it’s a work in progress.
On coming up with your own definition of success...
Success is not something that can be measured by a standardised formula. Don’t to get too caught up in what other people are doing. Everyone measures success differently, and it’s folly to compare yourself against the exterior of someone else without being able to fully comprehend what is happening underneath.
On the advice she wish she could give to her 18-year-old self...
Be flexible. It’s okay to change your mind. Things haven’t been set in stone since biblical days, and it’s natural to grow and change through your experiences. If you decide that the route you’ve taken is no longer the one you wish to follow, worry not. Trust yourself and you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.
On the creative and strange habits that stay with you...
When I’m breaking down an idea or a concept in my head I tap my fingers a lot, to songs and rhythms that I forget other people can’t hear. I never really notice it until people started pointing it out. I think this links back to my schooling when I was leaning the viola for about 8 years. My hands would constantly be moving up and down the fingerboard of my viola as I would try to make sense of a new composition, so I think it’s just habits that have carried on from that.
"Shit or get off the pot" – Alexis Winter