15 minutes with… Alexandria Coe

If you’re not familiar with the London based artist and illustrator (mostly nudes) that is Alexandria Coe, you need to be.

Coe’s work is minimal in its focus on the female form – uniquely interpreted through line drawings – and is loaded with concept; that which explores the body and its image.

We caught up with Coe to talk collabs, body confidence, London landmark she’d love to get her hands on and find out what’s next on the cards. Have a read.

alexandria coe london illustrator

Has illustrating always come naturally or is it a skill you’ve honed?
I’ve always drawn, for as long as I can remember, though it takes a while to hone a style that fits. As I am not trained in illustration I had a lot of catching up to do, things started to fit when I found a reason to draw, a reason to communicate something. Then I found my style by matching my skill with my ethos.

First memory of sketching something that made you think, ‘I AM GOOD AT THIS’
I wouldn’t say I’m blessed with high self esteem (quite the opposite), but drawing is always something I’ve been proud of. I can, to this day, be my own tutor and say what is good and what is bad.

If you could illustrate any London landmark/building what would it be, and what would you draw?
I love the Barbican. It’s nothing like my work of course, no curves at all, but it’s a strong, beautiful, brutalist building that I will never tire of looking around.

Why nudes?
The female nude is a fascinating subject, especially for studying the perception of female beauty. It’s an amazing way to explore many languages of identity, society and sexuality. I also like the polarisation of the nude, in that it makes people feel a little uneasy. I also like the way the viewer is inclined to reflect back on themselves.

alexandria coe london illustrator image
Which body part do you love most and why?
The back. I love the neck and the curves in the lower spine. I think it’s a beautiful feature on both men and women.

How do you take your coffee?
Almond milk. No sugar, thanks.

Biggest takeaway from your Ma (hons) in Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint Martins?
Self development comes hand in hand with creative development.

You’ve collaborated with Kana London; how did that come about and what can we expect next?
Ana Kerin and I swapped work and it all sort of started from there. The new friendship became a great creative collab. It feels only natural to work with other female creatives who also have a very hands on approach. We are working on a few special ceramic collections, so watch this space.

Where are you spending the summer? Will you have time for some downtime?
Not sure yet, whatever happens I need some sun. I almost worked too hard last year, and ended up staying in England. I think I need some meditation and sun to refuel.

Tease another project you have lined up this year
A limited edition book may be in the pipeline…

Best way to keep tabs on workshops/events you’re running?
My newsletter or my Instagram. I tend to live via Instagram so update it at all times.

Alexandria Coe

Instagram is a solid platform to showcase work; has it dramatically built brand awareness/momentum?
Yeah it’s an amazing tool. Though, it’s really important to keep a professional distance between the persona I represent and myself. It’s been an amazing way to build clients, friends and a fan base but it has its bad points – for example, it makes my work so available and with that, invites copies and replications.

Best commission to come from Instagram?
Liberty London, always. It was a dream when I was young to work there and I was honoured to have the opportunity to sell my work there.

Instilling women – of every age – with body confidence is something that comes across in your work, how important is this to you?
It’s not the first thing I think of. Body positivity, although super high on my agenda, is not part of my artistic process. I want to make you think about your own perception of womanhood and if my pieces make you feel better about that, then all the better for it.

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