Issue Two Feature: Corinne Alexandra | Graphic Designer & Photographer

Issue Two - January 2013

Corinne Alexandra
Graphic Designer & Photographer

Who are you?
I’m Corinne, and I’m a photographer/designer/creative of many talents from San Diego, California.

How did you get interested in photography, graphic design, & illustration?
I’ve been immersed in art my entire life. Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I was drawing or writing short stories and constantly exercising my creative muscles. I don’t really know what set me on this artistic path, but I’ve been driven by art ever since. I’ve dabbled in so many mediums it's hard to sum up my work in a brief statement. When I first started Stuck with Pins (the artist pseudonym I’ve used for years), I was doing pixel dolling (digital illustrations of characters and designs created strictly from pixels). I wanted to create a website to display my pixel art so I experimented in web design and coding. In the meantime, I was also playing around more with photography after I discovered the DeviantART community.

I had always been interested in photography and would run around our backyard taking pictures of flowers, chairs, and our dogs just for fun, but now having a place to share these photos online and be exposed to other artist’s work really pushed me to do more with it. Then Myspace came around, and as silly as it sounds, this has what truly developed me as an artist. I started up my business because of it. I was designing hundreds of Myspace layouts for musicians and artists. I was constantly exploring creative ideas for self-­‐portrait “photoshoots”, and in turn, people started commissioning me to shoot photos for their bands and modeling portfolios.

I always joke that I “peaked in Myspace”, but after its untimely death, I sort of had an opportunity to be reborn as an artist. I was doing way less commercial work, so I was able to explore my personal works and develop a style that felt more like my own. My style has always been pretty dark, but in recent years I’ve really developed a style that isn’t just dark for the sake of being dark. My goal with my personal photography, illustrations, and other miscellaneous art is to take what is not seemingly beautiful, like a skull or a dead animal, and make the viewer reevaluate their perception of what is “ugly” and what is beautiful.

Who and/or what inspires you?
My biggest source of inspiration is the natural ephemera and thrifted junk I surround myself with. I’m a hoarder of natural curiosities (bones and skulls, dried flowers, feathers, taxidermy and other remains of nature) and flea market finds. I like this idea of collecting and recycling old and discarded things into something new and beautiful. Photographer Sally Mann is my biggest influence. She’s the first photographer whose work I ever fell in love with, and her creative mind continues to inspire me. Her “What Remains” series probably has the most influence on my personal work today. She did a series of images of the decay of her disinterred dog and later a study of the human carcasses at the Body Farm. The thought is disturbing, but the images are captivatingly gorgeous. Like Auguste Rodin said, “To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.”

I became really infatuated with the decomposition process when I did a study of the stages of decay and actually gathered a roadkill coyote carcass from the side of the road and brought it back to my place to watch nature do its thing. It’s indescribably fascinating! It might seem a little cuckoo crazy, but what’s crazier to me is how we can choose to dismiss the incredible beauty of nature just because it makes us uncomfortable. I try to tackle that uncomfortableness by juxtaposing them with conventional beauty (like flowers and femininity) so that the “ugly” parts of nature become accepted as similarly beautiful.


What work are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of my mini photo book Curiosities, Etcetera. Last year, I took a class called Artists Books as an elective. It was seriously one of the worst classes I’ve ever had. People were making books with unsourced, low-­‐resolution Google images Photoshopped on top of rainbow gradients and getting a passing grade for it. It was mind-­‐blowingly absurd. Despite the ridiculously low standards of the class and the complete lack of inspirational context, I decided to challenge myself to make a book I would be proud to carry around in my body of work for years to come. Curiosities, Etcetera is a photo book of my collections and a look into the things that inspire me. I really came into myself as an artist with this project and started to develop a cohesive style to serve as the foundation of the rest of my personal works.

How do you keep your passion for art and design going?
Art has just always been a part of me. I go about my life viewing most everything through an artistic scope. When I’m driving, I’ll take notice of the shapes of the clouds or the textural decay on the side of a building; when I’m sitting in my house, I’ll appreciate the interesting shadows the light casts on my walls; even something as mundane as getting dressed and putting on my makeup in the morning becomes an art form for me. Art and inspiration is EVERYwhere. You just have to train your eye to notice them and appreciate beauty in less obvious places.

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