When I first saw Alexz's work I was totally blown away and then when I got to know her better I realized that she is a sassy, sweet and just down right adorable young lady(I can say that cause I'm old). First off, she loves Tim Burton, so you know she has taste but when I found out she also loves Meatloaf, well I just about died! How awesome is that? Let's find out more about her obsessions with misfits, Tim and Meatloaf.
Tell me a little bit about yourself
Hmm...Do you remember that part in Beetlejuice where Lydia says "live people ignore the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual." That pretty much sums me up. Okay, so I am not nearly as depressed and dark as Lydia but I am really kind of strange! Simply put, I am a 23-year-old girl who grew up in Ontario, Oregon and I am just stepping foot into the real world. I grew up in this tiny town as somewhat of a misfit. Listening to Meat Loaf records and watching old re-runs of The Munsters and The Addams Family were how I spent my days as a child; thus the personality shaping began! I became a little goth girl with a love for all things cute and creepy! I think the wholesome values of those 50s/60s shows rubbed off on me though, because I am such a goody-goody, yet I love Halloween and all creepy stuff. I guess I am a walking contradiction! Anyways, I just recently finished up a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at Western Oregon University and I am about 3/4's of they way through an art degree. Right now I am living back in Ontario with my parents -yup- I am a boomerang child! There seems to be a lot of those kids these days! But my plans are to save up some money this year by working and then move back over to the Portland area and pursue a career in stop-motion animation.
You do such amazing work-what's your favorite piece and why
Wow, thank you! It is hard for me to pick a favorite, because it seems like I go through phases of working on certain types of mediums and projects and that moment, I LOVE them! I made a little steampunk skeleton a couple of nights ago, and I am really loving it lately. I have been getting requests for him left and right and commissioned work is always a huge excitement for me since I am broke and college loan payments are arriving in the mail. He is made completely of junk! I save everything I own that is salvageable, because I know I will be able to use it eventually. This piece is particularly special to me because I rarely make 3-dimensional work and he turned out so well for just being constructed from things I have found lying around the house or in the streets. Not to mention, he combines all my favorite things: goth, steampunk, Halloween and skeletons! So I guess for the moment, he is my favorite piece!
Who/What inspires you
I come from a family of black sheep who are all extremely creative. My dad is an incredible artist! Our tastes are completely different but his work and talents never cease to amaze me. My mother reads more than anybody I have ever known and she is so incredibly smart. Both my parents inspire me everyday and I owe all my success to them. They encouraged me to be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. My brother is the same way and also very smart and creative, and he supports everything I do. I really look up to him. My family is huge to me and are one of the biggest pieces for my creative inspiration. I also have a boyfriend who has introduced me to so many new things and he encourages me in every way he can. I can't thank him enough for all the ways he inspires me and how much he embraces my quirkiness.
I obviously have GREAT influence from Tim Burton. The first Burton Film I ever saw was Edward Scissorhands and it had a profound effect on me; I fell in love with Edward and his vulnerability. I also grew up on Disney and developed an almost-obsessive fascination with Walt Disney. His drive and willingness to try anything astounds me and I think he is probably one of the most incredible people to ever live. And then I can't leave out Meat Loaf. I know that sounds so weird, but I grew up on his music and I just love the guy to death. He is so intense and passionate that he inspires me to pursue my own dreams with the same vigor he has.
Any advice for fellow crafters?
Well, I am still so young and making tons of mistakes myself but I can tell you that I have already experienced tons of rejection and I have been knocked down plenty of times in my artistic endeavors. But you have to just get back up and keep pursuing your dreams. I spent my first three years of college working towards my art degree and while Western has a good art program and some amazing students and art teachers alike, it is definitely a more traditional curriculum there. My skeletons and zombies were not appreciated and I ended up crying almost everyday because of a comment made by my teachers. But you just have to keep going at it and not succumb to what other people want you to do or be- and that goes for everything in art and life in general. I live in such a small conservative town, I spent a lot my years being what everybody else wanted me to be. But now that I fully embrace the strange, little weirdo I have always been, I have never been happier! You just have to be who you want and let that inspire your creativity.
What does the future hold for you?
I really have no idea where I will go, or who I will become, and that feels awesome! I will admit, I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety over my future since graduating college but at the same time, it is strangely exhilarting. I feel like I can go anywhere or be anything. My dream would be to become the next Tim Burton- or marry him. Either way my future would be set. Ha! Just kidding. In all seriousness, I really love stop-motion film and would love to end up in a career with that. But when it comes down to it, my main goal in life is just to make sure I end up in a creative career where I can reach people with my art- even if it just a small handful of people. I want others to know that is okay to be odd and a misfit. Tim Burton and Meat Loaf taught me that and I want to do the same for others like me who feel like they don't fit in anywhere.
If you could be one Tim Burton character-who would it be?
Oh gosh, that is a tough question! Tim Burton's movies seem to always have a theme where the main characters are all completely misunderstood and do not fit into their surroundings. Jack Skellington, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Bloom, etc. They are all so misconstrued and unappreciated. And I think that is because they are all emulating Tim Burton himself as he feels, and that is essentially why I relate to and admire him so much. So I feel like all of them! But I guess if I had to choose just one character it would be Edward Scissorhands. He is so shy and sensitive which is my personality to a tee. That is kind of strange to think about though, because I have a huge crush on him!
You can check out more of Alexz's work on her flickr account and watch out for her etsy to open up soon. I really hope that she remembers this little interview when she's famous and I hope that when she wins her first oscar for her stop motion animation that I'm mentioned in the thank you's. What? A girl can wish can't she?