I have made many discoveries and follow some of my favorite artists. Recently, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw the most simple, yet incredible drawing of blogger Danielle Bernstein, founder of We Wore What. I immediately double tapped the photo and clicked the link to the artist. I found myself on Alex Sheidow's Instagram page. I spent the next 30 minutes admiring her work. I took to my computer to email her. I had to feature Alex on my website.
If you can't already tell, I adore exposing my readers to friends with talent. I'll always be an artist at heart, which may explain why I identify with these gifted individuals. I am forever grateful to social media for providing access to a whole new world of art.
Alex and I quickly got in touch and set up an interview. A down-to-earth student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, she creates her work digitally, finding her inspiration from her environment. Her pieces are totally cool, original and so, so pretty.
Today on Soul in Stilettos, meet my new favorite illustrator, Alex Sheidow.
AS: I’m Alex and I’m 19 years old from London, Ontario. I’m a third year Global Business and Digital Arts student at the University of Waterloo with a passion for graphic design and illustration. My aesthetic is pretty minimalist and clean. I do almost 100% of my work digitally but really like to tie in elements that mimic different artistic techniques like dry brushes or watercolors. I really try to focus on the balance between positive and negative space in my work and how blank space can be used as a design element, although I’m definitely a sucker for a pop of color.
SIS: So, you’re an illustrator, a graphic designer and a student. What drives you to pursue a career in the creative field?
AS: I’ve always loved the arts and like to think I have a keen eye for design. I can’t stop myself from critiquing font choices everywhere I go. I’m really interested with how design can convey a message. When you see something well designed, it just feels right.
Last summer, I was really lucky to be interning as a visual designer at Quidsi, which is an Amazon subsidiary in Jersey City. It was such a great learning opportunity and gave me a really strong foundation with design software. I became confident that I could really start creating the art that I saw in my head. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love graphic design and illustration and I know that pursuing a career in a creative field is the kind of work that will never feel like work to me.
SIS: I’m totally obsessed with your work and discovered you through Instagram. Has social media affected your career in any way or is it too soon to tell?
AS: I think that it’s too soon to tell, but I like the way that a lot of artists use social media and Instagram as a vehicle to display their work. It really gives you an opportunity to connect with so many different people who are really interested in arts. They have been so supportive.
AS: When I first started drawing I began with pencil and paper but was never able to fully capture my ideas on paper. Now I work mostly digitally and I really feel like it’s more of an extension of my mind as opposed to what I can do with pencil and paper (and where no one can see my eraser marks).
SIS: Where do you find inspiration? You illustrate tons of people, which I absolutely love. Are they people you know or random strangers?
AS: I try to keep updated with what’s going on in the art world. It seems like every time I open my computer, I’m just flooded with so many new and inspiring artworks. There is so much great art from which it's really easy to be inspired. I definitely have a thing for drawing people and if I see an awesome photograph I get really excited trying to translate it into a different medium. I do draw random people, but have also drawn people I know, like my sister or my friends. My environment, my friends and family definitely inspire my work.
SIS: What is your dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AS: It’s hard to say! I definitely want to be doing graphic design but there are so many different projects I’d like to take on. I love doing fashion illustration, but I also have such a blast doing artwork for my boyfriend, who’s a musician. I’d love to try out a bunch of different jobs, like doing design for a fashion brand or artwork for a publication. I feel like I still have a ton to learn. I definitely want to try out a bunch of different fields, experimenting with different styles and techniques. Ultimately, I’d love to do freelance work, just because of the breadth of what I’d be able to create.
AS: I'm a runner and try to get out as much as possible. One day I would definitely like to run a marathon. It’s important for me to stay active and keep busy, working out, drawing, and seeing friends. That's when I'm most productive. That said, I’ll admit to also being a bit of a TV addict and can binge every season of a show in a sitting.
SIS: Who are you role models?
AS: I adore Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham, because of how they implement their artistic vision. They’re absolutely brilliant and always make me laugh. I feel like I’m inspired by different artists everyday. Whenever I see an incredible piece I try to think about how I can translate that into my own work. I am also inspired by Mom. She’s definitely the person that taught me the value of hard work. I would not be nearly as motivated or ambitious without her.
SIS: Lastly, tell us your go-to pair of shoes that you can’t live without.
AS: Definitely my Le Canadianne Chelsea boots. They’re like the perfect pair of little black booties. They’re such a staple. I literally wear them with everything. Plus, they’re waterproof!
Check out Alex's work HERE and be sure to follow her on Instagram