● By Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Dots fascinate Aimee Alexander.
So do stripes. In fact, Alexander’s pursuit of lines dates from the time she was three months old – when she traced a pattern on her grandmother’s shirt.
Alexander grew up in Cool and graduated from Golden Sierra High School in Garden Valley. Like most children, she moved on to crayons, paint and pencils; however, working with pens was fascinating to her, so she began working in ink. A trip to San Francisco to attend a friend’s graduation from fashion design school set her on the path of pursuing art as a career.
But what medium should she choose? Permanent marker was a choice made by chance. “My degree from Sacramento State is in studio art,” Alexander says. “One day I was bored – just doodling. I showed my professor one of my Sharpie drawings and she said, ‘Why don’t you do this?’” Alexander likes the challenge of permanent marker. “You have to commit to it, because once it’s down there’s no going back,” she says.
After graduating in 2006, Alexander pursued a career in the jewelry business in the Bay Area. However, she continued to refine her art. “I am fascinated by anything that has dots in it, so my favorite subjects are animals with stripes or dots,” she says. “Usually tigers, leopards and zebras.”
There is something of the traditional in the framing of her work – much like a quilter would lay a pattern out. But that is where tradition ends and color and texture take over. Wild animals “break free” from the confines of the frame. A typical original work by Alexander is 18 inches by 24 inches and takes roughly 12 hours to complete. Once started, she is loath to stop work on a current creation. “My family says I have OCD – obsessive coloring disorder,” she shares with a laugh.
Alexander entered her first art show in June of 2009. “That’s when I realized people liked my art,” she says. While in the Bay Area, she launched artisticle.com – a showcase for her bright, colorful art – and the beginning of a business she’s just beginning to explore. In addition to note cards and prints, she also offers iPhone covers. She is also pleased to note that all of these items are made in the U.S. Last August, just after she returned to Cool, Alexander was one of 12 national artists named to Sharpie’s 2012 Sharpie Squad. The company selects artists every year who are on the cutting edge of permanent marker art.
“I’d like to continue to grow as an artist,” she says. “I’m interested in doing bigger works, like wall-size art.”
Aimee makes connecting the dots easy for art lovers. As a member of today’s Internet-savvy generation, she is plugged into social media via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Fans of her work can “follow” her as she spends her time coloring and participating in art shows and festivals around northern California.
For more information, visit artisticle.com.