Alexandra De Assunçao
I never start my days before 9:00 in the morning. I prefer to work at night, there is more inspiration.
9am: my friend the alarm clock tells me that the day is starting! I start my day by listening to music and taking a few dance steps, in pajamas (Toy Story cloud pattern).
9:30 am: time for my first coffee. Then I'm going to see if my little Parisian vegetable garden is fine. My grandfather always told me to talk to the plants so they would grow faster!
10am: I set off to work in my coworking workshop, always listening to music to be in a good mood. I really like to look at people when I walk down the street.
10:30 am: time for a second coffee by watching the latest news from artists and brands on instagram. Then I check my emails, make a to do list and start working.
11:30 am: we often meet with my fellow artists to discuss, show off our latest projects to stimulate each other and be even more inspired.
Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?
I grew up in Nantes, a city in the west of France, near the sea. My love for illustration was born thanks to my father. As a younger person, I really enjoyed looking at his paintings, and then I started taking drawing classes.
My curiosity created a passion a few years later.
Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.
I don't have an exact period. It is a perpetual evolution and the more time goes by, the more I know that I was born to create. There are always doubts at times, but it makes me move forward and allows me to push my limits every time. I see my life as an artist as a challenge.
Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…
I never leave home without my banana bag. I put everything and anything in there to have a cool day!
Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with this medium or did it choose you?
I like to experiment with several mediums such as paper collage or vector illustration on a computer. I think that my minimalist style and my love for solid colors naturally guided me towards these two mediums.
A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?
There are no rules in this profession of artist. Personally, I followed a master's degree in print design to be artistic director and then I started freelancing in illustration. I have friends who are self-taught illustrators and who are very talented and deserving. So I encourage women who do not have the opportunity to do formal training to get started and test a lot of things. Creating is beautiful, spontaneous and independent of a type of professional career.
How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.
For several years, I was halfway between graphic design and illustration. Gradually, I switched to full-time illustration work and this makes me even happier.
My work allows me to reach a community of women mainly. I am shy and discreet by nature and this job allows me to meet inspiring women. My message is poetic, committed and inspiring to highlight each woman.
What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?
It's important for me to combine beauty and "committed values".
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
Right now, I am inspired mainly by the women around me: my grandmother and friends of mine.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?
My biggest challenge is currently in court! I'm going to paint a fresco on a large wall for an association that brings women together. I've never done this before and I'm therefore in a little apprehensive but with a lot of excitement.
How do you stay motivated?
We remain motivated when we fill our daily lives as artists with new creative challenges, by nourishing ourselves with artistic culture, by testing new creative axes and above all by exchanging our points of view with other people.
My goal is to create a scarf brand to dress women so that they feel confident and beautiful at every moment of their lives. I hope to continue the collaboration and live from my art for a long time to come!
Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…
I find myself most inspired to create when I am in my pajamas, at night in my small Parisian apartment, looking up at the sky and listening to people talking in the streets.
Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?
I don't have any magic advice on how to make money. I think you have to be present on social networks, have your own style, interact with people, create new media and don't hesitate to take on different projects: whether it's for a small trendy brand or a big agency. By doing this, you expand your contact book and this is very important in this profession.
What specifically gives you the most anxiety when it comes to talking about money? Explain.
In France, money is a little taboo, but I have no problem talking about money. You have to be honest and transparent, this avoids misunderstandings with the client.
What do you know for sure?
One thing I am sure of is that art can bring together very different people, I find it beautiful!
Name 3 Artists you would like to see featured on Hola Gwapa next and what you love about them.
I love so much the work of these artists: Léa Augereau for her poetry, Lucy Macaroni for her committed tone and Camilla Engstrom for her offbeat and original side.
To learn more about Alexandra De Assunçao, please visit www.instagram.com/alexandradea.