Alexis Anne Mackenzie uses collage to make illustrations that are like no others, combining a touch of heritage feel with surreal elegance. Part of her portfolio consists of lettering crafted from vintage imagery, but she also creates dreamlike images that are ideal for editorial, publishing, packaging, fashion and textile design. Currently based in California, she grew up in Iowa and Vermont, but will soon be moving to Glasgow.
Her work has a handmade touch to it and as a fine artist she’s had pieces featured in galleries and publications around the world. Alexis loves the challenge of new and interesting briefs, and always finds ways to make every project she works on unique.
She began creating collage work while still in high school, and later attended the Aegean Center for Fine Art in Italy and Greece and studied art history and poetry. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tufts University in Boston, as well as an MFA.
Alexis likes things to feel organic and asymmetrical. The first stage of her creative process is done by hand, going through books and cutting out the images she wants to use. She lays out the individual elements physically, shifting, adding and making adjustments to the composition. Then she scans them in and recreates her layout using Photoshop. While it would be possible to do more of the work in Photoshop, she feels that handling and manipulating the pieces is an important part of the process – she really gets into the image that way.
Two main styles are evident in Alexis’ portfolio. Firstly, there are her typographic compositions wherein she builds letters out of found images. Often these letterforms are delicate, unusual and organic. Her second style is dreamlike and surrealist, which she achieves using scale and juxtaposition. Bones, branches, crystals and other natural elements often find their way into her work, as well as old botanical illustrations, and weird-but-beautiful Dada-esque photographs and vintage drawings.
She has recently taught herself to animate.