Texture and atmosphere are important in Alex’s work and uses various kinds of nature photography as references. Underwater images help her create the right mood when depicting the human body from the inside, and pictures taken in caves can help with bodily cavities. The branches of trees are reminiscent of arteries, and nature’s textures and patterns provide endless fascination for an artist who is dedicated to getting the details right.
The medical illustrators Stephen Gilbert and Frank Armitage are both influences. Alex has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, and a Masters of Science in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia.
Extensive research goes into each project Alex works on. After gathering information, she relaxes her mind and works through the concepts. She does most of her painting in Photoshop, carefully choosing the colour palette for both realism and emphasis.
Alex works in two main styles, depending on the intended audience. The first is light and sketchy, with her pencil drawing showing through for a hand-made feel. Her second style offers a realistic immersion into the human body, like in the film The Fantastic Voyage, where the surroundings can be like an alien landscape.
Best Cover, American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors:
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Alex: I've been drawing since I was very little and just never stopped.Question: Do you have any formal design training? Alex: I studied Scientific Illustration at the University of Georgia, where I also took a lot of fine arts courses. I have a Master's of Science in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia.Question: Where are you originally from? Alex: Bristol, UK.Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Alex: I live in Asheville NC. We moved here from New Orleans after Katrina because we wanted to live on higher ground.Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Alex: My husband and I share a large studio on the second floor of our house. It's full of tables, art supplies, Macs with big screens, shelves and shelves of medical books and a skeleton named Hugo. And a sleeping dog or two.Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Alex: No. I keep random piles, and I stick a lot of things on the wall.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Alex: Reading and painting mostly. I started running a few years ago and am about a week away from my 8th marathon. I also take martial arts with my daughter. I won't spar with her. She's 12, bigger than me and has a mean punch.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Alex: I do a monthly cover illustration for an OB/GYN magazine and loved last month's cover on abnormal placentation. The feet of the baby are showing and I love how they worked out.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Alex: I love a good challenge. I love digging into a job where there is no obvious answer.Question: Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Alex: Walk away. Do something else, something mindless, something physical like gardening or running and let your subconscious mind wander.Question: Have you any hidden talents? Alex: I can make fantastic red beans and rice, and a pretty good etouffee. We go back to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras and I can sew/make costumes.Question: If you could live anywhere, where would you go? Alex: I really love right where I am.Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet? Alex: DaVinci. I love a curious mind.Question: What do you have bookmarked? Alex: Netflix, Design Sponge, Craigslist, The Happiness Project, and too many cooking and surgical sites to name.Question: Why do fools fall in love? Alex: The sex drive primarily originates from dopaminergic activity modulated by hormones (testosterone and estrogen) along the mesolimbic dopamine pathway, which connects the ventral tegument area and the nucleus accumbens. I could totally draw it for you.