PaganPages(PP): Tell us a bit about yourself
Alexis Waite (AW): I’m a SoCal native who has been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. My dad worked as a graphic artist, painter and photographer to support his family before the computer revolution turned the entire art industry on its ear in the early 90’s. I think he was my main influence in why I drew as much as I did, given his own paintings adorned the walls of each house we lived in. I still carry a sketchpad and draw in my spare time as a hobby.
PP: Have you always wanted to design Tattoos?
AW: That’s something I kinda fell into on accident back when I was in high school.. I always carried a drawing pad with me everywhere and I would frequently be asked by my friends if they could just take a look.
Around 2002, I was asked by different friends and a few family members if I could draw a tattoo for them and I’d oblige, thinking “No big deal, it made them happy.” When it really started to catch on that I designed tattoos, it became clear that maybe there was something more to my talent beyond a way to pass the time.
That really came to fruition with the commission of my first full-back piece.
Outline of my first commissioned back piece
PP: Do you have tattoos of your own?
AW: Yep, I have one of my designs on my lower back. I haven’t decided yet if I want to get more or not, as the one I have took me a year to design.
My own personal back piece
PP: Where do your ideas for your artwork come from?
AW: My ideas come from all over the place, but my main influences are the Celtic and Irish illuminated manuscripts from the 6th-8th centuries, such as the Lindisfarne gospels and the Book of Kells. The scribes of that time carefully drew out the knotwork as a means of meditation and I find that drawing knotwork does indeed help as a form of meditation.
PP: What mediums do you use? Pen, Pencil, Computer Graphics?
AW: I use predominately soft B-lead pencils, a rubber gum eraser, paper smudgers and Prismacolor colored pencils. Sometimes I’ll make something a little bolder by using colored markers and fine-tip colored pens. Occasionally I will use Photoshop to change the effect on an earlier drawing, but I do everything by hand first.
PP: Do you take requests? Do you charge for your art?
AW: Yes I do. When I am requested for a commission, I go over the idea with the potential client and go through several thumbnail sketches until the client is happy. Then I can go to town with my tools and come up with both a black-and-white drawing and a full color drawing.
I usually charge based on the size and complexity of the design and I typically ask for half up front and the balance on completion, to be fair for everyone involved. The client is happy and that makes me happy too.
Commissioned back piece for a friend
PP: Where can people see more of your work or how can they get in contact with you?
AW: My work can be seen at [www.ladyalastrina.deviantart..com] as well as on Myspace. [myspace.com/lady_alastrina] I have folders of my work on both those sites and I can also be reached through Facebook. Just drop me a line on either of those; I check them every day!