We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandra Fernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alejandra, what inspires you?
Lately I’ve been working on a comic inspired by the story of this infamous woman in Mexico called La Malinche. I am endlessly fascinated by Mexican history and folklore. My grandpa is a historian and teacher, and we will sit down and talk about various historical moments while my Grandma brings us mounds of cheese and coffee and tells me her own stories about growing up in Mexico City. Basically I get inspired any time I visit Mexico. When I’m there, eating my Grandma’s food, walking in the tianguis, looking at beautiful hand-made ceramics and beaded jewelry and clothing, waking up to the panadero (baker) making his morning rounds, I feel moved to write it all down and tell my own version of it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m still most proud of the illustration I did for The New York Times article on modern Mexican filmmakers. It was my first big editorial project and I got to work with an amazing art director that let me create something with my fun, surreal spin to it. A lot of historical and personal research goes into my work, so I’ve been able to showcase my mixed heritage in exhibitions and publications. For example, last year I was in a group exhibition at the Mexican General Consulate in Los Angeles, and the piece they chose is a digital painting I made of a P’urepechan deity in a field. I am a descendant of the indigenous P’urepechan group in Mexico, and although I don’t know how to speak the language I know a couple folk songs. The artwork represented me trying to piece together and uncover my indigenous heritage. I feel like being an artist in the digital age, it’s important to keep up with online art platforms and call to artists. Also to find your niche. So I’ve spent a lot of time getting in contact with galleries and art spaces that I feel my work would fit into well. It’s a lot of putting myself out there and not knowing who would respond or be into my work. But I feel like I’ve found a great art community online and offline.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a nerd so I’d probably take my friend to a museum or art space I think they’d like. I take everyone who visits to the Brand Art Library in Glendale (I know, nerd!) but it’s genuinely my favorite place in LA. It also has hiking trails and is a cute spot for a picnic! I also really like walking around Los Feliz, I love this taco spot there called Tacos Tu Madre (highly recommend their bahn mi bowl). IKEA in Burbank is always a fun time, although I end up leaving with more things than I was supposed to buy
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I know a lot of people credit their parents, but I just have to dedicate this shout-out to my mom who is my sun and brings her good vibes everywhere she goes. She’s my biggest fan and has supported me throughout my entire art career, including college. I also can’t forget my dad and sister, they put up with all my weird art rants and dumb jokes.
IMG_3116.jpg: Photo credit Matt Black