Alexandria Florent is the definition of a renaissance woman. An artist, athlete, and intellectual at the age of 21. She has been a professional portraitist for almost 7 years and has gotten viral recognition for her classically inspired photorealistic work. She has appeared in art shows and galleries across the country and although her work speaks for itself, here is a brief introduction of…
What is your name, and where can we find you on social media?
My name is Alexandria Florent and you can find me on Instagram @a.flo or @afloart and on Twitter @alfowerflorent
Where are you from originally, and where are you now?
I’m from Santa Clarita near Los Angeles, CA, and I am currently in school at Wake Forest in North Carolina.
If you were to write a song, and you could have anyone on the feature, who would it be?
Probably Chance the Rapper. I love what he stands for, I like his flow, and I’ve been a fan of his since high school.
How would you describe your art in three words?
What type of environment do you work best in?
I work best by myself. I’m usually in my room painting on the floor. If I’m painting a specific rapper or singer I will listen to their music while I create their portrait.
How would you describe your signature painting style? What can we look for to know it’s an Alex Florent original?
I’ve been trying to figure this out myself. I think my style is a mix of renaissance and photorealism. During the renaissance they experimented a lot with layering colors and how they reacted next to each other. I like to do that same thing, but in a way that the color comes out looking more realistic, where you don’t see the strokes as much as you would in a renaissance painting.
Do you approach commission work differently than personal pieces?
With commissions, I usually have a lot less motivation, so I have to force myself to do it in a shorter about of time. Of course I still enjoy the painting but it’s different because its not personal. But money is a good motivator. Where as something I’m doing for myself I can step away from it, if I need to, and come back to it later.
What do you enjoy about painting people?
Specifically, I enjoy painting black people. I think as a black person I can better visual the colors that make up our faces. I feel like in darker skin there is so much more color you can incorporate than in fairer skin tones. I really enjoy mixing colors on the canvas.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten as an artist?
“There are no mistakes in art” – Ms. Hall (Alex’s high school art teacher)
You’ve turned your talent into a business ventures, can you tell us how you have found success?
Being an artist, especially a portraitist, I spend all day looking at, painting, and layering people. It’s given me an advantage in communicating with others by being able to look past their personal insecurities relate on a different level, which is important in business. I started doing commissions around 14, since then I’ve learned how to talk pricing and not lower my standards when it comes to my work.
Can you tell us about some of your side hustles?
Well, Flo Clothing is bankrupt. It was a clothing business I started with my best friend in college. We never sold a shirt. I think it fell through because we both had a busy schedule. But most of my other endeavors are related to art. I can personalize shoes, t-shirts, jackets and anything else you can paint on. Recently I’ve been practicing graphic design so I can do logos and graphics as well.
What part of creating is most difficult for you, and how do you surpass that?
Coming up with an idea! I think that’s why I enjoy portraits because if you put something in front of me, I can paint it. Coming up with my own ideas and putting it onto paper is difficult. To combat that, I’ve been drawing with markers more and just coming up with something and forcing myself to drawing it out, its helping me become more creative.
Where do you see yourself as an artist in 20 years?
I would love to have a studio space in my home. Career wise I am interesting in marketing, illustration, and graphic design. But at the end of the day even if my career isn’t art based I can continue to create on my own time. I actually just submitted two of my paintings to a museum in Winston–Salem, for an exhibition for college students.
Finally, what piece are you most proud of?
Hand’s down Jeff (Alex’s boyfriend) that painting has always been my favorite, after he cheated on me, after we broke up, and since we got back together. It has always been my favorite. I could talk all day about it, I think all the passion came through in the paint you can see my emotion in the piece.