Alexandria Neonakis is a freelance concept artist, fine artist and illustrator from Nova Scotia, Canada, currently residing in Los Angeles with her husband and various pets. Previously she was a senior concept artist at Wonderstorm and a character concept artist at Naughty Dog. When she’s not working, you’ll find her at home with her husband John and their way too many pets, out in nature painting and shooting reference, or at the barn she rides at hanging out with horses.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon illustrated by PJ Lynch
What’s your favorite line from a book?
I don’t know if this counts but it’s a poem by Mary Oliver called “I Go Down to the Shore”:
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
P.J. Lynch, Dean Cornwell, Norman Rockwell
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I loved to tell stories. Telling them through pictures is what felt most natural to me.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
It’s hard to see trends on Instagram or other social media platforms and not feel an urge to follow them. I think it’s important to stay relevant, and art directors would probably say that you should try your best to stay on top of that sort of thing, but I think it’s more important in the long run for your mental health and sense of self as an artist to be true to what resonates with you. Trends change weekly now. I don’t see the point or have the energy to race to keep up with that.