For one who didn’t really set out to be a digital artist, Alexis Franklin has made quite a name for herself. She has done a couple of high-brow commissions, including a portrait of Breonna Taylor for O Magazine and Anita Hill for Time magazine.
While she loves to paint portraits of celebrities, she is just as fascinated with the everyday. She loves to capture the perfect candid moment and accentuate it with big brush strokes and bright colors. Her process seems sporadic and playful. You can view her process on YouTube where she does extensive time-lapse videos that display her whole process. While she shows her process in less than 5 minutes, the actual run time for a typical artwork is actually 4-6 hours.
She captures the mood, expression, and experience of her subjects within her digital art portraits. “I’ve always seen the world through a filter that brings vibrance and excitement to things most people wouldn’t notice, and that’s something that I really want to have come across in my work,” she says about her work.
Franklin has been doing art since she was about three years old, but her exposure to digital art didn’t start until she was 16 when she was given her first smartphone. She downloaded Instagram and was introduced to the realm of digital art and a whole new world of possibilities!
She takes her artwork one portrait at a time and starts each new face with fresh eyes. Her portraits mostly resemble oil paintings. “I love the texture that oil paintings give, and in terms of subject matter, I can fall in love with something as simple as someone holding a glass of milk.”
As far as her technical instruction goes, she has always been a drawer and a doodler. She had a talented mother and grandfather to draw inspiration from. She went to an art school for a year and a half. She didn’t think she was really learning anything nor being challenged there and felt like, if anything, her experience was holding her back. So she dropped out and went on to do her own thing.
Now at age 25, she works as a church and wedding videographer in Dallas and does her digital portrait painting on the side.
This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing on popular and up-and-coming digital artists. There are a LOT of awesome artists out there, I encourage you to go do some exploring yourself and find someone who inspires you.
If you're interested in downloading the FREE pdf with a reflection that goes along with this article, click the button below and enter your email!