Alex Garant is an outstanding Canadian artist who is known as the “Queen of Double Eyes”. It takes a moment for your own eyes to adjust to what they are witnessing. Seeing her work it’s clear that the eyes are the window to the soul. While the eyes all look the same I still feel as though I’m seeing the subjects varying emotions. The work is big, beautiful and engaging! Check out the interview and a sample of her work.
1. Where are you from?
I'm originally from Quebec City but I currently reside in Toronto, Canada.
2. What is your origin story to the art world?
It was a long process. I’ve been doing art my whole life; I always been painting, I attended my first oil painting class when I was 7 years old. My first oil painting on canvas is hanging in my studio; it was created when I was 8 years old. Then in high school I would always pick the art electives and I did two years of college in Quebec before going to art school. I decided I really needed to focus on my art full time 4 years ago after a health scare. Art was one of those things I was always doing but I started producing more intensely after that event.
3. How did you come up with your unique style?
I was always fascinated by patterns and symmetry. Anything that makes the eyes travel over an image repeatedly. As I played with duplication of elements, I found the vibrating effect created by overlaying images so positively stimulating.
4. What age do you feel right now and why?
I feel my age (34). hahaha. Still full of energy but wiser. People are so afraid of getting older, they don't realize that getting older is a privilege too many people don't have the chance to experience.
5. What other jobs have you had besides being an artist? What would you be doing if you weren't an artist?
I had many careers: cleaning lady, nanny, makeup artist, flight attendant, and many corporate jobs in marketing and advertising. If I wasn't an artist...wonder woman. I would be wonder woman.
6. You recently got scammed by an art gallery. How has that experience influenced you and your work?
That was a very sad time, still is to be honest. I am still getting feedback from collectors not receiving works. It is truly upsetting. To be honest it really bummed me out, just made me really disappointed in people. I'm still bouncing back from the grumpiness....
7. What do you do to unwind?
Gym. I love lifting weights. I hit the gym for an hour at least 5 times a week. It's how I meditate.
8. What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Stick to what you're good at - My mom forcing me to go to art school instead of a science program. hahaha
9. How long does it take you to complete a piece? Do you start one piece and finish it, or do you have multiple pieces on the go at the same time?
I work on one piece at a time. It can take me anywhere from 10 to 40 hours. I work alla prima [editor's note: alla prima is a painting process that puts layers and layers of wet oil paint on previous layers of wet oil paint. It's sometimes known as "wet on wet".] so ideally I want to get a piece done in one sitting, or within a few days.
10. How do you counteract a creative block?
Often I try to keep working and sketching. Most of the work made during an artist block will end up in the garbage but it pushes you to keep working and overcome it. Sometimes I feel it is liberating to experiment in another medium just for fun as well.
11. What are you proud of?
My fighting spirit (I'm really just very stubborn)
12. Why do you think that the Pop Art Movement has been so slow in Canada?
I am not sure actually, it seems that we are slow adaptors when it comes to Art. Or maybe we are not as engulfed into pop culture and mediums as our southern neighbour so we do not find the irony of pop art satisfying?
13. As a Canadian you've actually heard of Fudgee-Os. So, which do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-o cookies, or perhaps another cookie instead?
hahaha excellent questions. I do like Oreos a lot. A few years ago I went through a vegan phase and Oreos were such an amazing treat. However, Americans are going crazy with all the flavours; just stick to the original stuff. I also REALLY enjoy Pop-Tarts. The peanut butter ones. nom nom nom.
Alex Garant has recently started a Patreon account which allows you to support the artist monthly and get amazing giveaways and stay connected with her. I strongly recommend you check it out as well as her website and all her other social media accounts.