I’m an artist living in London. I’m British but I think what has mostly shaped me is being in an international city. Being around people is incredibly exciting and can open your eyes to the many ways people live. Cities can be tough places, however, and I think they suck you in. They make you crave better things, giving you constant drive and always keeping you in motion.
We meet many people on our journey and I believe it’s important we don’t let one single person mold us; it’s only for us to decide how much we are influenced by others. It may sound indulgent, but I think I’m the one who has shaped myself most. We’re often shaped by our time in solitude, more than with other people. Our individual identities can only really come from the conversations we have with ourselves.
In my mid-twenties, I had hit rock bottom and I was so lost. I had studied art and around this time I started to draw nudes, as my own way of healing some negative attitudes towards my own body. Slowly, things took off and I am very grateful that my career and life is where it is. I’ve struggled with various forms of depression and mental health issues in the past and, even in my bleakest moments, drawing has kept me content. It’s like my mind goes quiet, but it’s still working and very much alive.
Now I’m working on letting go of the past and the guilt that surrounds it. The past can hold us back it we allow it. And in its place, I’m calling in love. But not the usual or expected kind, rather seeing and feeling the love of life.
As an artist, I would describe myself as spontaneous; constantly moving through emotions. I think my work reflects this. It seeks to be simple, which is something I’m always craving. Drawing is my way of working through my emotional language, my own form of communication. The nudity speaks to the part of me wanting to see myself as free from social pressures and living my most authentic self.
Over time, my work has become more and more personal. I notice that, whenever I remove my experience from the core of the work, my drawings lack something essential. Ultimately, my practice has evolved as I do. Self work is as much a part of the creative process as anything. Sometimes I draw well; sometimes I can’t, which is super frustrating. Everything starts with drawing, though, and I see it as a continual process.
My beauty rituals are super simple: just a toner and oil or serum. I have super sensitive skin, so avoid too much water or unnatural ingredients in products. I’ll use a couple of masks once a week and a gentle exfoliant. My skin is best when I touch it least. Oh, but I do love an ice roller in the morning—perfect for de-puffing post-sleep and just so nice as a morning ritual.
I feel most beautiful when I have moved my body and I feel in it, authentically. When I truly feel embodiment. And I feel most alive in the sun. That’s where I hope to be ten years from now; on an island in the sun, spending the day between painting and swimming. But who knows what may happen? I just know it’s what I want now.
LESSE is now available in the U.K. at Liberty London and through other select retailers.
ALEXANDRIA COE featured with the RITUAL SERUM and BIOACTIVE MASK, photographed by THEA LØVSTAD.