It's hard not to be inspired by Aleksandra Zee. This natural beauty is an independent woodworker from Oakland who builds intricate wooden pieces in dreamy desert colour palettes. She lives and breathes her art form and has truly found her place in the world.
I've been in awe of her work for quite a while now and felt inspired to incorporate her unique style of wood work with an illustration of the blonde haired beauty herself. Below are the images that I used for inspiration and I was also very lucky to chat to Miss Zee and you can read the exclusive interview below.
INTERVIEW WITH ALEKSANDRA ZEE
How and when did you first get involved in wood making?
I first got involved while working for Anthropologie making/building in-store displays. I did that for almost three years and though that process I learned and feel in love with working with wood.
How did you start your business? Did it begin as a side project or did you dive straight in to it?
It began as a side project while working for Anthro and it became more and more important to me that I pursue it full time. I quit my full time job, work side jobs and was in the studio every waking hour I could.
Who has influenced you the most and what inspires you?
What influences me th most is 60's and 70's woodwork, artwork, architecture and lifestyle. It surrounds my art and the way I decorate my home. I am also constantly inspired and pushed by so many of the amazing people around me that are running like hell after their dreams and making them happen.
How did you feel when you first started putting your work out in to the world? Were you scared/proud?
I was scared and proud. But more so I was making things because I needed to, that if I stopped then I would die, my should would dry up. So I made my work and put it out there because it was my duty to myself.
Do you ever doubt yourself and if you do, how do you deal with self doubt?
WE all doubt ourselves. That is what gives us that gentle push to go further, to step outside of what scares us and make something incredible.
How did you get your name out there?
Lots of meeting people, art shows, giving work away for free, putting work up for free in restaurants and clothing stores. Anything that would get my work noticed.
What is your motto/advice that you live by?
Never stop making. Even through the rough patches where inspiration is few and far between, keep making, those brilliant moments and new work is born though never stopping.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the year that I have lived though. I felt with major loss and a life flipped completely around, and I have found myself in the most success of my business, a home I live in alone that inspires me and a craft that keeps growing because I have not stopped pushing myself. This year has been about pushing though, not stopping, making though moments of dryness that opened up doors to the biggest inspirations I have yet come into. This year has been the biggest and most challenging blessing.
Any advice for people starting in their creative field?
Do not give up, do not let the doubt hold you back, be gentle with yourself and honor what your hands want to make.
Is there anything that you dislike/wish to change about the career that you're in?
Truly there isn't anything I dislike, the hard parts make me stronger.
What exciting things are in store for you and your business?
Bigger and Bigger commissions, new line of work, more textiles, and hopefully a mobile business.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted, what would it be?
Currently, hike half dome. Im craving some Yosemite.
Whats a random fact about yourself?
I have baskets and baskets full of polaroids, I love them.