Interview with Foxine Jay 04/27/2020
Born and raised in Portland, Maine and a transplant to San Diego to attend SDSU in 2006, Alex has been here ever since. Visually she creates under the name Foxine Jay. She creates bright and surreal double exposure images from collage to painting, and even molding little clay sculptures that are featured on some of her paintings. Alex is also a musician. She has been playing in San Diego bands since 2008. In her first band, an all-girl riot-grrrl band called Mermaid, Alex was the drummer. After some exploration, she then moved on to writing and producing her own music under the name: ALX.
What projects are you currently working on? Recently I have started a mental health podcast called Trauma Mama: discussion, information, and stories about trauma. What it is, how it happens, how it affects your brain and behaviors, and how to deal with it with mindfulness and dialectical behavioral therapy skills.
Currently, I am working on:
●Episode 6 of my mental health podcast Trauma Mama
●I got a new piece of canvas to paint (thinking a David Bowie-inspired piece)
●Recording vocals on my solo musical project, ALX
●Filming and editing a music video for my song “Mercury”
●Slowly but surely, writing pages for a memoir/novel I’m trying to pen
●Been photographing some images of the changes around us, such as empty shelves and faces covered in masks.
Things I’ve completed:
●Two digital doodles that capture the quarantine mood (I feel like shit raisin bran, and ride the wave white claw)
●A few small watercolors, including a Bold and Brash (From Sponge bob)
●Episode 5 of my podcast, Coping with COVID: Distress Tolerance Skills
●Wrote a blog with tips for working from home, since I’ve been working from home for 6 years!
●Tie-dyed some old shirts and a pair of sweat pants
●Several silly TikTok vids including a Savage Carol Baskin dance.
How has the pandemic affected or shifted your practice? It’s made me feel like I should have more time to create but with an intense workload due to this pandemic chaos and a related uptick in my general anxiety and depression, I’ve found my productivity hasn’t really increased. I find that I am so drained from work stress that I have to decompress after work for an hour or two before I can get up to be productive. I’m trying to not be too hard on myself about productivity and have been trying to make sure each aspect of my health gets some love: physical, emotional, and mental. So if I’m not creating, maybe I’m working out at home, cooking, doing an online mental health retreat, reading, or connecting with loved ones virtually. I have been able to maintain and work a little bit on projects each night after work. I was hoping to put together another themed art show (like Cheetos Fest**) but that has been put on hold until it’s safe.
**Alex has put on music and art shows throughout the years, including a collaborative series of shows, called Femme Forme, a platform designed to showcase female-identifying artists. More recently, last November, she curated Cheetos Fest! A Cheetosthemed art show that was officially sponsored by Cheetos. The show raised $560 that was donated to Feeding San Diego.
What has your journey been like as an artist? I started making art when I was a young girl; painting, collaging and crafting with my mom and grandmother (they are both such talented artists!). Then as a young adult living on my own on the west coast, I really realized how much joy creating brings me. I found myself not wanting to go out and party or hang as much as others, and instead stay home to make things or work on music. I love themes and series and continuously grow and develop new ones when something special catches my eyes. My largest and longest series is called Foxine Jean, a collection of photos of my feet (typically in shoes) that spans over a decade which started after I shattered some toes in my foot that required surgery.
When this lockdown first started, I turned my dining room into a “Happiness Corner” I set up my table with art supplies and crafts, laid out my yoga mat and meditation pillow, and put my weights and work out stuff there too. I put a big plant on the table because plants make me happy! Having this all setup and ready to go has been very helpful. At any moment throughout the day, I can step in there and do some self-care or creating. I love it and will probably keep it this way!
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming or rising artists? Curate a space or area of your home where you can get in the zone and create. Sometimes, the setup and getting ready process takes away from the energy and motivation to create, but if you’re able to just sit down and do it, all of your energy can go towards your projects! Also, be easy on yourself. If you’re like me, you’re feeling like you still aren’t doing all the things you want to, but it’s okay! Just focus on what you’re working on today (even if it’s just relaxing and you’re not working on something) and let that be enough. If you want to put a project down and pivot to a new one, go for it! There are no rules, follow your natural flow. For me, creating art and music is my escape and something that’s very cathartic, therefore I try not to put pressure on myself too.
Follow Foxine on Instagram: @foxinejay