The Illustrator Interviews: Alexis Dirks

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SOPHIE MACKINTOSH: Surreal and hazy, Alexis’s work is like stepping into a dream – one of mountain ranges and cut-up collages and texture that makes you want to touch the page. Working with everything from found objects to photography, her work is powerful and evocative. She received her MFA from the Glasgow School of Art and has worked with Canadian magazines Canadian Dimensions and The Manitoban.

How long have you been illustrating?

I started doing some illustration work in my undergrad in Winnipeg in 2006, but took a bit of a break from it since moving to Glasgow to do my MFA.

What attracted you to the idea of working on a book cover?

I love a great book cover! I like books that are beautiful objects as well as a good story or piece of writing. So, the prospect of making an interesting cover that would also subtly reflect the themes and contents of the story was a nice challenge for me.

 Sum up your aesthetic in 3 words:

 Compulsive landscape deconstruction.

 If you were an artistic medium, what would you be?

 Re-imaged imagery.

Tell us about your creative workspace:

My workspace is underneath a loft in my living room. There is a big wood table and some plants and a bookcase that I keep all my old National Geographics on, and other collections of books I use for my work. It’s nice to work from home on some projects, as it’s much warmer than some of the studios I’ve had during a winter in Glasgow!

And finally, describe your perfect map:

My favorite kinds of maps are old illustrated topographical atlases of mountain ranges.  I love all the linear details and the amazing textural quality of those maps, and the fact that they describe the whole geological make-up of an area – not just the route from destination to destination.

Check out Alexis’s blog at



  1. [...] we finally narrowed it down to five finalists; Levi Bunyan, Emily Chappell, Joanna Lisowiec, Alexis Dirks and Catherine Chialton. Each illustrator/artist/graphic designer then submitted draft design ideas [...]