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Alex Wilks

18th April 2024

Photography, Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Photographer assistant: Sian Davies

From drawing at such a young age as a hobby to now doing it as a passion.  Alex Wilks talks to us about his amazing drawings from animals to superheroes to family and friends.

Hi Alex. Thanks for talking to us today about your work. When did you know you had a passion for drawing?

I’ve always enjoyed drawing even from an early age. I remember when I was younger, I loved just looking at a picture and trying to copy it as accurately as possible. I have memories of going to the Natural History Museum because I was a massive Dinosaur fan, and I remember sitting there with a drawing pad and just sketching all the individual skeletons. My Grandad was very good at art as well and I remember being impressed with the quality of his drawings. He would draw cityscapes and towns, but also drew animals using watercolours. I remember he drew me a picture of a Dinosaur and I recall just being in awe of how well he drew it. That really inspired me and made me want to become as good as he was.

Your work is incredible from the detail in your work making it look so real. How did you make it look so realistic?

I think it’s a process and I remember hearing this quote “You can’t pull on a blade of grass and expect it to grow quicker.” You have to learn to take your time to develop your skills before you can get to the stage where you feel as if your work is detailed and looks accurate against the reference you’re working from. You have to go through those drawings that you are not particularly pleased with because in those moments you’re able to learn what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve completed that drawing, you can learn from it and take it into the next one. With every drawing you do, your eye for detail just develops a bit more. There have been drawings that I’ve done where, at the time, I’ve thought that it looks great, but then a few months later down the line, I’ve thought that it doesn’t quite look right. So just trust the process and keep practising. 

What was your favorite piece of art you made?

It’s hard to choose one exactly but one that I’m very proud of is the drawing of Black Panther that I did in 2019. That was the first one where I thought I could produce a piece of work that people would find realistic. 

You like to draw a lot of superheroes. Has there been a time when you had to challenge yourself to try something different?

Yes! What I usually like to draw are things that are trending in the pop culture world. For example, in 2019, The Avengers film was released so I wanted to draw characters from that. Then the Mandalorian came out later on in that year, so drew Baby Yoda etc. There have been some pieces of work that I’ve tried to challenge myself with for different reasons. For example, each year, I take part in a secret art sale for a charity that looks to protect the environment. The reason why it’s a secret is because you don’t find out who the artist is until you’ve bought it. So I usually like to draw animals for the sale as they’re a crucial part of the environment.

The hardest drawing I did was of a friend of mine who passed away at the age of twenty-seven. I wanted to draw a picture of him for his parents which was massively challenging because I really had to make sure the drawing looked like him. I wanted to ensure that his family would get a feeling of happiness from receiving it during a difficult time. It was very hard to not allow my emotions to impact the quality of the drawing, but I managed to complete it and the family were very grateful which I was pleased with.

Other than being an amazing artist. You’re also a supporting artist/ extra where you’ve appeared in shows such as Heartstopper and Extraordinary! What was that like filming on these two shows? And is there a dream role you would like to try?

It was awesome! It’s a lot of fun being on set because you have the opportunity to learn about the magic and secrets that happen behind each show and how they’re put together. You also get to meet some really interesting people from all walks of life. But yeah, it feels cool to be a part of the legacy of each show. If there was a dream movie to appear in, it would definitely have to be Star Wars.

Lastly, if you had the opportunity to ReVamp anything in the world. What would it be and why?

I’d say for people to be kinder and treat people with more respect rather than looking to criticise them at every opportunity. It feels like lots of people enjoy putting people, or their accomplishments, down. Or they enjoy judging people quickly based on an error or poor decision they’ve made in their life. Everyone is capable of making poor decisions from time to time, so rather than try to punish them for it, be understanding and help them to get through it.

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