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Alexa Parashos’ psychedelic illustrations are so mesmerizing, we had to share. Her intricate patterns of nature and lines hide a darker purpose. Read on to discover her inspirations:

What got you into illustration? Is it a career or for fun?
I wish it were my career! I use illustration as a form of therapy. I’ve always been expressive and creative but, it was hard to do anything except sit when I went through a bout of heavy depression. Drawing required little physical effort and the mental release it gave me was blissful.

Describe your tools and your creative process.
Tools… Pen, paper and my magic mind. I quite simply, let it flow… whatever I’m feeling I just let it all out through patterns. A lot of the originals have teardrops, smudges and little imperfections because of where I was mentally at the time.

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What inspires your patterns?
Music, drugs, love and pain. Music makes me hear patterns, drugs make me see patterns, love and pain make me feel overwhelmed with emotion – a pattern of highs and lows.

Where do you create your work? What time of day do you work?
Anytime I’ve got to sit for a long period of time. I usually travel with my sketch book and pens so, airplanes are a great place to just vibe out on music and draw. As for time of day, nothing too specific, it’s more about state of mind.

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What do you think of your peers in the illustrating world?
A lot of art I see right now is more conceptual then actual talent. A friend was explaining a piece to me that I couldn’t quite grasp. He proclaimed after that “art isn’t necessarily about talent it’s just who thought of it first”. On some level I guess I agree but, if it looks like my 10-year-old cousin could do it then I am not inspired.

Who is your favorite artist? What project, if any, would you create with him/her?
In relation to the last question there are many artists totally killing the game right now. Huge amounts of admiration go to people like Kelsey Brooks, Jen Stark and Theresa Baxter (whom I believe was in your last issue… side note she also drew me), they keep it fresh and interesting, every new piece I see I’m just all around wow-ed, conceptually, artistically, in every way. I’d really love to design some trippy wallpaper or gift wrap with Jen Stark, I think some dripping rainbow paisley walls would be really cool.

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What do you hope to accomplish with your work? 
I think there is a ton of pressure to be recognized for your work these days, because of social media and the constant need for validation from the masses. I think a lot of the time that’s where people who are less talented but better at marketing become recognized as great artists. In reality art is a very private, personal and vulnerable thing for most people.

I’ve already accomplished a lot of spiritual and mental healing through my illustrations and that’s all I’ll ever set out to do. However, it is really cool to see your art being admired by other people because you know you resonate with them on some level, like maybe they can feel for a moment what I’m trying to convey.

Any advice for aspiring artists?
A time of sadness and degradation in life is just on the precipice of your great rebirth. Don’t destruct, create.

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