I’m Alexshe/they, a graphic designer, artist, and educator in Chicago.



I specialize in editorial design, brand identities, and illustration for print, digital, and built spaces. Parallel to my independent practice, I lead the publishing imprint of a contemporary art gallery. (What can I say? I love what I do.)

Design is a process of discovery, for everyone involved. Research and collaborative conversations drive my approach to projects. Synthesizing germane perspectives and ideas, I build out playful, expressive concepts. The result is design that is as diligently crafted as it is empathetic and insightful.

I consider design a map to other viewpoints, other worlds. I’m especially drawn to projects that tell a meaningful story, and I constantly investigate story as a tactile experience that opens eyes, bridges people, and fosters understanding.

My self-initiated projects explore intersections of design, poetry, and comics.

tenderly, is the moniker of my self-publishing practice. Using poetic and iterative text and image, visual structures of comics, and conceptually driven forms, I tell pared-down stories that interrogate personal and primordial knowledge. In them, readers navigate the liminal space between figurative and abstract, express and unspoken, and may trace multiple avenues toward interpretation.

Like knots that resist unravelling, my books complicate how we understand the self, with its hidden parts and possibilities; our connections with others; and our relationship with reality. Along these themes, I’ve explored myth-making, magic, kinds of distance, and the role of language in intimacy.

My work has been in such fairs as the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, LA Art Book Fair, and Chicago Art Book Fair, and is collected in the Joan Flasch Artist’s Book Collection, zine and comics collections at the University of Chicago, MassArt, and MICA, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, among others.

My teaching focuses on conceptually driven design, especially in storytelling.

I teach courses on design fundamentals and visual narrative at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I received an MFA in Visual Communication Design. Really, I’ve always loved stories—I have a BA in English literature from the University of Chicago.

In teaching, I emphasize varied modes of research and critical reading to arrive at new perspectives and deeper understandings; translating results into nuanced ideas; iterating on elements of design to experiment and to refine; and exploring different ways that audiences interact with content.

My areas of interest include poetry comics, graphic design as a type of magic, constraint-based creative writing, and the special relationship of materiality, structure, and content in artist’s books. I’m fascinated, too, by immersive narratives and participatory reading experiences.

I’m happy to give talks and workshops, especially on design and comics. Just write me and share your ideas.



Good things begin with a message.


Contact

For all inquiries and opportunities, please tell me a bit about yourself and what you have in mind, including a rough timeline if you have one.

I’ll get back to you soon.

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Output

Publications
Branding & Identity
Illustration
Print Design
Website Design
Advertising
Placemaking & Signage
Editing


Experience

Over the past decade, folks I’ve worked with include
Atlanta University Center-wide Symphony Orchestra
Clark Atlanta University Art Museum
Flaten Art Museum
Zuckerman Museum of Art
Iceberg Projects
Filter Photo Festival
Third Coast International Festival
Varca, a Bridal Atelier
Rescue Press
Chicago Tribune
Quiltfolk
as well as artists, creatives, and writers

Further Work

tenderly,




Thank you for reading.
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