When junior Alexa Correia entered Art 1 in her sophomore year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Visual Arts teacher Randee Lombard was immediately drawn to her. Most kids in Art 1 are just beginning to hone their artistic skills; however, Correia’s talent was apparent from the start.
“Her ability to draw with such advanced skill and talent, but she also adds this element of creativity and originality that’s all her own,” Lombard said. “She started sketching and drawing these figures that were interesting and she told me that they appear in her daydreams. I just thought that was very fascinating. And she was drawing in her sketches and I saw how advanced her skills are.”
Since she was two years old, all Correia did was draw. Her mother was a heavy source of encouragement —as a child, she was given professional sketch books instead of coloring books.
Correia embraced her artistic upbringing as she grew.
“My mom, she used to go to art school and everything, so she wanted an artist kid. As I was growing up, she would buy me art books. She pushed me to focus more on art as a future. She’d rather get me professional books, so I’ve just been working with those since I was little, and I’ve just come to like it,” Correia said.
Lombard helps Correia explore her creativity in the classroom. Instead of following the standard curriculum, Correia has full creative control. Her work is not judged based on criteria, but creativity.
In class, Correia is allowed to draw freely, exploring the depths of her daily inspirations— Lombard guiding her she improves and experiments.
“We’re working together on her ability and I’m just helping her improve on her own style and her work,” Lombard said.
Drawing isn’t simply an academic talent for Correia — she devotes exclusively all her free time to the arts.
Correia finds inspiration from everywhere, including her own thoughts. Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, she is always creating something new. Oftentimes, she will see a figure in a daydream and base her new creation off of it. Correia also enjoys drawing psychological art which are investigative and expressive. Narrow-faced, wide-eyed figures fill her pages.
“I really enjoy psychology,” Correia said. A lot of things I’ll see in my daydreams, I’ll just draw.”
It takes Correia minutes to construct a detailed sketch.
Correia’s artistic process is rather instant. According to her artist biography, she never sketches first, as all her works come to her in the moment. Correia is inspired mainly by artists of a modern style, such as Adam Riches. His brooding sketches inspired Correia to create her own. Correia favors charcoal as a medium for drawing; it’s varying shades help her to illustrate her many visions.
“I’m inspired by Adam Riches, he does a lot of pen squiggles, and they’re very eerie,” Correia said. “I enjoy that you can kind of tell what it is, but you also make up what it is. @Designdame does a lot of optical illusions on her own body, and I think that’s really interesting.”
As well as modern contemporary artists, Correia also appreciates surrealist Salvador Dali, specifically his sketches.
“Salvador Dali is an artist that I enjoy from the past,” Correia said. “I like to make people confused. I like to make people feel like the more you look at it, the more you find. It’s just fun and I like fun things.”
Correia has numerous plans for the future, with the majority of them revolving around art. She plans on taking commissions from patrons. Correia also plans on painting murals.
“I’m going to paint my whole wall in my room,” Correia said. “I’m going to be doing a mural in Ms. Briggs class, and I’m going to be entering competitions.”