Recently, we caught up with quirky card designer, Alex Lekis. Alex is the owner (and creative genius) behind Orange Forest card designs; a wonderfully cute and quirky range of greeting cards for every occasion! She is currently in her final year at UniSA studying physiotherapy, and a born and bred Adelaide girl. Describing herself as a student and part-time doodler, serial pun-maker and eternal sun-chaser, Alex is a lover of furry house pets, cheesy grins, bangin’ gingers and summer fruit.
As some of Orange Forest's biggest fans, we had to ask her... What got you started?
I’ve always loved drawing and would often find myself sipping tea, sketching on random scraps of paper and then throwing them into the corner of my bedroom. At the start of this year I decided to stop watching so many Arrested Development reruns in my down-time and actually do something productive with the growing, teetering tower of goofy drawings.
Do you have a creative process or template when designing your cards?
There’s no real ‘process’ but there is definitely a style and theme which is common throughout all of my designs. A large number of them feature sassy cats and flirtatious fruit ‘n’ veg (I honestly don’t know why…I was probably an effervescent eggplant in my previous life).
What is your favourite Orange Forest card design?
The first design which I ever officially drew with the intent of creating a greeting card was of a skinny, Dracula-esque fella in a sharp black suit with big ears stating ‘I hear it’s your birthday’. To this day his crooked smile and seedy as hell mo’ still make me laugh.
Do you think the Adelaide creative scene is a good place for people such as yourself to distribute and get yourselves out there?
Whilst it may lack the hustle and bustle of a big and booming city, Adelaide’s quaint and slower-paced grace definitely allows creative souls to confidently share their work whilst still appreciating the art and products of others. There are tons of local supportive stockists within the city and suburbia as well as regular markets providing places for Adelaide creatives to share their work and build a name for themselves without tremendous fear of being over-looked or critisised.
Tell us… what is your favourite place in Adelaide to hang out?
I’m going to have to go with Rundle Street’s East End. The East End has a bunch of great cafes, restaurants, shops and bars providing entertainment and a phenomenal atmosphere all year long.
What would be a typical day in the life of Alex?
As much as I would love to say that each day is a new adventure it really isn’t. Like, At all. However, no matter what I’m doing – whether it be trudging off to university or to my part-time café job – I’ll always try to look at the brighter side of life, noticing the beauty in the imperfections which surround us and seeing the funny side to most of the sticky situations which I find myself in. The ordinary things in life are what inspire me the most when creating new designs.
Cats or Dogs?
I’m going to have to go with cats on this one. Their sultry, self-importance coupled with their don’t-give-a-shit attitude makes me love and envy them in equal amounts.
What has Orange Forest got planned next?!
Stickers? T-shirts? Who knows? but I’m feeling something to do with dinosaurs. I’m not sure yet but you might be seeing a few prehistoric folk popping up.
What advice can you give to up and coming Adelaide creatives?
Anybody can see that I am not the greatest artist on the planet but, God damn, I love my drawings of crooked teeth and misshapen eyes…so I stuck with it! My advice is to experiment a little but always stay true to yourself, create what you want to create and have fun doing it.