It's always amazing to witness the incredible talent and creativity on Instagram and Alexy Prefontaine (@aeforia) is one of those talented creatives that we genuinely admire. His imaginative digital artwork is consistently surreal and stunning. Blending, rotating, adding shapes, objects and fantastic colors are all things that Alexy excels at and all things that keep us coming back to witness more of it. We really enjoyed typing back and forth with Alexy and so we compiled it all for you here!
My name is Alexy and I am from Montreal, Canada.
Basically, I am a 20 year old guy who plays the keys in an alternative rock band named Recovery and who also has a passion for digital art, design and photography.
I recently realized that we should always follow our dreams and our hearts. Yeah, it might sound a bit cliché, but I decided a few months ago to leave engineering and shift towards graphic design. I then applied to Concordia University’s Design Major and I got accepted! I am so proud and happy. I just can’t wait to begin this new journey.
To be honest, I think that the idea of undertaking this path would have never come to my mind if I hadn’t downloaded mobile apps like Mextures and many others just a year ago. Moreover, I never would have thought that I’d get the chance to be featured and interviewed by Mextures. To realize that my progression from doing simple mobile edits to more complex Photoshop creations has brought me to this position and the fact that people seem to enjoy my work brings me much pride and joy!
What was it that first attracted you to creating art with your phone?
I first started creating art on my phone because I wanted to create some small artwork for my band. Just for fun. As far as I can remember, the first two apps that I bought were Fragment and Font Candy!
Then I realized that I quite enjoyed creating art on my phone. A few weeks passed by and I bought all of Pixite's apps and I also found Mextures. Creating art on my phone was very appealing to me because of how easy it was to get started with only a few apps. During that time I discovered a huge community of mobile editors on Instagram and it triggered something inside of me that made me strive to refine my style and my skills.
How has your style and skill developed over time as you’ve shifted from working on your phone to working in Photoshop?
I'd say that because of my switch to Photoshop my style changed a lot. When I first started I'd casually use the overlays and elements that everyone else would use and it was perfect that way. By using apps I was able to learn and apply the basic notions of editing. I also did a lot of edits using circular frames a bit like @casualtyofcool did at the time.
Then my eyes got really tired (a phone screen is so tiny!) and I decided to work in Photoshop instead. No! I'm joking! It is one reason. But what pushed me to change my workflow was the idea of having full control of all the elements in my edits (layers) and producing higher quality art (resolution). I also found that some mobile apps would sometimes reduce the image's quality, so that was a huge drawback for me. Honestly, the only mobile app that I use in my process now is Mextures for adding awesome tones to my edits and photos!
Now, I'd say that my style is more focused on creating surrealistic landscapes and adding people into them. I want to create little worlds that I can escape into and I hope people can experience that same feeling with my art! I also love to edit portraits in the style of my #PaintStrokePortraits.
Finally, I started photography a little while ago and it surely has influenced my style. I gradually try to incorporate my own photos in to my art in order to add more authenticity to it.
Talk to us a bit about your editing process.
My editing process is pretty simple. When I go to bed I tend to think a lot and many ideas will come out of nowhere so I write them on a sheet of paper that I always keep on my nightstand. During the following days, I try to find the images that I need. Then I spend a few hours on Photoshop to create the idea!
Sometimes, when I want to edit but have no idea, I browse through the photos that I have on my computer. I normally find one that inspires me and I start from that.
As for Mextures, I'd say that it is the final touch to (almost) all of my photos. Sometimes I feel like my edit lacks a specific mood so I use the app to solve that problem. Mextures is literally an encyclopedia of filters and the possibilities are endless which is why I often use it for color correction. The final image is always a hundred times better looking than what it was before being processed in Mextures.
What are some of the specific ways you utilize Mextures?
On desktop, I often use some of the premium overlay packs that I bought on Merek's website. I own the Radiance and Grunge packs. They are great for adding neat colors or textures to my edits. For the Radiance pack I almost always use the Lighten blend mode!
On my phone I don’t have any specific process! Depending on my needs I will try to create a customized formula for an edit. I usually try a ton of filters of different categories before I am satisfied but my favorites are certainly the Light Leaks and Grunge filters. Otherwise, most of the time I use some of my saved formulas because I really love them and I have a few for every mood that I want to give to my images.
Speaking of formulas, would you mind sharing a few?
AEFORIA 1 - WAMZWYN - This one is pretty simple. All of the work is done in the adjustments section. I created this one to add a darker tone to some of my edits and photos. It works better if the image you want to edit is not too dark in the beginning. Otherwise, you will barely see anything.
TT - BESYNME (Don’t mind the name. I often type random stuff when I save a formula!) - One of the formulas that I use the most. It will have a dramatic effect on your landscape shots by adding a cool grunge and a slightly desaturated look.
HOLOCENE - ALDXLPX - Probably my favorite of all. This is the perfect formula for a landscape where green is prominent. I don’t really know how I could describe the effect. It simply gives a very nice tone to the greens. Just try it. You won’t be disappointed.
AEFORIA 2 - GBQIUTL - Last but not least, this one is like HOLOCENE’s little brother. The final effect has less impact but it adds a nice washed out orange-ish tint to the image. Again, it works best on photos with a lot of green because it will accentuate it.
What has been your favorite image to create so far?
This is a very difficult question! I have at least 15 images that I love on my Instagram feed that I could call my ‘’favorites’’. If I have to make a choice though… I think that my favorite image I’ve created would be this one named ‘’Observing Beauty’’.
I recently started to play with perspective in my art. I really like to manipulate a regular point of view and change it in order to create a completely new and unreal scene! I’d say that this one is my favorite because of the feeling that I get while looking at this person - standing there, alone, in front of such a beautiful scene with all of those gigantic fishes. The connection I have with this piece is special to me. Therefore, it was so fun working on it!
What have you found inspires you to create more than anything else?
I have many inspirational sources. First of all, I must say that music is a great fuel for me when I have to use my creativity. When I work on Photoshop or other software, I always listen to music! I think that it influences my style and has a huge impact on my creations.
Also, nature inspires me a lot. When I have the chance to see an incredible landscape or an interesting point of view I always feel something special. It’s at this moment that I am inspired and usually I come up with an idea easily!
Who are the people that have most inspired your work?
Here’s a short (read long) list of people who have most inspired me: David Talley (@davidtalleyphoto), Flòra Borsi (@floraborsiofficial), Joel Robison (@joelrobison), Jerry Hong (@jerrythepopper), Mike Parisella (@slimesunday), Gabriel Levesque (@oskadesign), Josh Nall (@casualtyofcool), Brady Phillips (@bcphillips) and Mike Winkelmann (@beeple). I’m sure I could still go on!
Check out more of Alexy’s magic right here!