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Meet Alexandria Risby of Foxy Buddha in Mid City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandria Risby.

Alexandria, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As long as I can remember, I have had a passion for art. The act of being creative has always brought me joy and made me feel safe during hard times. Growing up, I suffered with anxiety, and making art was an outlet that kept me focused and connected with myself. What has really led me to become the artist that I am today, were the amazing mentors that I’ve come across who constantly reassured me to follow my passion. Therefore, I strive to teach and inspire others to tap into their creative energy and show that art can also be healing.

I was born in Oakland and raised by my mother who is a single parent here in Los Angeles. Growing up an only child and also being shy and reserved, it was really hard to connect with others. In addition, I was traveling between Oakland and Los Angeles due to custody battles between my parents, and always getting transferred to different schools. I struggled with stability which led me to preoccupy myself with art, something that I felt would be consistent in my life. I never took art classes growing up, but I always carried my sketchbook around and practiced. I was lucky to come across mentors who were working artists themselves, many of them who took me under their wings and taught me valuable lessons.

One of the biggest stepping stones was being chosen to work for the Cultural Affairs Department. I helped redesign a mural at the Central Avenue Jazz Park under the assistance of Robin Strayhorn, a muralist in LA County. Working with Robin, and having the opening ceremony of the mural, was the catalyst that made me want to pursue my art dream even more. After that, I began growing more confident with showing my art to the public. I started my social media platform, created my first website and started selling prints while hosting my first group art show. I knew that in order to get to the place I wanted to be, I needed to take art classes and dive deeper into learning more fine art skills. During my time at Santa Monica College, I took some of the hardest classes that really made me think about whether art was something I wanted to pursue as a career.

Has it been a smooth road?
As soon as I felt I had started overcoming one problem in my life, I was immediately presented with another, whether it was financial, family, or relationships. In 2019, I had a bad breakup and family conflicts at home. I began feeling alienated and disconnected. I started to create one of my largest collages and completed it in less than a week, I titled it “Cut Connection.” It was like an emotional reaction to the stress that I was going through at that time. I look back at some of my old artwork and remember all the things that happened during that period in my life. Creating is truly my personal therapy.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Foxy Buddha – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My work incorporates many different art styles, but a common theme throughout most of my pieces exhibits a unique and intersectional approach to indeginous African design and elements from the Rococo period. One example of this is called, “Golden Child.” This is an archaic African sculpture, similar to a Venus of Willendorf, in which she is surrounded by pearls, jewels, and a bonnet with pink ribbons. Furthermore, I plan on starting a YouTube which will include fun time lapses and walk-throughs of my creative process. Also, I will have a Patreon page, to connect on a deeper level with my audience through monthly subscriptions.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is my home and there is always something fun to do here. The Art District in Downtown LA is so much fun to explore from Alameda street to Little Tokyo. Some of my favorite places are LACMA, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and little Ethiopia to enjoy vegan food.

Contact Info:

  • Email: arisby1@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @Foxy_Buddha

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Meet Downtown LA Series Sponsor:

Michelle FRECKLES Labelle: I am a writer. My inspiration when I write is my life. God gave me a complex life – mixed with pain & struggle, but he also added beauty, grace, & talents that I could use to improve my life and the life of others. I have 2 published books available for purchase on my website right now. One of the biggest ways to support me is to order my books. I am also available to perform my Spoken Word at events. People can email me at infodafreckledpoet@gmail.com to discuss fees. I have performed at dialogues between prominent public figures, such as Dr. Cornel West. I have also performed at hair shows, school events, business events, etc. People also pay me to create videos with myself vibing to their latest music.

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