Young, creative North Fork minds: Alexa Suess

Alexa Suess. (Credit: courtesy photo)

Alexa Suess. (Credit: courtesy photo)

Whether it’s from behind a computer screen or working with her hands, Greenport native Alexa Suess can usually be found doing something creative.

Now the proud owner of two businesses, Suess has turned her passion for art into a thriving career. She operates her design business, Points East Design, out of Greenport and Brooklyn and has completed work for a variety of local businesses. Her jewelry line, Common Ground, is stocked in stores in Greenport, Sag Harbor, Brooklyn and Maine.

Suess has served as the visual director for designer Jessie Elliot’s clothing line, White Wash, for three years and enjoys doing woodworking at Greenport’s Weathered Barn. She also designed the logo for fellow young, creative North Forker Andrew Semon’s custom skateboard company, Jaw Breaker Skateboards.

While Suess likes working with a variety of media, she has found that her favorite mediums are graphic design and silversmithing.

We sat down with Suess to learn more about her blooming businesses and artistic drive.

A ring from Suess' Common Ground line. (Credit: Alexa Suess, courtesy)

A ring from Suess’ Common Ground line. (Credit: Alexa Suess, courtesy)

Q: What piqued your interest in art?

A: I don’t remember a beginning. Somebody said I was born with a crayon in my hand.

Q: How did you decide what mediums were the best fit for you?

A: I’ve bounced between so many mediums in my life. I still [don’t think] I’ll ever find a medium. I’m lucky to love so many and flesh out my ideas in metal and in wood. I’ve taken a liking to mediums that aren’t easy to work with, like metal, because it’s challenging. It’s rewarding to be able to move something that’s so absolutely concrete.

Q: How did you learn to craft objects from silver?

A: I started playing around with metal about two years ago. I’d always been interested but never quite knew how to get started. I started working and then went back to The New School and took some short-term classes on metal working to solidify what I’d taught myself.

A necklace made of stingray hide and sterling silver from Suess' Common Ground line.

A necklace made of stingray hide and sterling silver from Suess’ Common Ground line.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve crafted?

A: I’ve been slightly obsessed with stingray hide. It looks like caviar;­ it’s pebbly and glossy. I don’t see a lot of people using it. I love oxidized silver. I love everything imperfect. It’s like the idea of “wabi-sabi,” a Japanese philosophy that embraces imperfections.

Q: What area of graphic design most interests you (logos, websites, product packaging, etc.)?

A: I love branding, taking hundreds of ideas and hundreds of concepts and condensing them. It gives me the opportunity to get to know the person behind the brand and what works for them and their customer. I love web design and interactive design and printing is always fun.

Q: Are there any local businesses you’ve done work for that you’re particularly proud of?

A: I’ve enjoyed doing product packaging for Lucharitos’ new line of salsas. Marc [LaMaina, the owner] is great to work with. I’ve also done work for the Weathered Barn, One Love, Blue Ruth, Metal Monk and Little Creek Oysters.

The Little Creek Oysters logo was designed by Points East Design.

The Little Creek Oysters logo was designed by Points East Design.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

A: I’m so happy where I am right now, but I’m always looking to push myself further. I think you can either go through the sharp, short-­term pains of growth or endure the dull pain of not knowing what you’re capable of. The second option is really frightening to me.

Check out Alexa’s design company here and her jewelry line here.