Are we born with creativity or is creativity cultivated within us? Although the debate of nature versus nurture is better off in a psychology paper, the story of Ioana Alexandrescu just might shed some light on that question anyway. With a dressmaking grandmother and a museum-loving mother, the origin of Alexandrescu’s inclination for the arts is clear. However, she made her first painting at just three or four years old, and thus she unwittingly began building her artistic portfolio before many outside influences came along. From painting, to sculpting, and ultimately to photography, there’s no question that, no matter how it started, Alexandrescu’s life is full of color, style, and beauty.
Ioana Alexandrescu’s creative energy is partially influenced by her upbringing. She was born in Romania and lived there for several years, but her family later moved to Paris, France, where they stayed almost until she finished high school. Not only did she get to live in the fashion capital of the world, she remembers the walls of her grandmother’s home being lined with sewing machines. It’s no wonder she developed an interest in clothing design.
Another common thread in her childhood was art museums. Over and over again her mother forced her to visit the same museums, a pastime that Alexandrescu didn’t appreciate at the time but felt grateful for later on in life when those same paintings reappeared in art history classes at the University of Rhode Island (URI).
Pursuing a fine arts degree, her love of the arts carried into her young adulthood. While attending URI, she made time for painting and sculpting, but she focused her efforts on her main passion, photography. Proving to herself how much passion she had for her artwork, Alexandrescu often worked on projects for over 12 hours in the prison-like, windowless fine arts building. “I’d lose complete track of time,” she says. Her defining moments happened junior year when she felt totally driven and self-inspired to create.
Upon graduation, her drive to seek out the creative led her back to Paris, where she worked as an assistant and production manager. Then, she moved to New York City to pursue clothing design. However, she struggled for six months because there was a lot of competition with the applicants that attended the Parsons School of Design. In order to pay the bills, she manufactured jewelry until finally landing a job designing sweaters for Bloomingdales. Yet deep down, she still felt like it wasn’t creative enough.
In the back of her mind, Alexandrescu had an idea of what she wanted to do but went with the flow. She kept it open until she was ready to commit to the one thing that sparked the most joy, photography. Therefore, after a short time working as an executive assistant for a private equity firm, she quit to pursue photography one hundred percent.
Now, her mother continues to encourage Alexandrescu’s creative energy in that she inspires her to give back to the community. Her mother started a foundation that empowers and educates the people of Ghana to recycle. The first recycling plant opened up on November 30, 2018. Alexandrescu also wants to give back because she received tremendous support after her daughter was born prematurely. She cares deeply about the Milford Rotary and the Bethel Shelter, where she used to serve lunch and dinner and hopes to do so again soon.
Alexandrescu is living proof that no matter where you are in the world, your talent and passion will ultimately lead to personal success. Whether her artistic endeavors were inspired by her family, instilled in her by her surroundings, or simply came from her heart, Ioana Alexandrescu’s creative spirit reflects itself in her work and even outside of it. Traveling to seek out new street art or staying close to home with her husband, daughter, and photography business, The Still Lyfe, Alexandrescu is a true Milford artist. She fits right in with the city whose art has heart, and we should be glad she chose to settle here.