Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Mercer Cluster
Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

Mercer Artist: Alex Harper, Visual Artist

“People thought I was weird [in high school] because I made art. So, I made more.”

Although Alex Harper’s high school classmates questioned his motives, nothing stopped him from committing to his passions: drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, graphic design, and practically every other form of art.

As a fledgling artist, Harper gained an interest in photography and music from his parents and later learned how to play the drums and guitar. These, however, were only the first of his self-taught talents.

Through a tumultuous childhood featuring two divorces, financial instability and bullies, Harper used art as an outlet whenever he could. He taught himself the principles of graphic design and interned at his school’s art department, where he developed his own uniquely eccentric t-shirt designs and posters.

Harper’s high school peers were confused as to why someone would “waste” so much time making art and labeled him a “weirdo” because he did. Harper shrugged the insults off and instead used them as fuel for his artwork, which incorporates surreal touches in a similar style to Rene Magritte. Yet, his true inspiration lies in the enjoyment and adversity of life.

“Life happens and art is a reaction to it,” Harper said.

By selling his art and applying for scholarships, the freelance artist is paying his way through college. Though Harper has developed passion and skill as an artist, he does not plan to pursue a full-time career in this field. He said that due to the financial burdens of his childhood, he would rather invest time and money in a career with a stronger financial return, such as computer science.

“We’re never not going to have technology,” he said. “We’re always going to be making technological advances.”

Harper said that he doesn’t need a degree in art to confirm that he is an artist because he has worked with many mediums of art for years. If money wasn’t in question, Harper said he believes that he would not be limited by job prospects, but he affirmed that he will continue to pursue a degree in computer science. Because the field is so broad, Harper will be able to incorporate art in his work.

“With a portfolio in graphic design and a degree in computer science, I can pretty much do anything,” he said.

To view more of Harper’s work, visit his Facebook page or


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2021 The Mercer Cluster, Mercer University