Alex Pardee - Interview
No one, in my humble opinion has over come life's little trials and tribulations more so then Alex Pardee. Alex is a splash of all things artistic. A freelance illustrator by trade, Alex (who has created art work for the likes of The Used and In Flames) has poured every drop of blood, sweat and tears that he has into conceiving the gruesomely spoofy nightmarish monster's that lurk under the bed of his imagination. Today they can be found printed on t-shirts and in the pages of h... (continued)
No one, in my humble opinion has over come life's little trials and tribulations more so then Alex Pardee. Alex is a splash of all things artistic. A freelance illustrator by trade, Alex (who has created art work for the likes of The Used and In Flames) has poured every drop of blood, sweat and tears that he has into conceiving the gruesomely spoofy nightmarish monster's that lurk under the bed of his imagination. Today they can be found printed on t-shirts and in the pages of his very own greatly received dark comic book series. With a forthcoming WarnerBros motion picture already in production and nested comfortably under his belt, It seems that nowadays Alex has his finger in all of the pies that he could ever possibly ravish, and more power to him! But the taste of success was not always there to savor... After many futile attempts at seeking out professional help and months of hospitalization, Alex finally overcame his battle with severe depression and anxiety through his own form of form of spiritual therapy: art. His passion and love for drawing and painting spawned from his fascination with the grotesque images of Garbage Pail Kids and Tales from the Crypt comics. For years Alex used sketch drawing and graffiti art as an emotional vent. He started photocopying collections of his sketches and scattering them around the California bay Area. He began placing his homemade books between the pages of tattoo and porn magazines, in clinic waiting rooms, and in public bathrooms, in the hope that someone who recognize the talent he harvested. In 1999 Alex was convinced by other artists to reprint his books professionally. He began working long shifts at a local toy store to finance this reprinting, and later that year My Book of Colors was released. Since the release Alex has devoted every minute of his life to creating an entire universe of characters and monsters. In the past five years he has continued to release books like The Secrets of Hollywood and the popular Bunnywith series. The comics have spawned an entire plush line, calendars, and art exhibitions. Alex Pardeeâs undivided devotion to his art has gained the attention of Warner Bros., Reprise Records, Freeze Management, Hurley International, KidRobot, Twenty Twenty Skateboards, and more.In addition to demeaning celebrities, Alex continues to use his art as a means of self-medication, creating emotionally charged images on canvases, sketchbooks, and any other surfaces he can cover with his bizarre characters. Alex Pardeeâs unique style is one conceived through watching years of horror movies, writing graffiti, and listening to gangster rap. His work best represents that of a circus sideshow cemetery. Final pieces are often brought to life by translating random shapes and colours into signs of torment and absurdity. The 405 were lucky enough to kick back with Adam for this exclusive interview. Enjoy! When did you first realize that illustrating could become a full time career for yourself? I always wanted it to be, but I had to juggle 2 jobs a lot of the time on top of my art stuff, but I got fed up with that and just quit everything to focus on my art around 2001. It was definitely way earlier than when I should have jumped in, but it forced me to figure out HOW I HAVE TO make a living with my art, rather than just CAN I make a living. Was it hard to get recognized for not having an art school education and did you find yourself scrutinized by others? donât think school, or lack of school, really affected my approach or my ability to get recognized. I think technically, school would have helped me for sure, but as far as recognition, it just takes persistence and patience. A lot of patience. What is the key to keeping your work fresh and not getting mentally/physically burnt out by what you do? Just trying new stuff, new mediums, new subject matter, even if you are going to fail at it. Something good will come out of it, even if you cant initially see it. Failing is still the best practice. You've probably created thousands of different characters, each more monstrous then the next. Summarize the process you go through in order to make a new one. I really donât have one. I go through stages where I get obsessed with certain creature elements or themes, and just keep adding to those elements. I try to draw what I would like to see exist, but thereâs no way in hell I could ever translate that the way I want, so I improvise. I think its awesome that you've managed to breathe real (or cinematic)life into one of your characters Chadam. When can we expect to see a trailer of for the film? Hopefully at San Diego Comic Con, or at least soon after. We have been working as hard as we can on it. Was making the film a natural progression in your work, having done illustrations for so long or was it something you'd always wanted to end up doing eventually? Yah, I have wanted to make movies since before I was even drawing. I wanted to go to film school, but it was cheaper to just stay home and draw. Will the film incorporate any more of your characters or a cameo from yourself? No, the world that Chadam lives is a completely different universe than anything I have created before, from the ground up. All new characters, environments and villains. Itâs pretty involved. What is the Californian art scene like? Was it hard for you to be accepted into the community? Honestly, Iâm pretty detached from the scene itself. I have a ton of friends that are all pretty active artists and we all kinda play a roll in the scene I guess, but I am not really sure where I fit in, or if I even do. I think any scene, art based or not, is hard to be accepted in because no scene ever really WANTS someone new to invade it, so from the start youâve gotta fight your way in I guess. You've worked on album cover art for the likes of In Flames, Aiden & The Used, but if there one was band(or artist) past or present that you could design for who would it be and why? I am a huge hip hop fan, and one of my favorite rappers is Cage, and Iâm finally getting a chance to work with him right now on his new album, Depart From Me, so thatâs awesome. I want to do something really out of left field, but like someone that Iâm into, like Sade. Finally, where do you see yourself 5 years from now, in regards to your work, new projects and any other personal aspirations you have in life. I honestly think Iâll be dead in 5 years. And if Iâm not, I guarantee I will be doing more of the same, but bigger. You can check out more of Alex's work by visiting his Official Website here!!!