This blog has been covering and documenting the prolific and unique works of creative mastermind Michael Alan (aka Michael Alan Alien) since late 2016. From short film documentaries to draw-a-thons to exhibits out in Florida and more, the New York artist hasn’t slowed down his speed, and hasn’t lost sight of his contagious optimism and positivity. It’s been over a year since we last chatted so I asked Michael a few questions about his current art, the contents of his pockets, and the music that is making the rounds within his eardrums.
Hey Mike! How's 2018 been treating you?
Living the dream! Living dreams! Making art about dreams!
I know a great deal has happened since we last conducted an interview back in 2016, good and bad. Care to give us an update?
All good, the “bad” is part of the path. I been making paintings about clear choices, mindfulness, rare awareness is raw that equals a blissful mindstate. “Everything present” is a recent drawing inspired from the last two years. I devoted my work ethic to this viewpoint to navigate a life fulfilled. Had to fix my health and step back and see a way bigger reality. I had some bad accidents with my heath and let that take over in the past. I had to change my mindstate, gain acceptance and focus on real living in order to see what was really causing resistance. I find that’s been the best everyday path. I had to grow to survive the American health care. I found my soul mate the JADDA Cat two years ago. The best only partner. This is my driving force to health and creativity. Health is creativity. I want to live to create, not live to be a part of an unhealthy American culture circle.
Are you still doing draw-a-thons?
No. I started them in 2003, 2004 publicly and was doing versions of them before in my studios and college. There really wasn’t anything like that back then...or even now. They became really big, and too big for me to manage in a way that was enjoyable. I’m an Artist, but more on the punk rock tip, and I’m not an event runner. Draw-a-thon Theater was a punk DIY show focused on creating an outlet for everyone, with no clear path, or plan, not a institution or gallery. I saw many “drawathon” start-ups all over after ours. They didn’t focus on the theatrics and the crazy that made Draw-a-thon Theater fulfilling. The point was to not be a business. To not be a “____” There are just so many versions of drawing groups outside art school now that it’s just not punk rock anymore to do them. About 6 or 12 times a year, JADDA Cat performs in small shows that she runs! “The living installation” They’re not a drawing event. They’re just living art! No rules! Sometimes they’re just for our cat!
What's the rest of the year looking like for you?
Day to day, with the current president and world anger we can only live for now! Slow and steady wins the popcorn! I try not to plan too much, keep finding ways to not conform to the system of art. Make art to make something new! Pushups and popcorn.
Do you often leave your pieces of art unnamed?
Yes, it’s hard to name something that always changes so much. I also like to change the names and rework older works. Make change, grow, paint on top of your master works!
Are you creating every day?
A day I don’t is a day lost. Don’t be a blooper.
I know that many of your pieces are available to purchase, but do you have any that you will never sell? Any pieces that you will keep forever?
I never make a piece intending to sell it. I should try and focus myself that way. I would have a easier life! [laughs] The struggle of being a true artist and eating is a real metaphor! Yes there is a good amount of works set aside for after my life, to show. If i sell all my works, then I will have nothing to show for [laughs].
If we emptied your pockets right now, what would we find?
Pens, headphones, lint, change for the bus, bugs, cat hair, cut up drawings, beer caps, small worlds.
Outside of your own art, what else have you been enjoying?
Music! Ongoing listing to the music I grew up on, still looking for bands that make it feel okay to feel. The Meat Puppets, Nirvana, Suicidal Tendencies, The Misfits, Coil, Flipper, Ozzy, GNR, Buthole Surfers, Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang, Black Flag, The Screamers, Dinosaur JR, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, Nurse with Wounds, Renaldo! I’ve been finding my youth at Material World Records.
Any final words of wisdom / shout-outs?️
Mom and dad! Best guys on the planet! michaelalanart.com works at AFA soho Gallery. Make a baby! :) Live for happiness. Live NOT hate. Live for creative freedom. Hate is contagious to your life and art. I see so many artists hating on each other, so much news on hate, so much hate online, that just creates emptiness. I think that’s the main problem in art now. State your energy with your art. Make change not nothing.
Art Art Art +Activism + Productivity x10000000000000zillion