Sean Alexander is a Tacoma, Washington-based artist whose meticulously detailed drawings you may have seen before on Booooooom or Juxtapoz. I was really excited to get the chance to interview him. Check it out:
How would you describe the style/aesthetic of your art?
My drawings pull from a lot of traditions: children’s book illustration, American folk art, Middle Eastern pattern making, cartooning, Native American design, Scandinavian handicraft etc… I don’t really think about where I am taking stuff from and try to let it develop on its own but stealing seems inevitable, even if its subconscious. I hope that my drawings become more and more singular over time. For content, I like to think that I am making my own totems. Right now I am working on a picture called “The Duck of Loss” to remember the loss of a friend and the passing of a time in my life. I believe that if I can direct the feeling and channel it into this piece of paper then the duck will always reflect that specific loss. I’m interested in all that spiritual nonsense.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by different things all the time. The world can be so interesting and full but so awful and still. I try to remain open to both the light and the dark. I’ve been trying not to stress about existence anymore. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a big art cake.
Do you have a favorite tool/medium?
I love micron pens and stonehenge paper.
Who’s your favorite artist(s)?
I like a lot of things so that is hard. I’m not a religious person but I have been interested in Sufjan Stevens’ work for a while now. He seems like kind of a freak, or like he’s dealing with a lot of odd weight. He makes these awful awful things but then he’ll make something like “The Owl and the Tanager” or “Impossible Soul” and it is flooring. I think a really great artist is not afraid to scratch their way through the dark and be sentimental and embarrassing. He seems to just keep moving on through the bad, the good, and the great. I admire the sincerity of that path. I imagine it takes a lot of courage.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
READING: Not enough. Graphic design books. My friend Gretchen Flescher’s short stories. Sports and news blogs. I need to read more. Miss being in college for that.
WATCHING: Football. Basketball soon. The Sherlock Holmes TV Series w/ Jeremy Brett.
LISTENING TO: Not much this month. Galaxie 500 a little. Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon here and there. It’s nice to get a short break from music. I listen to it too much usually. It can really interfere with me in the fall. The fall is amplified enough in the Northwest. All gray all the time.
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