Interview: Alan Klug

I was fortunate enough to interview Alan Klug, who is a Los Angeles based artist with a unique style. Hit the jump to read the full conversation.

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"Alan Klug is an artist living in Los Angeles, California. He attends Otis College of Art and Design where he spends his days creating concept artwork for animation and games. He is also an illustrator who finds his passion in creating characters and worlds that are bizarre and unreal. Alan has a passion for creating artwork that makes people laugh and above all have fun."

Affinity Parcels: How’s your day been?

Alan Klug: My day has been pretty productive.  I’ve been working on a storyboard for a project and rewarded myself with an Italian dinner.

AP: Where are you from?

AK: I am from Los Angeles, California.

AP: Does where you’re from influence your work at all?

AK: I would say that Los Angeles has definitely influenced my work. From a young age I became interested in people. Everywhere you go in Los Angeles there’s somebody vastly different from any other. I think it’s that sense of bizarre uniqueness that adds something special to the way I create artwork.

AP: Do you have any direct influences or inspirations that help you create the work you do?

AK: I have always loved cartoons. Since I was first introduced to television, I would spend hours and hours watching everything from Tom and Jerry, Looney Toons to Aaahh!! Real Monsters, and Beavis and Butthead. This is where I would say my biggest influence comes from. Aside from cartoons, I find inspiration in my friends and family, as well as the world around me. As a kid, I would spend a great deal of time in the backyard observing insects and plants.

AP: It says that you’re a student at Otis College of Art and Design, how’re you enjoying it there?

AK: Otis is a great place to be. I come to class everyday with people who are passionate and serious about the work they do. There are many nights where I don’t get the opportunity to sleep but who needs sleep when you are doing what you love?

AP: How would you describe your art?

AK: Goofy. I would say that my art is a world of its own. In that world, years of cartoons, video games, and daydreaming come together to create something you can laugh at; a humorous self-portrait of my life.

AP: What’s your story? Most people stop making art at a young age. Why or what made you continue to pursue art?

AK: I was a shy kid growing up. My earliest friend was imaginary and I spent a lot of time in my own head. When I first started to draw, it became a way for me to let out the thoughts I had stewing in my head. As I grew older I never considered myself an artist but was always doodling - always daydreaming. My first year of high school I had to select an elective, and naturally, I chose art. From that point forward I have never stopped making art.

AP: In my opinion, an artist shouldn’t only do art. Do you have any other creative outlets? Or hobbies? Or do you live and breathe art?

AK: I think it’s unhealthy to just create art so I like to make music with my friends in the form of freestyle rap and take pictures on road trips of the many oddities I encounter.

AP: Do you have any favorite artists?

AK: There are so many artists that I admire and respect. To name a few, Skinner, Alex Pardee, Greg Simkins, Johnny Vampotna, Adam Adamowicz, Michael DeForge,  Titmouse studio… and the list goes on. 

AP: Why them?

AK: These are artists that at one point or another I have just stopped everything I’m doing and said, “Wow, you are awesome.” These are people who have styles that I can relate to. There have been times where I thought my style was too “out there,” and these are the artists who remind me that I’m not.

AP: If you lost the ability to create art, what other career or profession do you think you’d go after?

AK: Voice actor or Creative.

AP: Any reason why that profession?

AK: I would like to be a voice actor because I love to give life to something that is otherwise still or empty. I could picture myself putting in just as much passion into that profession as I do being a visual artist. I would also choose creative because it would allow me to freely brainstorm and solve problems, which is a skill I enjoy using.

AP: If you had to describe an artist in one word, what would that word be?

AK: Magic.

AP:Why that word?

AK: Artists breathe life into a world that is generally dull, especially in a big city like Los Angeles that is grey and dirty. Artists create an escape from reality, which in my opinion, is the definition of magic.

AP: To wrap things up, do you have any advice to give to another artist?

AK: Keep drawing, keep painting. Never stop questioning yourself and never say you are good enough because you can always be better. Keep learning and surround yourself with people who are better than you and encourage you. Above all, make the work that you love.