5 Mins, Illustration 4 years ago

Not worrying about ‘likes’ and Lucasfilms being a client with Alex Pardee.

There are certain points in life when you find an original inspiration that grabs your attention so much that you never ever forget, it’s burns a mark on your brain. Alex Pardee is one of those inspirations.

Without knowing Alex Pardee, it might dawn on you that the inspiration you’ve been ‘steered’ by is also the same for hundreds maybe thousands of others. Before you know it, you’re a fan.

Being a master of horror illustration. His work will scare you, amaze you and also feel a bit odd in a good way. You’ll DEFINITELY not be able to stop looking at it.

Horror Illustration Alex Pardee

Alex Pardee for PUSCIFER

We’re also pretty sure at Crazy Animal Face that Alex isn’t your normal creative (if there is such a thing).

If Alex wasn’t widely recognised as the talent that he is. He’d still be doing the same thing scribbling away and laughing to himself without a care in the world.

Thankfully, that’s not the case.

And excitingly we get to share in Alex’s incredible journey as a creative. Based in the US his reach is global, with a client list that includes Warner Bros, Nike, Kid Robot and the ‘little known’ Lucasfilms. He’s clearly someone we should all look up too.

Alex kindly took some time out of his day to talk to us, here’s what we asked him and here’s what he said…

Could you give us 3 tips that you’d say have got you to where you are today.

I started sharing my art publicly on the internet in the 90s.

Which was terrifying because when you are just starting out, sharing just opens you up to criticism, comparisons and critiques. But, I did it early enough that I got calloused to it. Then I was able to embrace the good reactions as well as the bad.

The majority of the time I created horror illustration that I wanted to see.

Regardless if anyone else liked it or responded to it the way I did.

Sometimes this was hard, because creating art only for myself rarely paid the bills, especially early on. But, it allowed me to continue being passionate and hungry. So I wanted to get better, and try more things and
push myself.

I’ve been patient.

Which I think is something that gets lost nowadays.

In a world where you can make one piece of art and put it up online everywhere and get a thousand “likes” on it and then feel entitled to a career. Which might just bum you out when you realize that those “likes” don’t translate to much in reality.

There’s more outlets to share art. And there’s more of a community online which i think is great. But you still need to be patient and just keep working and working and working and working regardless of if anyone is responding to you, or rewarding you.

Why did you feel horror illustration is best? What excites you about it?

The lines.

I’ll never not be fascinated by line-work. How lines can completely glue a mess of colors together while also adding in depth and expression especially. Because of this,

I am always attracted to comic books, cartoons and graffiti.

All of which were considered basically ‘illustration-based’ art-forms when I was younger.

They’ve merged all together now and illustrations can be put in museums now. But that wasn’t always the case.

Horror illustration Alex Pardee

Alex Pardee for PRIMUS

Give us an idea of your average day, how you work and how do you get your creative ideas done?

I drown my insides in as much vegetable and fruit juice as possible in the morning. Then I struggle for what seems like an hour to find something to watch on Hulu or Netflix before deciding to just put on NWA or Howard Stern and start working.

Getting creative ideas done’ is never really a conscious effort.

I just make sure that my time is spent in a space that allows me to create in one way or another.

A lot of my work is communication, emails, social networking, etc. That takes up way too much time sometimes. But in the middle of it I can usually scribble or sketch or work on something.

At night is when I’m the most creative. When everyone else is asleep I feel that I can concentrate the most.

Horror Illustration Alex Pardee

Alex Pardee – The Astronaut

How do you attract new work?

I actually have no idea.

I just am constantly working and consciously embracing social networking and actually interacting with people.

Whether it’s other horror illustration artists, or companies that may need work, or if it’s just someone that asks a question. A lot of those little interactions go a long way sometimes.

How long have you been in illustration? Would you say it’s your career?

I don’t really know specifically what my horror illustration career is as far as a label. But I am generally a creative person and that’s what I do for a living.

I haven’t had a typical “9 to 5” job in 15 years.

Horror illustration Alex Pardee

Alex Pardee for Bobcat Goldthwait

Whats the best advice would you give to someone starting out?

I’m terrible at advice, but I know what worked for me.

Don’t be afraid to share your work. Don’t be angry when people say it sucks. And don’t be afraid to be original even if you don’t really know what you are creating.

It’s ok to copy some art that you are influenced by early on to learn from it, or study fundamentals. But the sooner you can develop your own style, the sooner you may get some work. Or, may get better responses and more constructive criticisms.

And be patient. Be very very patient. If you are passionate about creating art, you’re going to find a way to keep doing it no matter what.

So who care’s if it’s your career right away, you know?


Check out more of Alex's work on his site



I'm co-founder of Crazy Animal Face, host of the CAF Podcast, and compere of our CAF events. My views are my own.

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