Craig Alan is a dynamic artist whose work is constantly evolving. In addition to his notable Populus and Narrative series, he is perpetually in the midst of multiple side projects. If he finds himself struggling with one series, he will ‘take a break’ by working on another. His active studio employs twelve full-time assistants with the goal of producing as much work as possible. “You never stop challenging yourself,” Alan says. “That’s how you fall behind.”
Alan recently took a short break to speak with us about his artistic philosophy and process.
A Larger Reality
When he was a student, Alan started developing his “thesis,” an examination of how we are all part of a larger reality. As he grew as an artist, Alan aspired to visually represent these concepts of human interconnection and symbiosis. He worked for a time as a semi-professional athlete after finishing his degree, but soon returned to the art field after feeling compelled to express his ideas visually and explore his technical capabilities.
The Origin of Populus
Alan encountered the inspiration for his Populus series while testing his new camera from a balcony. By happenstance, the test photo he had snapped of a wedding party far below, framed by the ocular form of the camera’s digital lense, captured his attention. The Populus pieces themselves begin with photographs, which are translated into intricate Mylar stencils and applied to a substrate with acrylic spray paint. Shadows and details are added by hand.
Observer, Creator, Painter
Alan considers himself an observer, a creator and a painter, but believes that it is up to the outside world to bestow the title of ‘artist.’ He feels that he is “someone that the universe’s energy is channeled through.” “We’re not as big as we think we are,” Alan says. “That is the real big picture of humanity on this planet, and the responsibilities that we have.”