Illustrator, painter and rapper, Ladon Alex, is ridiculously talented. With a vision unique to himself and art that reflects his individuality, he is not an artist you want to miss out on. With the rise again in hand drawn album/mixtape covers, such as with J. Cole's, KOD, or Earthgang's EP trilogy, Rags, Robots and Royalty, it's important to embrace young artists like Ladon, whose potential for growth is enormous. His work stood out to me especially, because of the way that he approaches art. It is obvious that Ladon has a true understanding of the technical aspects that illustration and painting require, but then he is able to warp and twist classic images into something new and in a way that few others could have created on their own.
Below we discussed: how he found his passion for the arts, other artists that inspire his personal growth as an artist and why he creates in the first place. Check it out.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Ladon Alex and I’m 19 years old. I’m an artist and a writer and I’d like to say a philosopher as well, but I think a lot of artists are.
What led you to art?
I don’t think anything led me to art, I think everyone is introduced to art at a very young age (speaking from my experience in the US) and you either are interested in it or you’re not.
What does creating do for you as a person?
This is a loaded question, but I’ll try to answer this as best as I can haha. Everyone is trying to find a balance in their life, in every moment. Most of the time we’re suffering from an imbalance, including myself, but when I’m creating I feel like I’m experiencing the pinnacle of this balance we all strive for.
You’re style is very unique, how did it develop?
It’s still developing, but I guess just taking in new art as much as I can and analyzing what I like about whatever I’m looking at, seeing what I can take from it and how I can make it my own. There are artist who make work I don’t particularly like but it’s still helped me grow in some way.
Are there any pieces or artists that have specifically helped your development as an artist?
Definitely, too many to name. Just off top though: Aden (@threethousan), Zach Thompson (@vizualzmt), Taylor White (@taylor.a.white), Anthony Rianda (@anthonyrianda) and Janiva Ellis. These are a few living artists who’ve had an influence on my approach.
What inspires you when working on a new piece?
The things closest to me and the things farthest from me.
When you say the things closest and farthest from you are what inspire you, what exactly do you mean?
The things closest to me are people and situations that I’ve experienced directly and the things farthest from me are basically any conversation, person, or situation that I have to experience through a fictional lens.
In your eyes, what makes you standout from other artists?
I’m very versatile and my style is very fluid. I just make what I want to make and I work extremely hard and I like what I put out and so do my supporters and so do my fellow artists. I don’t think this makes me better than any other artists, you like what you like, but if you appreciate what I make, thank you.
Is there anything new you’ve been working on?
Always haha. I create everyday so not everything I make goes online. I’m always thinking of projects and looking for people I may want to work with in the future.
Is there anyone in particular you are trying to work with in the future?
Yes, but I’m not saying any names right now.
What are you hoping to get from what you do?
A new sense of clarity.