A lot of eyes have been on Ladon Alex as of late. His next-level illustration work often gets a lot of attention on social media that has naturally led to the growth of his following. The fine artist and illustrator from Dallas, Texas is currently studying at the University of Arkansas while simultaneously working with client orders and commissioned pieces. He designed the first shirt in our ‘Artist X’ Collection, which is now available in our shop in limited quantities. We conducted a second interview with Ladon, the first taking place in March 2018, to discuss his more recent work as well as his plans for the future. Take a look through some of Ladon’s artwork below, and read our interview that follows.
When I last interviewed you, you seemed focused specifically on painting. More recently, you’ve been doing a lot of illustration work. Was this a natural transition for you to take? Have you always been interested in illustrating human figures?
Eh, I’m not sure about ‘natural,’ per se. Due to all the moving around I’ve been doing recently it’s just been easier for me to illustrate than to paint and worry about constantly shipping the works. I think about it (the transition) quite often actually, I really love painting and illustration the same, they just do different things for me and open me up to different opportunities so I try to not force either over the other. And yeah, I’ve always been interested in the human figure since my introduction to art was through western comic books; anatomy and gestures have always been big for me.
The comic book influences are apparent as you often share original drawings of popular superheroes – would you like to work as an illustrator for Marvel or DC if given the chance? Or are your artistic ambitions leading you in a different direction?
The latter, but maybe one day. Definitely used to be a big dream of mine to work for the ‘Big 2,’ but now I think I’d go the independent creator route and just have a team consisting of the usual, a writer, artists, and a letterer.
Do you have an idea of when you’d take that step, put the team together and get that rolling?[Laughs] Whenever I get my funds where they need to be for something like that. I have a short attention span so I couldn’t have any distractions, meaning no commissions or client work. The book would have to be put together in one swoop or I’d keep drifting to other projects.
In our last interview, you mentioned how someone from England reached out to you about wanting to buy your art and how impactful that was. Now, almost a year and a half later, is this something that you’ve gotten more used to?
For sure, though it still is interesting to see different places pop up. I think my art is in about 30 states right now, I’m hoping to have all of America covered within this next year, that’d be cool.
When I reached out to you about doing the shirt design with us, what did you set out to capture in your illustration?
First off, I worked on about three drafts for the shirt and scrapped all of them eventually, so I’m very appreciative of your patience [laughs]. What I was trying to capture was the aspect of art-making that i think draws a lot of creators to it in the first place, no pun intended, and that would be the freedom of it. The shock and ecstasy of the unknown and unpredictable, the moment you’re working on a new thing and realize you might be on to something. I tried to capture that. I think that feeling unifies us all in a way.