Alex Miranda is an upcoming visual artist who uses his artwork to fully express himself. Miranda says his work often implements themes of love, greed, our flawed political system, sexuality and self image. He says his artwork can clearly portray “so many moments of uncertainty or discomfort [he] experienced.” He also recently released a collaborative shirt with us, which can be purchased here. Learn more about Alex and his artwork in our interview below.
Can you explain to me your thought process that goes into making a new piece of art? Is there a lot of preparation or is it more of a stream of consciousness?
It’s a matter of small occurrences throughout my days that shape the idea of what I am trying to communicate! I would say it starts out with a stream of consciousness, throwing lines on paper, and when I have something slightly more concrete in front of me, I think of a title that implies what I’m trying to say with the drawing and then continue with details. So, most of the time, [I don’t need] preparation unless I think of certain objects or emotions that I know need to be in a piece ahead of time. All of my drawings are intensely communicative of how I view myself, life around myself and others, and how we choose to act because of life. So, it’s often a buildup of ideas being put out when I draw, as I draw.
What themes and messages do you find yourself trying to portray through your work?
Mostly the things I feel motivated to talk about, but I’m inspired to communicate visually. I’m always picturing different ways to implement themes of love and heartbreak, greed and a flawed political system, sexuality and self image, and happiness. These are a part of everyone’s lives. I began drawing because I wanted to be able to put how I see life and how it treats you into a drawing. It’s been a process of different eras of inspiration based on what’s going on in my life. As an example of how these themes develop; In the midst of a broken relationship, art pieces are developed with messages of pain in love as well as the precursor to the end, the beginning of love and how blissful it is. In the midst of political division and an administration that reinforces the ideas of fear and oppression and while need for money and debt rules over people lives I find the need to push out the message of the flawed country we live in. In the process of living in a conservative home with religious parents and having to hide my true identity and sexuality, which suppresses [my] creativity, I must communicate the feeling of imprisonment. Happiness is a constant want and need that everyone knows of, it’s often the “goal” of the subjects in my pieces and is an important part of life. Throughout my artistic journey I’ve realized that people relate to these pieces because of those themes, moments in life that impact you so hard, you need to say something or have art say it for you.
So would you say that art has allowed you to truly express / find yourself as a person?
Yes, most definitely. When my drawings got anyone’s attention, I saw it as a way of expressing myself as loudly as I could. It’s a great experience as I could see clearly how my art portrayed so many moments of uncertainty or discomfort I experienced due to who I was to myself or to others. [I could see] that others related to or appreciated the piece. I work hard to get to the image that I see in my head, and to include so many different layers/indicators of the meaning behind the piece, so receiving any type of support is treasured. Art not only played a huge part in my self-discovery as a person, but has also shaped my habits and has taught me discipline. I knew that I needed to increase my skill in order to create perfect renditions of what I could imagine. I taught myself to treat art as not only a passion, but as a vital part of my day. I want art to be the only thing that sustains me, I want it to be my whole world, and wanting that requires hard work and patience. I never used to apply myself seriously to put maximum effort into much until I began art and saw how valuable it is to have those character traits in every part of life.
Who and what inspired you to pursue art?
Two vital parts of my decision to be an artist were the people around me and music. I always doodled and knew it was something I enjoyed immensely, but [it wasn’t] until my friends started letting me know that they thought my drawings looked cool that I felt inspired to create even more ambitious visuals. As I grew the different types of relationships I had with so many others, they all inspired me to create more complex or meaningful drawings. The support I received from my friends and others in the art community on Twitter heavily motivated me to continue making pieces that are creative as possible. Music played an intense part of my artwork and I feel it is just intertwined with every piece I make. I started making little art pieces because I liked lyrics from songs and how rappers or singers would cleverly include so many different objects or reference places, people, and stories in their music. It made me want to draw it all out, almost tell the story the song did, through my artwork. I grew out of that into my own stories and my own ideas, but that was definitely the beginning of drawing for me. Musicians that inspired me to start making art would include The Beatles, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Donald Glover.
Finally, what would you say is your ultimate goal as an artist? What’s your ideal future look like?
I have such ambitious ideas for my future, but to put it simply: my goal is to successfully execute every creative idea I have. My imagination for my art pieces never ceases and with that I want my skill to never stop increasing. I want to be able to make massive pieces ranging tons of different media. I’d like to work up to museum-worthy artwork. But, beyond that, I have so many ideas in my head for where art will take me. I’m constantly raising my standard for creativity. I want a future making music, creating unique styles of clothing, and writing and producing short films. I desire for art in every aspect to be my whole life, and I want to connect people through it, being able to highlight others who are incredible and be highlighted by those I meet as I continue my life in art. I’ve never encountered such selfless support as I have seen from the people that support others’ creative passion, I want that to be a permanent theme in my life!