Alex Pardee Unverified Artist Portfolio
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Up until I was 21 years old, I didn’t care about the Internet. But now, 15 years later, I can pretty much credit the Internet with everything leading up to this article.

I tried traditional routes of applying for art jobs back in the mid 90’s. I sent out portfolios and made multiple attempts at getting my comics published, but those only led to rejection. Around that time I started blindly experimenting with the Internet out of boredom and realized immediately that I could anonymously spread around my art on every message board and social networking site without having to face the fear of rejection because I wasn’t trying to really DO anything with my art. I just wanted people to see it in hopes of getting some feedback, even if that feedback was critical and hateful…which it was. But it was helpful.

Continuing to jump on as many social networking sites as they appeared, and disciplining myself to actually UTILIZE them was, for me, the most important thing I did in establishing the art career that I have now.

So when I got asked by Juxtapoz to curate this Halloween issue, and to additionally be featured and interviewed for it, I immediately responded with “I want the Internet to interview me”. Juxtapoz approved and so I opened up questioning. In 48 hours I got 168 questions. And out of 168 total questions, 113 of them asked “What inspires you?” And I fucking hate that question.

I don’t hate it because it’s a bad question. I don’t hate it because I don’t understand it. I hate it because I’ve never known how to answer it. It’s too personal of a question. There’s too many variables. What’s inspiring to one person may be viewed as criminal by another. So my responses have always been vague, muttering words like “everything” or “friends” or “books” because I never know how detailed I’m expected to be. So in turn, the answer to what inspires me always sounds, ironically, uninspired.

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