We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Alan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Josh, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I love making things and will continue to do so whether or not I’m successful. I try my best to set my own bar. I don’t gauge the value of my work by any financial measure. I gauge it by my ability to find solutions and complete work. My reason for making “art” is that I love to solve problems. The best part of being an artist is getting to invent the problems that you want to solve. If I am able to find a practical or, if I flatter myself, beautiful solution then I consider that my success. There will always be discouragements and moments of doubt. You’ll definitely want to quit at some point. Go ahead and factor that in to the equation. Stop buying in to magical thinking and you will find yourself more grateful for even the small victories.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I spent a long time trying to get my foot in the door with galleries here and there. That’s what you think you *have* to do when you want to be a so-called artist. It’s a very frustrating experience. You spend your time and your own money to submit work for this and that with little to show for it and even less feedback. When I decided to stop using that criteria as my goal I found a great deal of freedom and satisfaction in going it alone. It puts the responsibilities on you to do everything, but you get to do it how you want.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Places to go: The Menil is at the top of my list. The Johnson Space Center, the Science Museum, and the Alley would definitely be in there too. I would also hit a movie at Showboat Drive-In. Places to eat: Oishii, Himalaya, and Ninfa’s would be on the to-do list.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
No one could be more supportive than my wife. Hayley has always been my strongest supporter and most helpful critic. She has a strong critical eye and is honest when something I’m working on isn’t working. She doesn’t have a background in art or anything, but that’s even better for me because I like to see how things will land with audiences outside the art community people. My kids also like to hang around the studio and make stuff with me. It’s always a joy to hear them excitedly tell their friends that their dad is an artist. Outside my family I like to credit my friends James Templeton, Jim Edwards and David Upp as the people who most encourage me and offer solid advice on my work. They are the ones who have to suffer through the what-do-you-think-of-this-new-stuff questions.

Website: www.joshalanADM.com

Instagram: @joshalanADM

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