"And that’s when I was like, ‘Okay. Let’s get crazy. Let’s do this thing. Let’s make things."
Marcel Alcala is an LA-based artist born and raised in Santa Ana, CA to Mexican immigrants.
When did you start painting?
“I started as a kid in Santa Ana. My brother took me to an exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Orange County Museum of Art, and ever since then I’ve been super inspired to pain. Then the next year, he took me to a John Waters exhibition. And that’s when I was like, ‘Okay. Let’s get crazy. Let’s do this thing. Let’s make things. Don’t worry about what other people are gonna say. Just be yourself – your authentic, true self.’”
Can you walk us through a typical day in your lfie?
“A typical day would be waking up, trying to eat healthy, drinking a lot of water and just getting straight to doodle-making. I like to draw every day, I like to write poetry about whatever happened the day before. Any sort of drama, any hotties. But the typical day changes. I was in Paris working on an exhibition. I was just in Chicago yesterday, showing some friends some drawings. And now I’m in LA, and I’m ready to doodle some more on this rainy day.”
Who (or what) inspires you?
“That changes every day. I’m inspired by different people and different places. A lot of my friends inspire me. Traveling inspires me. Going to shows, checking out new artists’ work. Recently I went to a Keith Haring exhibition in Chicago at the Cultural Center. And seeing how he missed his painting and graffiti life with working with kids and education and mural-building – I really admired that, and the way he would just start a conversation with one image or one drawing.”
Would you say you have a mission as a creative or a singular idea that drives you?
“I think pushing boundaries is really important. In my performances as a clown, I like to talk about social issues. I like to talk about my own individual experiences, just navigating through what we call reality, this existence. With drawing, a lot of it has to do with being okay with having fun, and being okay with colors, pigments, and not self-sabotaging. Just expressing myself and having a good time.”
How would you describe your own personal style?
“A little bit of him, a little bit of her. A lot of drama, a lot of drapery. It really depends on the situation and the location. When you’re in Paris, you do the layers, everyone’s giving severe looks. And in Toronto and Chicago, it’s so cold that I look like a blanket. In LA, it’s super casual. I love me a little tank top. It’s nice to come back, because I get to shed off all the layers, and just put on some shorts.”
To learn more about Marcel, follow him on Instagram via @marcel_alcala