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chopping block: alan kocharian

For this week's artist interview we chatted it up with California based artist Alan Kocharian, whose incredibly detailed works of art are sure to make you look twice. Although abandoned by his biological father, this young artist has been able to manifest his past tragedies into dark, beautiful pieces. We got to talking about his early start as an artist, inspirations, and how he manages art and family life.

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POW: On your Facebook it states you are originally from Mexico but grew up in Montebello, California, which is where you started drawing. Is your artistic style influenced by your surroundings and upbringing in Southern California?

Alan: Yes, I was born and raised my first 4 years in Jalisco, Mx. by my grandparents because my mom had to come to the states to work as a single mom. My birth-father abandoned her when he found out she was with child. It wasn't until I was about 5 years old or so when my mother met my now step-father Andy Kocharian. Andy married my mother, adopted me, and moved us to Montebello CA. It was when we lived in Montebello my uncle Hugo (also an artist) mailed me poster size drawings he had made for me of my favorite comic book heroes such as Spiderman and the Green Lantern. I must have been 5 years old and remarkably, at this young age... his kind gesture changed me and I knew this is what I wanted to do.

I do believe that my artistic style must have been influenced by my surroundings, schooling and other artists but mostly by experimenting. I hone my craft and made a conscious decision to create dream like qualities to my pieces.

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Beauty Blue Nightmare by Alan Kocharian

POW: I saw that you attended DesignerCon this year as well! Any particular artists that you were excited to see and meet?

Alan: Of course! I was excited to meet artist Jeff Soto and his brother Tim. What I admire about him is first is, he's extremely friendly and very easy to approach. Second that I find most admirable, is he's also an artist from the IE and continues to expand the art this way. I ran into 2 of my old teachers there as well, JT Steiny and Nathan Ota. It was great to reconnect with them and to show them my life after graduation.

POW: What is your biggest inspiration for you art?

Alan: If you asked me this 8 months ago, I would have said to capture the mental and emotional hindrances that we face together as human-beings. But now... my biggest inspiration, pride, and joy is my beautiful baby daughter Zara Sophie Kocharian. She and my wife gave me what many artists spend their whole lives longing for. I know this because I was one of them. They make me better everyday.

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Sultry by Alan Kocharian

POW: You use a lot of different mediums to create your art. What medium would you say you like working with the most and why?

Alan: I enjoy mostly using watercolor and color pencil on wood surface. The watercolor allows me to use broad strokes of color and gives the piece some spontaneity and energy that can be lost when refining a piece. The colored pencils let me get back in control of the piece. To refine, detail and highlight.

POW: In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of being an artist?

Alan: For me personally, it's networking and speaking to people. I am naturally introverted but what I've experienced is networking paves many paths. My nerves get the best of me sometimes and literally, I get physically ill when I think of having to speak to people. My stomach starts to hurt and my lunch starts to surface.

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When Pigs Fly by Alan Kocharian

POW: Looking through your Instagram, I noticed you’re a family man with a wife and a baby girl. Do they ever make their way into your pieces? Is it tough to balance your artistic side with your real life?

Alan: Yes, of course. Love is the greatest gift and inspiration. My wife is actually in many of my pieces. We share all interest,  yet we are so different. Vanessa is colorful, comforting, inviting and warm. Being her partner, has brought alot of that out of myself that I didn't know existed. Together we have Sophie, who allows us to explore our child like side.

POW: Is it tough to balance life and art?

Alan: ...not at all. Creating is my real life. In our home it never stops. We cook, organize, design, and constantly create new ways to include arts in our life for our family.

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For more information on Alan Kocharian, please visit:  alankocharian.com