Sad Alien Club is an ongoing series of artwork posted on social media, centered around a very Sad Alien named Chuck. Through these images of Chuck, people are able to catch a glimpse of her feelings, emotions, and some experiences that happen throughout her other wordly experience. The inspiration for Sad Alien Club and Chuck was myself, being a very sad human, sometimes struggling to express my feelings, emotions, and experiences that happen throughout my human existence.
Chuck, and the Sad Alien Club universe surrounding her, began on a day where I was extraordinarily sad. What came out of my sadness was a poorly drawn, frowning alien, accompanied by a speech bubble that said, “lol. everything sucks and I’m really sad and I just want to go home.” I added the hashtags #sadalienclub, as a play on the wide array of generic “clubs” like #sadgirlsclub or #sadboysclub, and #currently to further speak to how I was *currently* feeling. I drew an alien to represent me simply because of my love for extraterrestrials, and then additionally I grew to enjoy the parallel of this creature who is literally out of this world, and my own feelings of being on the outside of the norm. I posted it on my personal Instagram account and it only got 6 likes. Despite the initial lack of popularity, I felt that in that moment I had just created a style of art that was completely honest and reflective of my true self.
Sad Alien Club has become a way for me to express some of my more difficult feelings in a way that has become quite popular and relatable to all those that follow along for Chuck’s story on social media. In choosing to create an other worldly being with a cartoonish figure, I find that it is easy for people to be drawn in or intrigued by her playful character. The playfulness and overly simplistic drawing style also works to draw people in more easily than another somber or explicitly gloomy and dark piece of art could. Unintentionally, the style that I created to draw this being has fostered a community in which people can feel welcomed and even discuss certain feelings that may seem taboo or uncomfortable to bring up. In the end, this interaction with those who engage with my work, through likes and comments on social media or in person, has driven me to be more open and expressive with what I create in order to not only validate my feelings, but to also validate those feelings of others in showing them that they are not alone in their day to day struggles.
I like to think that in creating “sad art” and sharing my art with other “sad people” who can relate to Chuck, can help to make things a little bit less sad for everyone, because we are all a part of Sad Alien Club together, supporting one another.
For presenting my artwork, I decided to incorporate a pop-up shop. Much of my inspiration comes from artists who have “branded” themselves and deliver their art to people in various forms of merchandise. From a business standpoint, it was clear that a Sad Alien Club Pop-Up Shop would be more engaging than just projecting my artwork on a wall because there would be even more things to look at, and like a store, various things available for purchase, that can also be picked up and perused through. Personally, I had always envisioned a pop-up shop alongside my artwork of Sad Aliens because I believe they go hand in hand.
When I think of what I wish to be as a “successful artist,” I see myself creating a Sad Alien Club brand that posts artwork on social media, as well as creating all forms of merchandise from t-shirts to customized shoes, that allows me to support myself but also lends itself to another mode of publicity, engaging and pulling even more people into the Sad Alien Club Universe. The Sad Alien Club Pop-Up Shop aims to create a very playful and welcoming environment in which people are able to experience, and then also take home their own little piece of Chuck’s world if they so choose. For example, what I hope to see after my senior show is a small handful of Cornell students displaying their Sad Alien Club merchandise and exchanging cheerful glances in passing because of the connection they formed through my artwork.