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Interview with Customer-Favorite Puzzle Artist, Alan Giana

Interview with Customer-Favorite Puzzle Artist, Alan Giana

f you’ve been around puzzles, then you know the name Alan Giana. Alan’s vivid artwork and distinctive style have made his jigsaw puzzles perennial favorites among Bits And Pieces puzzle customers for years. Mr. Giana’s style is a fascinating mix of traditional and digital media. When we began blogging last year, having Alan to sit down for an interview with us was at the top of our list of must-do’s. Recently, Mr. Giana was kind enough to spend some time answering our questions. We’re very excited to present you with this exclusive interview now. Enjoy!

How long have you been an artist?

I have been drawing since I was a child. One of my first works of art was at the age of four when I grabbed a magic marker and proceeded to scribble on the wall with it. Throughout my school years I was always drawing and painting, then went on to college to study graphic design and business management. In the early 1990’s I started my own illustration and graphic design company. In the late 1990’s I entered into the world of art licensing and started creating artwork to go on various products, especially jigsaw puzzles.

Walk us through your process. How do you create your artwork?

My artwork is mixed media using a combination of traditional and digital painting techniques. I often take photographs of nature and man-made structures that I use as reference & inspiration for the scenes I create.

What is your studio space like?

My studio/office is in the lower level of my house with a window that looks out into the perennial garden I planted years ago. This is where I spend a lot of my time… creating art and conducting business. I often listen to music when I paint. From classic rock/heavy metal to jazz/instrumentals and everything in between.

What kinds of freedoms do you get working digitally that you don’t get from traditional media?

The digital aspects of my work allow me to explore design options in laying out a scene. More importantly, sometimes you might need to revise an image based on feedback you get from an art director, so having your artwork in a digital format will make things easier to change. Since I am in the business of art licensing and commercial artwork, my artwork needs to be in a digital format at the end so I can provide quality high-resolution files to the companies I work with.

Your work isn’t just on jigsaw puzzles. What other types of products can your fans find our artwork on?

My artwork has appeared on many different products over the past 23 years, including calendars, checks, Christmas cards, gift bags, tins, coffee mugs, canvas prints, placemats, note cards, list pads, coasters, magnets, clocks, journals, thermometers, music boxes, cross-stitch kits, shower curtains and much more.

Do you have other hobbies besides art? Do they fuel your passion for art?

Music is my other passion. From childhood I was into music and my parents encouraged me to take up the clarinet when I was in fourth grade. From there I moved on to saxophone and took lessons for several years. In high school I taught myself how to play piano and electric keyboards/synthesizers. I was always in bands during college and needed to make a choice between a music career and an art career. I went with art for my profession and music for my outlet. About seven years ago I bought a flute and taught myself how to play. In 2018 I bought a ukulele and began learning that instrument. Playing the guitar has always been a dream of mine, but for some reason I never took it up. Finally, last year I bought an electric guitar and began teaching myself, learning chords, and playing along to songs. For Christmas my fiancé, Alisa, bought me Zoom guitar lessons with Marc Ford, the famous lead guitar player from the band The Black Crowes. Recently, I had five sessions with Marc and learned a lot from him. Now I practice every day when I take a break from painting and business!

Click here to shop all our Alan Giana Jigsaw Puzzles

What draws you to your subject matter?

I am always observing, admiring and appreciating God’s natural creations! Whether it be a sunset, flowers, a butterfly, or clouds, being able to stop for a moment and appreciate is a wondering thing. The scenes I create are fantasy places, but based in reality, using focal points (barns, gazebos, lighthouse etc.) that exist in real life. The flowers are always in bloom in my worlds! I love to travel and I get inspiration from the places I visit. I often put elements from my trips into my artwork. It might be a cabin I saw while I was in Wyoming, or a mountain in Alaska. There is plenty of inspiring beauty all around us, even in our own backyards.

What is the most rewarding part of being an artist?

Being able to create, do what I love to do, and make a living at it has been a true blessing. The most rewarding part of what I do is having my artwork touch the lives of people all over the world! I often get emails from people who received a product featuring my artwork and they are inspired to tell me how much they love it, or how it made their day better. Years back, I received an email from a woman whose son was in the military, stationed in Afghanistan. She sent her son a few puzzles with my artwork and she said they really helped her son during a difficult time. That was so amazing to learn!

Do you enjoy doing puzzles? Have you ever done a puzzle of your own art?

I do enjoy making jigsaw puzzles, though I haven’t put one together in some time. I used to put together all of the puzzles that had my artwork on them. I’m more of a 300-to-500-piece puzzle guy!

Do you have any puzzle memories, either childhood or adult?

As a child I remember visiting my aunt and uncle and putting together a round jigsaw puzzle with a photo of giraffes.

Can you share any details of recent or upcoming projects we might want to learn about?

Back in November, Diamond Painting Kits featuring some of my paintings were introduced by Dreamer Designs. My artwork was never used on these types of products before, so this was exciting to see.

 

Click here to shop all our Alan Giana Jigsaw Puzzles

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