• Polly Alice McCann

Events! & Deep Interview with Illustrator, Alex @eye-cough

September 28, 2020

Speaking Aloud when you are Staying In

Dr. Alice Hixson

We are here in the Heartland. Flying Ketchup is right smack in the middle of the country and the Kansas City metro area. I have noticed from social media that writers like me, who read and make music and love art, are extremely down in the mouth right now. And for good reason. So we are continuing to do our darndest to connect and bring your amazing voices together. Socially distanced, but still, we will connect dreamers, poets, artists & storytellers with the larger community. A community that needs their work now more than ever.

We have two events this month you can join online. Two book launches (early enough so those across the pond can zoom in during regular hours:

· Oct 17th is Tales from the Dream Zone at 11 am CDT Author Talk and Reading
· Oct 24th is for The Very Edge: Poems in English Spanish and French at 1 pm CDT

Or join in with our local artists:

· Oct 13th at 4 pm join Alex Eickhoff (Eye Cough Art) near our NKC office for an artist talk about his new mural on Swift. Meet the Artist at 4 pm.
· Oct 24th at noon is the groundbreaking ceremony for our Poet in Residence, Hasna Sal with Glass 360 concepts in Lykins Square for the first ever National Memorial for victims of Trafficking.

We are sharing over 50 writers that will be featured this month: people who live on the edge of their imagination. I think you’ll enjoy these new voices. The stories, these poems, these words of wisdom are something new. I at least, after seven months “at home,” I’m ready for something new. I hope you are too. At Flying Ketchup, we work hard to find and share new voices that give you a moment in your day to step away from the routine, difficult, and into some time with your imagination. It’s a gift we take seriously,

Be well. Stay strong. And remember your imagination is never quarantined.
Dr. Alice R. Hixson

Check out both of our new books at or on Amazon. Soon to Barnes and Noble and your local bookstore and library.

This is Polly McCann, managing editor. Read on for our Interview with Alex Eickhoff, Illustrator of next year's short story collection, Tales from the Deep. We sat down to talk a few times in early this Spring and you won't believe Alex's story until you see how incredible his work is.

Tell us about your art. Did you study art?

After I finished his BFA in art in 2015, I moved to KC and worked as a fabricator to build custom interactive displays and decor in a “big sign company”… in their sculpture department for a few years. Then I decided to go on “sabbatical.”

What did “sabbatical” mean to you? How did you prepare?

Actually, what I meant internally was, I’m becoming an artist and I’m paying myself to do it. I bought a new “job” and only time will tell if that will work. Then I Planned. Read self-help books, business books, podcasts to get ready to go for it.

Well, we loved your studio at InterUrban Arthouse and your small daily art that is addicting to purchase, and now you are doing more and bigger things. Tell us what your art is like. Where do you get your ideas?

Idea bubbles–simplified singular objects. They are like an iconic mish-mash of ideas. I create a thought, versus a story. So, “what would a toad sitting on a stool sitting on a toadstool look like?” would be a question that begins a painting.; or “What would an animal look like if he was posing for a class photo?”

I get it. You play with words, idioms, and the subconscious field of images. What we love is that hand-painted look and the limited color palette of reds and greens on dark backgrounds. My favorites are that one that eerily juxtaposes images like a live heart in the root of a tree, or an octopus man who sits silently waiting for something out of left field. Tell us about your style. It’s so clear and distinct and true to who you are. It has a little bit of joy, sarcasm, but also a hint of mystery, joy, and a way of laughing at the dark. We are so excited that you are illustrating our next collection of short stories. Where does it come from?

I sketch with paint. I keep it simple: simple composition so I can explore color and texture and diff ways of applying paint; not daunting, not drafting, half the time improv, or in-depth concept, Let the paint be the paint and see what happens.

Oh, that is perfect. ‘Let the paint be the paint and see what happens.’ What a good saying. I need that on a T-shirt. So, what comes next?

I really want to get into the KC and local mural and street art scene. For the last few years, I volunteered with SpraySee, MO. Artists come from all over the country to create street art. Last year they painted 40 walls in 2019. This spring I painted his first mural in Art Alley in the crossroads. “It’s a good demographic for someone to view your art.”

Thanks, Alex! Since this interview Alex did paint with SpraySee, MO, also won a grant for the NKC mural where you can meet him on Oct. 13th. And he won an Asphalt Art Initiative grant. The Midtown Asphalt Art Project is in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Mo. Government and Street Smarts Design + Build, Bloomberg Philanthropies. It's one of four prestigious spots in this citywide grant to be a part of this mural project to boost local art and artists. We are so proud of Alex and we are looking forward to TALES FROM THE DEEP, coming out next year #supportlocalartists #moreart.


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