If you love your job, you'll never work another day in your life: an Interview with Mel Kadel

January 17, 2013

We asked our artist of the month, MEL KADEL, some questions about her life and art. Check it out!

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

To appear and disappear at any moment.

How would you describe your process?

Slow, steady, and sometimes methodical. At times it can feel like doing dishes, which I like doing by the way. But with that said, there is always an element of it being unpredictable because unexpected things happen along the way.


When did you start making art?

When I was a kid, just like every kid.

When did you know you wanted to make art for the rest of your life? or do you know that?

In high school I had the feeling it would be part of my life for as long as I could imagine. I still feel that way. Making art always starts with a blank page. Each blank page leads to the next, and over the years it becomes part of a bigger picture.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Life seems like a slow snowball that rolls around and collects everything in it’s path. So I see my life being similar to what it is now, but bigger, with new things stuck into it.


What is inspiring you these days?

Pushing through into new mediums and challenges. I just worked on an animated piece for a documentary,
and it tested me on so many levels. I had to draw faster than ever, and be open to the collaborative process of a film. It was incredible.


Last good film you saw?

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

How the did you learn to draw ?

I had a lot of teachers over the years. From my brother (when we were kids), to professors in art school. But, when it felt like I was really learning to draw, it was when I was left alone to do it all day, and come up with my own language.


Do you have any favorite quotes/mottos?

If you love your job, you’ll never work another day in your life. (quote from my dad).


What music are you listening to in the studio?

My music is all over the place. It just depends on my mood. But, I also really dig listening to podcasts and people being interviewed. It takes me out of my own head and ends up being inspiring. Last night I listened to Terry Gross interviewing Joan Rivers.


What is your favorite spot in the world right now?


Where do you feel at home?

At home working. Or, taking a walk with my dad.


What are you currently working on?

I’m hand-painting a small print run.

Do you envision a positive future or do you think we are all fucked? apocalypse theories?

I try to feel positive in the present time. If I think about our future too much, then I feel a little fucked.


What is your spirit animal?


What astrological sign are you?



Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

Travis Millard has always been one of my favorites, partly because i get to witness his magic on a daily basis. I love so many artists….to name just a few off the top of my head: Jen Stark, Lori D., Jay Howell, Eric Yahnker, Raymond Pettibon, Ed Ruscha, Cy Twombly


What do you like about living in LA?

My doors and windows are open all day long. Squirrels run through the house. It’s a place where I find focus. If I need to get distracted, there is adventure all around. And I love the friends I’ve made here. It’s a really strange city, but the underbelly of what most people see is very special.

What would be your last meal before execution?

Eggs benedict, with salmon in place of the Canadian bacon.


Take a look at drawings we have by Mel Kadel and stay tuned for more from Melle Mel this month.