Happy Alligator


What was the idea behind the show that is only up for one day and who is featured?

The idea behind the show was inspired by an existing bi-annual exhibition called Pameran Postkad that is held in Singapore. I have participated in it myself and thought it would be nice to bring it over to the San Francisco art scene. My main intention is to create a platform for both seasoned and emerging artists/illustrators to show their works with less limitation on theme and give them as much artistic autonomy as possible. 

With size being the only restriction, artists have free reign on topic, style and medium. And because the works are small, the prices are much more affordable ranging from 25USD to 150USD. I truly hope that this will encourage patrons to buy original art and feel as sense of support for the art scene

We have artists such as Leah Artwick, Julie Benbassat, Molly Walsh, Jackson Dyden, Chris Koehler , Haejin Park, Hana Wolhf, Tiffany Tan and Jia Sung to name a few!


Can you tell us a bit about the Happy Alligator Art Collective?

The Happy Alligator Art Collective was initiated by me [Malisa Suchanya] and is now a small group of female artists in the bay area. Along with Dianna Xu and Jeany Ngo, our goal is to create art shows that reflects the world around us and acts as a response to our immediate environment and culture. 

I used the alligator as our symbol since it is such a powerful symbol of survival. Ancient, primal and deadly, it represents the ever strong spirit of feminine power.  But I also believe that as women, even in an oppressed society, we will flourish with a spirit of collaboration, openness and acceptance, hence the Happy Alligator Art Collective was born. 


What is your background in art and do you have any suggestions for people looking to create art for the first time?

I've always been attracted to art, and as a teenager, I decided that it was a career that I wanted to pursue even though I knew hardly anything about it. After high school, I decided to jump straight into art school and got my diploma in Fine arts at the Lasalle College of the arts in Singapore and then continued to get my degree in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Now I'm finishing up my Masters in Art education since I believe that the role of the artist is to give back to society, in some way, shape or form, and without purpose, the creation of art has little to meaning. 

My suggestion to any young artist would be to swallow your fear and don't be afraid to fail. I think many people give up because we believe that we need to be immediately good at something and we are constantly comparing our capabilities with our peers or idols. It's vital to remember that art is a voice and every one has a different approach to creating and reflecting their world. So don't put yourself down, always push yourself further and acknowledge each step you make in your artistic endeavors.

What is your favorite way for people to enjoy your art?

My art is often times on the smaller scale and my subjects range from my obsession with the beauty of the female body coupled with the endless inspiration of flora and fauna, as well as whimsical reflections of my environment. So in many ways, I feel that my works lean towards the aesthetically pleasing side, as I always try to create images that soothes or creates a sense of wonderment. My love for detail strives to draw my viewers into the worlds that I've created and I really enjoy having people come close to the paintings to find little surprises within them. So although the subject matter isn't necessarily intimate, the way in which I hope my viewers would engage with my art is.

What can we look forward to from Happy Alligator Art Collective next?

We are currently thinking about our next show will revolve around positive energy. We see that the world is spiraling into a very bad place and there is a high risk of individuals falling into a state of depression, fear and isolation. But we believe that art has the power to keep the flame of positivity and activism alive. 

The show might be called something like " good vibes only " and will focus in on having artists create works that is meant to inspire, express love and compassion and create a sense of acceptance. We hope that our next show will be able to push forward the message of love in a time of hatred. 

Reid Harris