Today we chat with Ohio native and Chicago transplant, Alex Tan. His work is inspired by community and creativity, as well as simplicity. Find Alex taking photos and capturing Chicago's community with his bold and expressive vision.
Why Photography? I started taking photographs at the beginning of 2014. I started to connect with a lot of creative people through Instagram in Columbus. They inspired me to do really cool things and ultimately are the reason for where I'm at in life now. At the end of the day, no matter what job I have or what I do, I always want to be creating something new.
Who's your greatest inspiration? I have a lot. I think the biggest creative inspiration I have is Donald Glover, who is an actor, writer, producer, hip-hop artist, etc. His creative vision and direction for everything he is a part of just makes sense to me. He's rather mysterious and is pretty far removed from "fame" even though most people know who he is. From a photo perspective, my friends and the people I surround myself with are always inspiring me. I try to stick around people I can learn from every day.
What else are you into? Before photography all I did was play soccer. I grew up playing it competitively throughout the year and it’s what I loved, and still love to this day. I actually went to college to play as well, but it didn’t really work out as I had planned. I like to play at the local soccer fields when I have time. I also enjoy basketball as well. Sports are exciting for me. I like coffee and have gotten really into learning how to make it in different ways, and I collect vinyl when I have the extra cash or when I can find a old gem.
Favorite Chicago spots. Go. I spend a ton of time at Gaslight Coffee Roasters to get work done, plus the coffee is great. My taco intake since moving to Chicago has increased tenfold, and my favorite spot for that is Antique Taco. The best cheeseburger in the world can be found at Small Cheval in Wicker Park. Outside of food, I like to go to the lake at Montrose Beach.