How does a well-known artist and art director originally from New York City end up in Sunny Isles Beach teaching watercolor? The answer is two-fold, vacation and television. Alan Londin vacationed in South Florida several years ago and his experience in the “attractive and up-and-coming” area of Sunny Isles Beach hooked him. He moved to the area in 2004 from California.
As a resident, he was watching SIBTV on Cable Access Channel 77 and came across a program listing classes offered at Pelican Community Park. Prompted by this program, because he felt the need to do something besides create his own art, he contacted the Community Center Coordinator to inquire about offering art classes.
Alan brings a lot of experience to the job. He grew up in Brooklyn, but lived in Manhattan. In high school he took art as his 5th major class and was inspired by his teacher to pursue his obvious talent and turn it into a career. He obtained a degree from the State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Manhattan.
Alan found that his first job out of college, for a large firm, designing fabric, with no room for individual expression. People were telling him specifically how to apply the art and what color to use. He found that stifling to his own creativity; and as he jokes, “I preferred telling people what to do.” After two months, he found work in a smaller firm as an art director. That job fit him perfectly and he thrived there, traveling to Europe twice a year and staying with the company until retirement.
A few years before moving to California, he was asked to teach at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, two days a week. He noticed the students were very uptight and too neat at the beginning of each semester; so to shake them up a bit, he took a brand new piece of drawing paper, crumpled it, stomped on it and said, “now it’s ready to be painted on.” He got the attention of the students and he believes much better work from them as they began to expand the way they thought about the world and their own art.
Alan moved to his permanent retirement spot in Sunny Isles Beach in 2004 and began teaching at Florida International University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He also started to teach watercolor classes at the Pelican Community Park in 2009. His teaching technique includes working with each student individually depending on their ability. When asked specifically about teaching in Sunny Isles Beach Alan said, “I’m inspired by the talent that can be developed in people with little or no experience painting in watercolor; I like working with people to enhance their creative ability.” He has seen that “breakthrough” moment happen for students on several occasions. Some individuals have trouble getting to that moment and he helps them find their way with artistic exercises. And still some don’t even know that they had the moment, but he reassures them, “yes, you’ve got it.” He admits to having special bonds with some of his students when they have an interesting life history and he can see that they are developing into a very good artist.
Even though he claims to be “retired”, Alan continues to design for a tee shirt company and currently has 32 new pieces coming out in a resort catalog. He finds inspiration for his artwork all over the world. “Design is my life,” he says. His mind is always working on new ideas. In the past he has found inspiration from his travels to his favorite place, Italy.
Besides teaching and designing tee shirts, his works in progress include two new mediums, masks and collages. His new art work in collage is very decorative and colorful. He has been working with decorators who love using them in their clients’ homes. He is looking for ways to market these new creations. In addition to his other ventures, he also discovered a talent for interior design work. He likes the work because he takes what people already have in their homes and adjusts objects and colors to make the space become more attractive and to give it a better flow.
Perhaps you are itching to explore a hidden artistic side? What easier way than to sign up for art classes with Alan Londin in your own neighborhood at Pelican Community Park (18115 North Bay Road). Students receive individual attention and honest feedback from a truly gifted artist. Registration is now open for the January sessions. Instruction in Fine Art: Acrylic painting is offered on Wednesdays from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm and Fine Art: Watercolor painting on Fridays from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Please stop by the park registration desk 7 days a week to enroll. For more information call 305.792.1706.