Welcome has been a curated hub of design from its inception. Starting as an archival page in 2019, Welcome amassed a following of culturally oriented minds, seeking not just the latest drop or fad, but aesthetic brilliance wherever it exists.
With the launch of our editorial site, Welcome is growing into a media ecosystem offering a critical perspective on aesthetic and design, from the latest developments in the arts, to highlights in cultural history. Our team of writers and designers cull their fields of expertise for insights on cultural happenings past and present, and emphasize the power of design and personal taste not just as modes of self-expression, but as historical narratives perpetually unfolding. - Welcome.jpeg
Dino: What's your background, who are you and what you do?
Alex: I am 23 years old, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but my parents are Armenian. We fled from Armenia to Russia, then from Russia to LA. I'm Armenian but I also can speak Russian. Growing up I was really interested in fashion design and art design and my parents kind of were against that and so they gave me three options. It was either to be adoctor, lawyer, or in business. Finally I graduated last year from USC with my business administration degree. I started Welcome as honestly just a personal mood board for myself. Back in 2019 I had a clothing brand and it was a place for me store all the research that I did online and also in the libraries. It quickly grew into what it is now, just based off a lot of people reposting early on liljupiter, Virgil, ASAP mob. That definitely helped promote the page. At the time I was posting a lot of old Tumblr posts from Virgil's Tumblr and a screenshot of an Instagram post. It was iconic to see Virgil's Instagram at a very early point in his career and to see what he became afterward. It was very inspiring. I posted that in ASAP mob and a couple other people started reposting and it kind of blew up from there.
Dino: It's really cool for young people to profile themself at such a young age. I mean, you said Virgil, ASAP and others saw your work, I mean it must of been an overwhelming experience for you as a 23 year old.
Alex: What, honestly happened was once I saw that everyone started following me these, you know, notable figures. I felt the eyes watching me, I knew that the next couple posts, whatever I'm posting is gonna be viewed by the people that have been inspiring me for years. So it did feel a little nerve wrecking. Honestly, I think that helped me, develop my taste even more because I was more meticulous about what I let out. I took it more seriously because I saw that it was developing. That led to a lot more research and a higher level of curation.
Dino: So you basically you had to dig up all that stuff, to post. It wasn't ground posting, it was searching stuff, you wanted to share, right?
Alex: Yeah. I'll be honest. I see most pages and most people structuring their pages around the consumer. And my goal was always to structure around the creative and show the creative, you know, different people's work that they can get inspired by. For example i'd post a painter who's showing a new technique of painting that I've never seen. That's inspiring as opposed to just posting some popular painters work.
Dino: So you have a strong connection to art?
Alex: Whenever I started welcome, I was not too much familiar with art actually. I was pretty much more into fashion design, not gonna lie but over the course of running Welcome I got tired of fashion design and more interested in art. And so I'm relatively new. I would say 2019, I started looking and researching art.
Dino: Where do you find your posts? Is it Instagram, Reddit? Is it some other pages ?
Alex: Yeah, I typically explore Tumblr or let's say I find an artist i like, for example, I'm really into this one artist Adrian Kiss. He's making really amazing textile art. It looks motorcycle inspired, puffer blankets, etc... They're really nice. So I'll go on their page and I'll click on the photos that they're tagged in and then I'll go and see which galleries have posted them or I'll go on their hashtag and see what pages have posted them and I'm sure that anyone that's posted Adrian Kiss will have similar aesthetic to me.
Dino: It sounds really interesting. It must take a lot of work for you to dig through all this stuff? What's your screen time?
Alex: My screen time's probably around 10 hours a day, 10 to 12 hours.
Dino: What is you favorite medium?
Alex: I don't know if this counts, but my favorite medium would be technology. My favorite thing is learning about innovation. I find there's real beauty in the simplicity of technology. If it works, it works. Seeing how tech is shifting our understanding of our reality. Especially with the blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, augmented reality... All these things are literally gonna change what it means to be a human.
Dino: What's the purpose of your work? Where do you plan to go with it?
Alex: At first it was just a personal thing. For me, the goal was to kind of learn and discover. Then the next step was the following, so I wanted to provide people with knowledge and new perspectives and new inspirations. Now I've come to a point where the goal is working on technology ourselves. Apps and software. Innovate the creative space. We're working on a video series as well. I think I'm trying to create more performance art videos. We filmed this series called senior Fest coming out where we have musicians perform live inside of senior citizen homes. The first one was this one rapper. So we are documenting this generational and cultural gap. Another project we are planning is AI interviews. Replacing human host, with AI.
Dino: You are going to interview people with AI? I mean AI is going to do work instead of you?
Alex: Yes! The AI is gonna be from GPT-3.
Dino: How can your work affect social issues and dilemmas?
Alex: I'm having a difficulty definitely affecting social issues. Partially because I have an issue doing what everyone does which is just re-posting on my story. I want to use my work to help in a more effective way. Wether that's through fundraising, or through creating a project or service that can actually make a difference.
Dino: Do you think art museums will move to digital and do people need live interaction with art they watch ?
Alex: I don't think art museums are going anywhere. Like there's no way you can replace the experience of going to a museum. It's the same way you go to watch a movie in a movie theater. Yeah you can stream. But at the end of the day, nothing will replace the physical experience. Context changes everything. I think also just being surrounded by other people as well, subconsciously adds to the experience. I think the only way that would happen would be if museums were able to provide highly realistic VR experiences were say people who can't afford to goto the Louvre could experience it, but again that wouldn't replace the actually museum.
Dino: What excites you?
Alex: Honestly I'm very excited about the current moment. Discovering things I enjoy is a very inspiring process for me. I'm get eager to post because I'm enjoy sharing my discoveries, and I want others to feel what I am feeling. I'm excited to share my apps and video series. That's actual original content.
Dino: Also I saw that you don't have any pictures of yourself. I like that, the work you present is not about you, it's there to serve others, am I right?
Alex: I'm posting other people's work. I don't feel like it's important to show myself. There is no reason for people to know what I look like. The content is all that matters.