Alain and Lucy for Love Sick
Posted on May 05 2019
Alain & Lucy are a Brooklyn based creative couple who have been producing work together for the past 3 years.
I met them through booking Alain for my AW19 collection. I envisioned a pale tall man in red wigs, and with the help of my hair stylist friend, Dale Delaporte, and Alain, we made this happen (plus the whole AW19 crew).
While on set, Alain expressed how he enjoys working on creative projects more than modeling and showed me some of the work he and Lucy had created together.
I thought Love Sick would be the perfect opportunity to get to know them better.
Name: Lucy Antoinette Batten
Star Sign: Aries
IG alias: @PaleBlueLies
Name: Alain Gr-Polanco
Star Sign: Cancer
IG alias: @AlainGrPolanco
Laurel aka Kee Kee: Hey guys!! So awesome to have shot you and now I get to have a chat. I wanted to give the Love Sick readers our back story. They might remember you, Alain, from my AW19 campaign shoot. We basically just met that day of the shoot and I learned that you do all these other cool things with your partner Lucy that didn’t just involve modeling. So, I naturally, had a little stalk on insta and became a fan of you two.
Now that everyone knows how we met, how did you two meet?
Lucy Antoinette Batten: We met a bar. Greatest love story ever told.
Alain Gr-Polanco: We lived a block away from each other and the bar was on the block in-between us.
KK: You’ve been together for 4 years now and working together for 3 years. How did that come about? Was it a natural progression?
AGP: I think it came about pretty naturally. Lucy and I have a connection that I think translates to our work as well.
LAB: Yeah I don’t think it was as natural as you think. I had to work for it. I had to gain your respect as a creative person as well as other people’s respect because I went to school for Art History and not Film. I don’t think you invited me to set because you thought I could do anything, you invited me to set-
AGP: I invited you on set because I liked having you around and I trust your opinions.
LAB: Yeah, but not because I was doing anything at first. People were just like “you’re such a good girlfriend!” But I just wanted to be like “yeah I actually wrote the script with him sooo..” I don’t think I have to prove myself anymore though.
KK: Who does what in your creative business, and what have you called your agency?
AGP: It’s called Artificial Creations; and the way I always describe it is that I do the technical stuff and she makes sure what’s in front of the camera is worth being there.
LAB: Yeah, I do a lot more of the styling, production design, and writing work especially when it comes to editing writing. I’s dotted, T’s crossed.
KK: Where do you lean on each other’s strengths when working together?
LAB: I mean I don’t really know too much about cameras, or lighting, or anything like that. I’ve had no formal film or photography education like Alain. I think I am also really bad at procrastinating. I have a lot of good ideas and I don’t get them out of my head and into the world. Alain does a good job of motivating me.
AGP: I definitely lean on Lucy when it comes to her eye. I think she is really good at calling out what works and what doesn’t in terms of styling and also writing. I know if it wasn’t for her my scripts would be extremely elementary. She has definitely helped me in enhancing the quality of my work through and through. Really pushing me to think more about how I explain my ideas on paper.
KK: What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on together to date?
AGP: I think our short film Missing Out is my favorite in terms of it being a learning experience.
LAB: I like when we do little photoshoots in the house actually because we can take our time with them. I liked doing our product photos and The Garden. I think it's refreshing trying to create with what you have around.
AGP: You know actually I think my favorite one in terms of how it turned out and the process is the Fighting Establishment series we did with Ayade. It was a lot of fun to shoot.
LAB: We had so many photos from that one it was hard to choose from them all.
KK: Do you think being an Aries and Cancer combo works in your favor?
LAB: I think the majority of the time it works in our favor, but we are very different. We deal with things in different ways and we have different ways of communicating.
AGP: Yeah both saying the same thing but saying it differently. For the most part, I think we complement each other pretty well.
LAB: My faults are his strengths and vise-versa. I think it helps that we are both the Cardinal fire and water signs.
AGP: The whole Ying Yang type sitch.
KK: Tell me about your ‘Hers & His’ series, what inspired you both to do it, where did you shoot it and where can people see it?
AGP: Starting with where they can see it, it’s on our website with all of our work, ArtificialCreations.org. I keep the website up to date. In terms of shooting, we did it in our apartment. We set up a few softboxes, a backdrop in our living room, and then used an app on our phones that connect to the camera so we could see the frame still.
LAB: The idea for the project started very early on in our relationship just because I’m 5’2” and Alain is 6’3”. You’re basically twice the size of me.
AGP: My foot is the size of your head.
LAB: Yeah, your head takes up my entire torso. It’s always been funny to us and it is a project we’ve been talking about for at least a year or two.
AGP: We were just trying to capture the differences between our sizes.
Kee Kee side note; His & Hers series will be exhibited at the $100 Dollar Art Show, May 16th, details here
KK: You were both expressing your frustration over giving away too much creative energy to people who don’t appreciate it, and those who waste it. How do you weed out people like this?
AGP: We don’t work with anybody.
LAB: We have been burned so many times before that I find it hard to trust other people when it comes to collaborating. What we have started doing now to weed people out is that we have become uncompromising on the price that it’s going to cost. That shows us who’s serious and who is not because that is seriously how much work we are going to have to put into it and that is seriously the cost.
AGP: Also we give one of the lowest prices on the market for the quality of work we provide. We don’t try to gauge you, we aren’t trying to make money off of it. We are trying to have enough money to create work that is worthwhile for everyone involved.
LAB: Yeah, we are very resourceful and like to create with what we have on hand. We thrift for pretty much everything we use or use things from our own home. So when it comes to giving someone a quote we aren’t trying to run up the price on anyone. Especially because we know they are artists too.
AGP: Everyone in New York is poor, rent is too expensive.
LAB: That is probably the best way to see if someone is committed to the project which is kind of unfortunate, but hey that’s show business baby.
KK: What advice would you give to younger people getting into creative industries?
LAB: I think I would say don’t rely on collaborations to be the only projects that get you creating and doing stuff. I think people make a really big deal out of “collabs” these days, but I have never found them to be beneficial for myself creatively, mentally, or emotionally.
AGP: Find your voice, find your style, figure out who you are and figure out what it is you want to say and if it’s worth saying.
LAB: Even though Alain and I are a creative team we both have different stories we want to tell and do different things. We are not relying heavily on one another for the creative content we make. I think that can be the problem with collaborating too much. You end up in a situation where you're making work you're not happy with, that you are not getting paid for, that is not really yours, and I just don’t think you should feel like you have to work with someone else to make something. I think independence is so important.
AGP: Going off that I think you should not try to build your career off of someone else. Make your own statements. Also, another piece of advice is, be smart with how you use things. Don’t be wasteful. You are creating art, don’t contribute to destroying the Earth.
LAB: Be conscious of your footprint.
KK: You’ve both been in front of the camera and behind it, which role do you prefer to play?
LAB: I don’t like to be in front of the camera at all. I despise it.
AGP: I enjoy it but not as much as being the DP or director. I think being the talent you can have more fun at the moment sometimes, but you have more control over the final outcome when you’re behind the camera. It’s like being a chess piece versus the chess player.
LAB: Yeah I’m too shy. I know its weird because I am an Aries, but as I’ve gotten older I have gotten less into being the center of attention.
KK: Talk to me about your home aesthetic, what was the word you described it as?
LAB: I describe it as a mid-century modern kindergarten classroom. There are lots of sleek lines, very simple silhouettes in the furniture, but there are so many colors.
AGP: We love the color.
LAB: Most of the time you see modern furniture in all blacks and whites. Ours, we have blue, red, yellow, and green accents. We also have a giant painting of Alain in our living room that is basically a rainbow palette. It makes me laugh because it’s just a massive painting of his face. It’s so weird, but also hilarious.
AGP: I would say it’s very fun to be in this space. Every time someone walks into our home they are always surprised. They say, “Wow, it feels so homie.” It brings joy, at least to me.
LAB: Kids really like it, they really respond to it.
KK: If money wasn’t a thing, how would you guys deck out your house and where would you live?
LAB: I would live on the west coast between Northern California and Oregon in an A-framed cabin in the woods. I would have as little furniture as possible actually with the pieces being designed into the home. Very minimal, you wouldn’t see anything around the house it would be away in cabinets built into the walls.
AGP: I would want a home in the mountains made by Javier Senosiain.
LAB: I also would want one of those. It would be our summer home right?
AGP: Yeah. That or a domed home. I don’t like straight walls.
KK: How long have you both been in NYC?
AGP: I grew up in Washington Heights until I was about 7 or 8 then moved around a bit back and forth, then the week of my 18th birthday I moved back and have been here since. So all together like 14 years.
LAB: I moved from Boise, Idaho to London for my first year of college through NYU and then after my freshman year I moved to New York. So I have only been here since 2014.
AGP: And you’re tired of it already.
LAB: Yeah I miss nature.
KK: Do you have any NYC life hacks? Fav spots, must-see destinations for visitors?
LAB: The funny thing is I think I am better at going out and knowing places than Alain is. Alain will go to the same place every time. He is very much a creature of habit.
AGP: We mainly spend most of our time in Brooklyn.
LAB: We have really great restaurants in Flatbush. There is a bar in a flower shop called Sycamore Flower Shop and then there’s a great restaurant also down there called The Farm on Adderley that has the best brunch and dinner. There are just all these great places on Cortelyou Road.
AGP: Take the Q out to Cortelyou definitely. In terms of life hacks, I would say it’s very important to build a stable home situation. I think people in New York take for granted what it’s like to walk into a home and feel at ease. Build a space that makes you decompress the moment you step into it.
KK: How can people get in touch with you and work with you?
AGP: Our website has all our work ArtificialCreations.org
LAB: And our personal websites as well. LucyAntoinette.com + AlainGrPolanco.com
AGP: and of course instagram. @AlainGrPolanco + @PaleBlueLies
KK: I really appreciate the time you’ve given to me, you guys are literally the sweetest couple and you complement each other so well. I can’t wait until we hang out again. Thanks, Lucy and Alain! X
AGP: Word is bond. Same.
Alain & Lucy have two art shows coming up in NYC: