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DVP Interview: Madelyn Covey and Nick Pagan

Madelyn Covey interviewed Nick Pagan for the Disability Visibility Project™ at StoryCorps San Francisco on September 2, 2014. In this clip, Nick talks about being an artist with developmental disabilities at Creative Growth in Oakland, CA. Nick talks about his artistic inspirations including serial killers, death metal, comic books, and horror films. Nick talks about being in a coma as a child and losing his long term memory, his love of video games, and his artistic works.


Text Transcript:

Madelyn Covey: I’m Madelyn Covey, I’m twenty eight years old, it is September 2nd 2014, I’m in the San … Can’t talk. Can I start again? Sorry. I’m Madelyn Covey, I’m twenty eight years old, it’s September 2nd 2014, I’m in the San Francisco Public Library story booth. I’m a teacher at Creative Growth Art Center where Nick is an artist and we became friends through that.
Nick Pagan: My name’s Nicholas Pagan, I’m thirty one years old, it’s September 2nd 2014. I’m in a story booth.
Madelyn Covey: San Francisco.
Nick Pagan: San Francisco StoryBooth and I work at Creative Growth and I met Madelyn there.
Madelyn Covey: I wanted to start off by asking Nick about … He’s an artist at Creative Growth and I wanted to start by asking him about how he found Creative Growth Art Center. Maybe I’ll say what Creative Growth is so that it’s on the record too. It’s an art center for adults with developmental disabilities and it’s just a studio situation. It’s not art therapy or anything, people just come in and make their artwork and there’s also a youth program too. Nick you told me earlier how did you find out about Creative Growth?
Nick Pagan: I was working at a coffee shop at the Hayward adult school and I just kept on doing art and I was failing miserably. Someone told me about Creative Growth, I checked it out and I went there and started doing the summer scholarship program for I think like two to three years and I haven’t looked back.
Madelyn Covey: What kind of artwork do you do at Creative Growth?
Nick Pagan: Multiple …
Madelyn Covey: Mediums?
Nick Pagan: Mediums. Thank you. From movie making, to ceramics, to water color, to prop making. Stuff like that.
Madelyn Covey: Where do you draw your inspiration from for your artwork?
Nick Pagan: Serial killers, movies, horror movies, comics, video games, music.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. What are you working on right now? Can you tell me about an art piece that you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?
Nick Pagan: It’s not mine but it’s a class project. We’re working on a movie called Star Aquarius, it’s a live action, post-apocalyptic, comedy kind of based a little bit on Red Dwarf.
Madelyn Covey: Are you in it? Are you playing a role on the video?
Nick Pagan: I am directing it.
Madelyn Covey: You made props for it too right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: What kind of stuff did you make?
Nick Pagan: An arsenal of weapons, all the clothing, the helmets, the ships, the small models, the control panels, the inside of the ship.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. You said that serial killers are one of your inspirations for your art, can you talk a little bit about that?
Nick Pagan: I love serial killers, they inspire me the way they murder … Murder I know sounds wrong but the way they murder people, I don’t know how to describe it but-
Madelyn Covey: Is it like a morbid fascination kind of a thing?
Nick Pagan: Sort of. I always tell friends, “Who’s your favorite serial killer?” A lot of people have a favorite.
Speaker 3: Do you have a favorite?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. Actually I have two, Ed Gein and Jack the Ripper.
Madelyn Covey: Obviously I know you, you’re a real sweet guy. It’s not inspiring [crosstalk].
Nick Pagan: No, I’m not going to buy like a gun, kill somebody. I’m just interested in history and life and stuff.
Madelyn Covey: Then you’re also inspired by comic books and superheroes, could you tell me a little about that?
Nick Pagan: The backstories, the tech that they use, the powers, it all inspires me to make movies and do other art projects.
Madelyn Covey: Who’s your favorite superhero?


Nick Pagan: I would have to say the Hulk.
Madelyn Covey: Why is that?
Nick Pagan: Because he’s in your face and he don’t give a shit.
Madelyn Covey: Do you prefer the Hulk who is Bruce Banner in his mind and knows what’s going on or do you prefer the out of control whole?
Nick Pagan: I like the out of control, in your face Hulk, smash Hulk.
Madelyn Covey: What about the Hulk do you relate to?
Nick Pagan: His anger.
Madelyn Covey: Do you find that it’s hard to express anger in your everyday life, in your situation?
Nick Pagan: No. I used to be a really angry person when I was younger then I suppressed it. I get that feeling of Bruce Banner trying to suppress the Hulk type deal.
Madelyn Covey: That makes sense.
Speaker 3: Would you be willing to share a little bit about what made you angry when you were younger?
Nick Pagan: I can’t remember. I was in a coma when I was younger, I don’t remember anything after that.
Madelyn Covey: When did that happen?
Nick Pagan: I was eight.
Madelyn Covey: You can’t remember what happened before that or what happened after?
Nick Pagan: I can’t remember what happened before and what happened after.
Madelyn Covey: When do your memories start?
Nick Pagan: Really can’t tell you, I got short-term memory loss from the coma.
Speaker 3: Could I ask what that felt like when your memories did start to realize there were some things you couldn’t remember from before?
Nick Pagan: It made me sad and mad but then again I couldn’t really remember anyway. You know life happens, shit happens you got to carry on.
Madelyn Covey: Do you have any memories from your young childhood or?
Nick Pagan: I have fragments, someone will say something and I’ll remember but I’ll only remember fragments.
Madelyn Covey: Do your family members tell you about what happened [crosstalk] when you were a kid?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. They don’t always talk about it but if I ask them they will tell me. They don’t like to talk about it because it was a sad time.
Madelyn Covey: Was it sad just because of your situation or were there other things going on?
Nick Pagan: Yeah because of my situation.


Madelyn Covey: Let’s see. I wanted to ask you about your family, who is in your family?
Nick Pagan: Do you mean immediate family or whole family?
Madelyn Covey: Sure. Let’s start with immediate family.
Nick Pagan: Immediate family: there’s my mum, Kim such a sweet lady. Acts like a kid herself sometimes. Then there’s my step dad Bernard, cool guy, he’s a drummer, pretty cool. I get along good with both of them then there’s my brother Cody, an asshole but I still love him. Then there’s my sister Lacey, she’s an odd one. My brother is twenty three and my sister is nineteen.
Madelyn Covey: Are they from your step dad  with your mum or are they?
Nick Pagan: Me and my brother are from my mum and my real dad and my sister is from my mum and my step dad.
Madelyn Covey: I know your dad passed away a few years ago, how long ago was that?
Nick Pagan: Man, I really can’t remember. I want to say seven years ago. I think it was seven years ago.
Madelyn Covey: How was that? I don’t know, sorry.
Nick Pagan: It was pretty devastating, we never expected him to go because he had an aneurysm. I miss him a lot though.
Speaker 3: What do you miss about him?
Nick Pagan: Everything. His laugh, his jokes, his corny jokes. How we used to just sit in a circle and pass a joint and talk about just random crap, you know?
Madelyn Covey: Yeah. You and your dad were very close?
Nick Pagan: We were really close when I was a kid then he moved away, my parents got a divorce. He moved I think to Hawaii or something like that. He was moving around a lot then when I got to sixteen we started hanging out more. Then when I got a little older we started really hanging out more and bonding a lot.
Madelyn Covey: That’s cool.
Speaker 3: Do you remember any of his corny jokes? Do you want to share one with us?
Nick Pagan: Let’s see, one of my favorite jokes that he would tell is when he would die, he said, “If I die I want to be buried face down so everybody can kiss my ass.”
Madelyn Covey: That’s pretty good. Is there anything else you want to tell about your dad? No? You were showing me a picture of your niece earlier.
Nick Pagan: Yeah. Such a sweetie pie. My brother named her after marijuana because he’s an idiot.
Madelyn Covey: Oh no, what is her name Mary Jane?
Nick Pagan: No. Her name is [inaudible], that’s the Greek goddess of marijuana.
Madelyn Covey: That’s a cool name, it’s pretty.
Nick Pagan: She has this little alert system where before she cries she goes … Telling you that, “If you don’t make me happy, I’m going to freaking cry.”
Madelyn Covey: That’s funny. How old is she?
Nick Pagan: She’s not even one yet. She’s still little.
Madelyn Covey: It’s your brother’s?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. It’s my stepbrother’s daughter.
Madelyn Covey: How is it being an uncle?
Nick Pagan: Good. I’m an uncle to another baby again.
Madelyn Covey: You have other?
Nick Pagan: Yeah, my other stepbrother has a son.
Madelyn Covey: How old is he?
Nick Pagan: He’s I want to say six.
Madelyn Covey: Do you see your niece and nephew very often?
Nick Pagan: I’m most likely going to see her on Saturday and I don’t really see my nephew that much. I only see him at family gatherings and stuff like that but it’s good.
Speaker 3: What do you like to do with your nieces and nephews?
Nick Pagan: I don’t really hang out with them. We just say hi to each other and he says, “Hi uncle yeti.” Because when he was little uncle Bigfoot was too hard to say.
Madelyn Covey: That’s funny, I like that. You told me earlier that you also wanted to talk about how music inspires your artwork.


Nick Pagan: Big time. I listen to a lot of Slayer and Megadeath and hardcore metal and grindcore, that really inspires me to do angry stuff. I would say people in straitjackets and stuff but when I listen to smooth stuff like System of a Down, which is really mellow to me because most of the stuff I listen to is really hardcore. I usually make like happy stuff.
Madelyn Covey: You’ve made some art about the music that you like, specifically about it?
Nick Pagan: I’ve made a lot of guitars and a drum set and that was pretty fun.
Madelyn Covey: What did you build them out of?
Nick Pagan: Cardboard.
Madelyn Covey: You use them in a video right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah I do performances with them and I’ve used them in a couple of music videos that we’ve done.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. I know you also made an animation about headbanging right?
Nick Pagan: No, it wasn’t an animation, it was actually a documentary about headbanging and air guitaring. That is actually on Vimeo.
Madelyn Covey: If we just search for Nick Pagan.
Nick Pagan: You just search Vimeo then search up Nick Pagan headbanging, you’ll probably find it.
Madelyn Covey: Part of that was animated though right? I remember.
Nick Pagan: Yeah. Part of it was animated so it wouldn’t get boring because most documentaries put people to sleep. I wanted to introduce some fun element to keep you awake.
Madelyn Covey: What did you learn about what people think about headbanging from that? From making it?
Nick Pagan: A lot of people don’t really know about headbanging, I mean they know about it but they don’t really do it. There’s a lot of people that do. It was pretty good to get other people’s opinion about people that don’t go to concerts and listen to music and people that do.
Speaker 3: Did you get to headbang in the video?
Nick Pagan: Most definitely.
Speaker 3: What did you headbang to?
Nick Pagan: My cousin’s music, he doesn’t really have a band name but they had a project called the 666 Project which was nothing to do with Satan or anything. It just had a catchy name. That’s really it.
Madelyn Covey: I know you discovered that it’s much more fun to watch people headbang when they have long hair right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. I was talking to my teacher and he’s like, “Yeah, it’s much more fun to headbang when he had long hair.”
Madelyn Covey: Is that why you keep your hair long?
Nick Pagan: Yeah but also I was inspired by Dave Mustaine, the lead singer of Megadeath. He has some of the greatest long hair I’ve ever seen.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. Let’s see what else. I know you talked a bit about your family, you lived with your family growing up right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: Now you live in a group home?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: How is that?
Nick Pagan: It’s all right. It starts to get annoying after a while, right now I’m actually trying to move out on my own.
Madelyn Covey: To do independent living? Very cool. What’s annoying about it?
Nick Pagan: You got to tell them where you’re going at all times, you have a curfew which sucks ass. It’s like living under your mum’s roof all over again.
Madelyn Covey: You said you’d just moved recently or?
Nick Pagan: No.
Madelyn Covey: No?
Nick Pagan: I was making excuses. I’m not awake, I haven’t had any coffee.
Madelyn Covey: Oh no, I’m sorry, I should have gotten you some. How long ago did you move to where you’re living right now?
Nick Pagan: I want to say I think four years.
Madelyn Covey: Four years ago?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: Do you have a roommate?
Nick Pagan: No. I have my own room.
Madelyn Covey: That’s good. How do you like your housemates?
Nick Pagan: They’re okay. They leave me alone.
Madelyn Covey: Are you friends with any of them?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. I’m good friends with a little … He’s not little, he’s thirty one but he has the mind of a two year old, two to three year old. He’s awesome, his name is Nickie, he has down syndrome and autism.


Madelyn Covey: That’s cool. Do you like the people who run your group home?
Nick Pagan: Yeah it’s okay.
Madelyn Covey: What was it like in the one you lived in before you moved to this one four years ago? Do you remember very much about it?
Nick Pagan: Same house.
Madelyn Covey: Huh?
Nick Pagan: Same house.
Madelyn Covey: Same house?
Nick Pagan: The whole house moved because our neighbors put furniture in their backyard and it attracted rats. Our whole house got infested with rats, there was rats in the walls. The whole house had to move because we called the exterminator and he came and exterminated but they must have laid babies or something because they just kept on coming.
Speaker 3: How would you decorate your apartment when you’re able to move out on your own?
Nick Pagan: I was thinking about painting all the walls black but then I thought about it, my friend told me, he said he had walls that are painted black and at night time his house is actually pitch black. I don’t know, I was thinking about designing it with posters, I don’t really know yet.
Madelyn Covey: What kinds of posters? Movie posters?
Nick Pagan: Movie posters, music posters, I don’t know, game posters mostly.
Madelyn Covey: I know you’re a very avid gamer.
Nick Pagan: Avid? Staying up until six in the morning playing online video games is avid?
Madelyn Covey: Yeah. What is it about video games that attracts you?
Nick Pagan: I don’t know. I really don’t have ADD but when I play video games I ADD to the max. People try and talk to me and I’m so zoned out I don’t even respond to them. I love video games, it’s like a big release. If I’m feeling angry I can always jump on some Grand Theft Auto and go kill someone or play UFC and go beat the crap out of somebody. It’s a big release.
Madelyn Covey: What’s your favorite video game?
Nick Pagan: Man, tough question.
Speaker 3: Your top three.
Nick Pagan: Top three. I’ve got to say now is Warframe, The Last of Us and the first Mario Brothers.
Madelyn Covey: You like old school games too then?
Nick Pagan: Old school. Yes. I like Pong. My first system was the Atari.
Madelyn Covey: You prefer games with a narrative or you prefer games where you can just go and beat stuff up?
Nick Pagan: I like both, I like RPGs … Not rocket propelled grenades … Role playing games. I also like story based games and just playing old shooters. I always go back to original, the Nintendo and the Sega Genesis but I’m mostly playing the PS4 now.
Madelyn Covey: It’s like a nice escape from your-
Nick Pagan: Oh my gosh such a nice escape. Playing on a nice big screen, so much fun.
Speaker 3: Would you be willing to talk a little bit about what in your life makes you feel like you want to escape?
Nick Pagan: Depression. Sometimes I just like to escape from life, be something else, do something else.
Madelyn Covey: Is the depression … Do you feel like it’s caused by external factors or is it something new or?
Nick Pagan: My problem is if something bad happens I constantly think about it and it makes me depressed. I can’t get it out of my head. That’s what the video games is escape for. No one really says anything to me to make me feel bad but like if someone hit me in the face or something and I’ll be thinking about it all day and working myself up. I would usually play video games and escape from that worked up then I would forget about it.
Madelyn Covey: Makes sense. Let’s see, we talked about your artwork at Creative Growth, how do you like the social aspect of Creative Growth? Do you have friends there?
Nick Pagan: I have friends. They’re just friends at Creative Growth, they’re not friends outside of Creative Growth. I have friends outside of Creative Growth but they’re mainly all potheads.
Madelyn Covey: Who do you hang out with on the weekends? Tell me about your friends.
Nick Pagan: I go to my friend David, it’s pretty fun because he has a sixty inch and we play video games and stuff. it’s pretty fun. Then I have my friend Jessie and he’s pretty cool.
Madelyn Covey: What do you do with Jessie?
Nick Pagan: Smoke a lot of pot.
Madelyn Covey: Fair enough. Do you want to talk about that? Is that okay? Do you want to talk about how pot is in your life, where it fits in?
Nick Pagan: It’s also escape, I enjoy it. I don’t know what else to say. I recently learned how to roll a blunt.
Madelyn Covey: That’s exciting.
Nick Pagan: It really is exciting. I want to roll it for everybody.
Madelyn Covey: Let’s see, do you have people who give you a hard time about it or?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. They’re always like, “Don’t justify how it helps you.” All that. I was like, “Man, I just want to be me and you guys can go fuck yourself.” Other than that, yeah. Everybody is like, “You’re a man, you can do whatever you want.”
Speaker 3: When you describe just wanting to be you, can you tell us who is Nick?
Nick Pagan: Insane. I don’t know. Big, I’m kind of lovable I guess, I don’t know. Most people are afraid of me when they first meet me.
Madelyn Covey: You are quite an imposing figure, you’re very tall.
Nick Pagan: I hate being tall sometimes.
Madelyn Covey: Why is that?
Nick Pagan: I usually run into crap.
Madelyn Covey: Oh no. Like stuff is too small for you?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. For example just like going on the Grayhill pain in the ass, seats are too small. Can’t go to Great America, don’t fit in their roller coasters.
Madelyn Covey: Oh no. Did you get tall when you were young or did it happen when you were older?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. When I got a little older I started getting taller.
Madelyn Covey: Are there some good things about it too or?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. I can help people out if they’re shorter. I can see stuff if I had new glasses. I can see stuff over people’s heads, it’s pretty good.
Madelyn Covey: How tall are you actually?
Nick Pagan: I think I’m like 6’2″, 6’3″, 6’3 1/2″.
Madelyn Covey: Really? I was going to guess 6’4″.
Nick Pagan: I measured Matt and Matt’s a little taller than me, he’s 6’4″.
Madelyn Covey: Ten minute warning? Let’s see, what other stuff did I want to ask you about?
Speaker 3: What do you like about being a director?
Nick Pagan: It’s pretty fun, I get to boss people around. It’s good for now, I actually want to write a screenplay, I’m working on that.
Madelyn Covey: Did you work at all on the screenplay or the script for the Star Aquarius movie?
Nick Pagan: Yeah, it was a class project, we all collaborated.
Madelyn Covey: You want to write your own?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: Do you know what kind of genre you’d want it to be in?
Nick Pagan: Live action, raunchy comedy.
Madelyn Covey: I know I didn’t ask you earlier you’re also a pretty big horror movie fan right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: What about horror movies do you like?
Nick Pagan: I was never really a horror movie fan when I was younger. I was actually terrified of them then I saw The Exorcist and that scared the shit out of me.
Madelyn Covey: How old were you when you saw it?
Nick Pagan: I think I was fifteen. Then when I watched it recently it’s just freaking hilarious.
Madelyn Covey: Is it just because the special effects didn’t hold up for you or?
Nick Pagan: No, the special effects were great, it’s just so stupid.
Madelyn Covey: What’s stupid about it? I haven’t seen it.
Nick Pagan: Really?
Madelyn Covey: No. All I know is they’ve got vomiting and head spinning around.
Nick Pagan: There was a scene that made me laugh really hard but I don’t know if I can say it.
Madelyn Covey: Go for it.
Nick Pagan: There is a part in the movie where they’re trying to exorcise her and she goes, “Your mother sucks cock in hell.” That was pretty funny.
Madelyn Covey: What other horror movies do you like?
Nick Pagan: Let’s see. I liked Silver Bullet, that was a great one. John Carpenter’s The Thing and the original Thing, the black and white one. I like a lot of black and white horror movies, like Frankenstein and The Wolfman.
Madelyn Covey: What about that genre appeals to you? Do you like being scared or do you like-
Nick Pagan: I like horror movies because they give you a different aspect of film making.
Madelyn Covey: Different from?
Nick Pagan: Take Paranormal Activity for example, they did it so well that it looks so real and they used all practical effects.
Madelyn Covey: You like the special effects in them a lot?
Nick Pagan: Practical.
Madelyn Covey: You like it but they-
Nick Pagan: Because special effects is with the computer, practical effects is like say you have a tissue box and you turn it to a bomb or something. It’s just stuff that you can actually touch.
Madelyn Covey: I like that stuff too with models instead of it all being computer graphics.
Nick Pagan: The [crosstalk] how I use a lot of practical effects.
Madelyn Covey: You like building those for the movies that you make too?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. Let’s see-
Speaker 3: If you could make your own horror film what would it be about?
Nick Pagan: I’ve always wanted to do a movie where I kill myself. Something happens and I get split in two where there’s two of me. There’s the alter ego thing, where I actually go and kill myself then the other me is walking around and posing as me.
Madelyn Covey: That’s really cool.
Nick Pagan: That would be a horror movie in itself.
Madelyn Covey: That’s a great idea for a horror movie. Where did that idea come from?
Nick Pagan: I had a dream once that another me killed me and that was really weird.
Madelyn Covey: That’s a pretty weird dream yeah. Five minutes. Is there anything that you want to talk about in your life that I haven’t asked you about? I don’t know if you want to talk about this but you do a lot of really great sculpture stuff like making props and making things like that. You also in ceramics frequently make-
Nick Pagan: Mr. Boners.
Madelyn Covey: Yeah Mr. Boner character. What’s behind that?
Nick Pagan: The dick with arms, he goes on adventures. That inspired me from a movie called Superbad. At the end of the credits they show these drawings of dicks with arms, I decided to do one where he goes across time and just does all kinds of outlandish shit.
Madelyn Covey: What kind of stuff have you had Mr. Boner do?
Nick Pagan: I’ve had a hitchhiker boner, I made a super boner which sold really fast. I’ve done a cowboy one where he’s riding one of those horses with … It’s just a head and the stick, I’ve done … Oh my God I’ve done so many … I’ve done the George Foreman.
Madelyn Covey: George Foreman boner?
Nick Pagan: Yeah.
Madelyn Covey: That’s cool.
Nick Pagan: I paid tribute to Joe Frazier, he’s a boxer, he died a couple of years ago. I made a boner of him. I even made an animation of Mr. Boner.
Madelyn Covey: What does he do in the animation?
Nick Pagan: He just rides across the screen and it says, “Mr. Boner rides again.”
Madelyn Covey: That’s funny. Some are puns right?
Nick Pagan: Yeah. Some are puns like I’ve done.
Madelyn Covey: Like visual puns like what … I can’t think of some right now but like … I don’t know, I’m sorry, I’m blanking on it.
Nick Pagan: I did a horny boner which is the boner of horns.
Madelyn Covey: Like that kind of thing.
Nick Pagan: I did one where .. What’s the other one? I’ve done one called balls to the walls which is just like a Spider man boner.
Madelyn Covey: That’s great. I know my friend bought your crucified Jesus boner, he has it up in his house.
Nick Pagan: You told me he hung it up to his real crucifix?
Madelyn Covey: Yeah.
Nick Pagan: I thought that was awesome.
Madelyn Covey: It’s pretty cool.
Nick Pagan: I also made a Atari controller boner which it can actually-
Madelyn Covey: It’s a joystick.
Nick Pagan: Yeah, it’s actually a joystick and it’s called the original joystick.
Madelyn Covey: That’s really funny. At Creative Growth we have so many different mediums that you do, do you have a favorite or do you?
Nick Pagan: Yes I do, I have two favorites. I have film making and ceramics.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. Being at Creative Growth you’re a pretty successful artist, you sell your artwork, you have your drawings on t-shirts that celebrities have bought and stuff like that how does that feel?
Nick Pagan: It feels good but when I tell people they’re like, “No, not really. You’re not that famous, I haven’t heard of you.” I’m like, “Because I’m underground man.” I’m not known yet. It feels great. Like who … I don’t know if David Barnes bought my stuff, I know he bought some other people’s stuff.
Madelyn Covey: I think he collects, Ramirez and some other folks.
Nick Pagan: David Byrne from the Talking Heads?
Madelyn Covey: Yeah. That’s cool. When you were younger did you think you’d be a successful artist?
Nick Pagan: No. I actually didn’t like art when I was younger. It was when I was in the hospital, I was in [inaudible] hospital a lot as a kid. That’s when I started doing art because I was so bored then it just took off from there, I just couldn’t stop.
Madelyn Covey: That’s awesome. Anything else?
Nick Pagan: I come from a big art related family, my grandfather was an artist, my cousin’s an artist, my mum does … I don’t know if she’s a artist, she makes stuff out of random crap-
Madelyn Covey: That counts.
Nick Pagan: It looks awesome. Like [inaudible]. Big oriented family art thing going.
Madelyn Covey: Very cool. It’s nice to be able to continue that tradition.
Nick Pagan: Me and my mum feed off each other, she’ll ask me for advice on art and I’ll ask her.
Madelyn Covey: Awesome. Cool. Good.

Music Credits: ( “On My Way” by Gino and the Goons and “Neon Jesus Wins the World Cup” by Electric Mirrors. All songs are licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)


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Suggested Reference

Disability Visibility Project™. (2017, January 30). DVP Interview: Madelyn Covey and Nick Pagan. Retrieved from:

Image Description:

A photo featuring Madelyn Covey and Nick Pagan was taken on September 2, 2014: close up portrait of a woman on the left and a man on the right, both smiling and facing the camera. The woman on the left has short brown hair with a streak of orange hair framing her face. Madelyn appears to be white and is wearing a thin gold necklace, yellow shirt and orange overshirt. She has plug earrings and two small freckles to the right of her mouth. The man on the right is significantly taller, has long dark brown hair and brown eyes. Nick appears to be white and is wearing rectangular dark framed glasses and has a slim moustache and beard. The visible part of his black T-shirt says STOP in bold yellow letters in front of the image of a whisp of smoke.


Produced for the Disability Visibility Project™ by Yosmay del Mazo and Alice Wong with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the story of our lives. For more: and

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DVP Interviews

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