Later, a third version was premeried on Maverick site: the Precious Illusions Experience, featuring Alanis as MonaLisa, Frida, riding a motorbike and ….. more! This pioneering and synergistic print, Internet and video project–which underlines the song’s themes of innocence lost and self-discovery–features photo illustrations of Alanis rendered in Michael Elins‘ signature style, a blend of photography and classical painting. Initially seen in the May 12 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Elins’ five photos portray Alanis as Duchamp’s Mona Lisa, a surrealistic Frida Kahlo and a futuristic angel. Two more images show Alanis as a motorcycle-riding damsel and a winking prankster.
Elins, whose pictures have appeared in Newsweek, People, US, Vanity Fair and a host of other publications, discovered a way of animating his photos on the Internet using Adobe Photoshop (for photo illustrations), Adobe LiveMotion (for web animation) and Adobe After Effects (for motion graphics and special effects). He then approached the New York Times Magazine with the idea of creating a short photo narrative based on Alanis’ song. As it turns out, Elins’ ideas for the photos — the usage of such visuals as motorcycles, butterflies, knights, angels — were in synch with Alanis’ own visions. Elins said:
“We both came up with many of these same ideas independently. It was complete coincidence. This may be a groundbreaking project. From the beginning, Alanis saw that this could be deep enough to grow from print images to the web, to something completely new. If it wasn’t for Alanis’ generosity in allowing me to interpret her material, this project would never have happened.”
In her Rolling Stone Q&A (4/11/02), Alanis told David Wild:
“The more transparent, the more authentic I can be, the more liberated I feel and the less fearful.“
Benjamin Nugent commended her outlook in his Time review (3/4/02), writing that Alanis’ “strength has always been her frankness, and the years haven’t swept it under anything.”
“The Force Is Still With Her” is how the Los Angeles Times headline described Alanis’s triumphant concert return to her adopted home of Los Angeles. An array of celebrities were on hand for the two power-packed and critically acclaimed shows this past weekend (Friday, May 3rd and Saturday, May 4th 2002) at the Universal Amphitheatre, the second stop on her North American “Toward our union mended tour 2002“. Actors Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater, Rob Lowe, Andy Dick, Kevin Smith, Paul Reiser and Michael Des Barres as well as singer Michelle Branch joined an “adoring, diverse crowd” (according to the Los Angeles Daily News) for the 90-minute set. The singer, songwriter and musician mixed up material from her three studio albums plus such unreleased material as “Sister Blister” and “Purgatorying”.
On October 29th 2002, Alanis was honored as a Glamour magazine "Woman of the Year" at the ceremony on New York City. Nia Vardalos, writer/star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and a fellow Canadian, presented the award to her. Meanwhile, Alanis also appeared opposite Larry David in an episode of HBO's acclaimed comedy series "Curb Your Enthusiasm". She also authored a frank and revealing essay in the November issue of Nylon magazine about the luxury of time.
On December 10th 2002, Alanis released “Feast On Scraps: Inside Under Rug Swept“, a special DVD and CD package highlighted by a full recent concert from Rotterdam, Netherlands and eight unreleased songs from sessions for her three million-selling, critically acclaimed album "Under Rug Swept", plus an acoustic version of the album?s hit single “Hands Clean”.
The DVD featured the aforementioned Rotterdam concert and live footage from other cities on her 2002 world tour, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "Under Rug Swept" and rare home videos. The DVD had also a special “Cherish” photo gallery where fans have submitted their own live photos of Alanis and her band. (mine is there too!) Both the DVD and the CD contained links to additional bonus material, videos and more.
In the “Feast On Scraps“ DVD/CD package, Alanis included her own description of this offering:
“A conceptual scrapbook filled with snapshots of my experiences over the past two years. From writing/recording and producing "Under Rug Swept" and “Feast On Scraps“ (the songs that didn’t fit on URS), a show in Rotterdam during the Toward Our Union Mended Tour 2002 and other cities around the world. The blanks are filled with personal footage ranging from the philosophical to the shameless as an attempt to prove to my future grandchildren that I, in fact, did use the word boner.“
On January 2003, while “Feast On Scraps“ DVD/CD was spreading around the world, Alanis already started thinking about the next album. In a letter posted in the reserved area in her official site, she wrote:
“been waking up in the middle of night with a drive to write which means if i don’t start soon i will explode (read:the more i’ve been holding in the more i’ve been feeling depressed, which i at first thought was post-holiday anti-climatic stuff–which i’ve experienced after every tour, every break-up, and every christmas etc–post trauma stress disorder haha)–but i now realize that i feel depressed because i have so much i want to say and get out…that i’ve been holding all this in and that it’s making me sick… so for the love of god write and get it out and save some doctor’s bills… the usual fear of success fear of banality fear of having too much to say to even know where to begin.“