Adrian Padarath is a multi disciplined designer. He has a sense of humor and a distinct art style about him. Who said New Yorkers can't have any fun and smile. Oh wait, that's not a saying. Well enough witty banter from me, enjoy the interview below.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Adrian Padarath, I’m currently 25 and NYC has my heart. I work with a hybrid Film Production/Creative Agency. Because internal projects and films take a substantial amount of time to produce, we create brand content with a cinematic edge on a day-to-day basis. This allows me to sharpen my photography, design, and storytelling skills in a professional environment. I consider myself very fortunate to be with my team.
At the same time, I direct a dynamic Jesus-centered program that trains Junior High and High school students in the Queens borough to excel in life through group talks, tutoring, life on life mentoring, and more. Our students, together with our team recently gave $27,000 toward the rescuing of children in human trafficking.
My mission is to use all the creative energy gifted to me, to seeing people experiencing true freedom, whether it be from personal addictions or forced slavery. I don’t believe in compartmentalizing my life, so my career, personal life, passions and skills are combined to see that become a reality.
What are some of your influences as an artist?
- I follow a few artists whose work blow my mind. One of them is Brock Lefferts and the other is Luke Robson . I feel like my work is a combination of theirs, thrown in the blender of my own imagination.
What is your favorite FUNimals piece you've created?
My favorite is still the Polarbear x Icecream collage. That was going to be a poster for a Foster the People concert, but they opted out for a press photo with some text. However, the team loved it and so have most people I know who’ve seen it since.
What made you get into the digital media field?
I went to Fordham University for Economics and had no idea what to do with that degree once I was out of college. Then I got this awesome internship at an entertainment company, which eventually took me out to Austin, TX for 6 months. I think that’s where I confirmed that I always wanted to create. The ironic part is, without what I learned from my degree, I wouldn’t be as sharp at the analytics side of digital media. So even those mathematical skills helped differentiate me from the standard creative, which is key in running campaigns with large spends. No experience is wasted.
How would you describe your style of art?
I once read an article that said each individual's art is a reflection of that person's life experience. I think for many artists, they become inspired by an event or an emotion they're feeling, and it comes out in their creation. For me, it's not that clear cut a process. I’ll usually create something weird or interesting, and I have to think to myself
Often, my pieces are done by trial and error. Sometimes I’ll take random photos I've shot, warp them beyond recognition, or piece together a collage of different images that wouldn't normally fit together in real life. But, if I hold the premise that this art is a reflection of myself, then whether I know it or not, each piece must say something about me. Part of the journey in my craft is figuring out exactly what is being said. It’s a process, but so far I've figured out that my imagination is vast, unconventional, and I'm perfectly ok with that.
I think what I want people to get out of my art style is the transition from eyesight to “vision,” in the sense of seeing what isn’t physically there. Hopefully curiosity leads them to communication with me. The ideal situation would be for someone to stumble on to my work, be curious or utterly confused by the visuals they see, reach out to me, and start a conversation. If my art is a reflection of who I am, and someone connects to the art in whatever way, I think we've just established a common ground, whether we know it or not. And if that common ground converts into a conversation, real life encounter, or friendship, I think creating is worth it.
What was one of your most challenging pieces?
I couldn’t pinpoint a “most challenging piece,” but I would say I have the most trouble with commissioned work or collaborations. Our visions, personalities, and preferences will clash. Working through that challenge is worth it in the end for something better than you or the other party could've created without each other.
Do you use a sketchbook to figure out your ideas?
While I don’t use a sketchbook to figure out ideas, I do occasionally scan a sketch to use in a digital piece. I prefer to collect different images and create mood boards through Pinterest to brainstorm.
What does your workspace look like?
A straightforward answer would be: all I need is my camera, laptop and hot chocolate.
I feel my workspace has layers, that sometimes I’m unaware of. For example, I shot an image of Chinese art at The Met a few months ago. This past weekend, I was asked to edit a piece for a website inspired by Chinese culture. I then dug up the image from The Met and added my style to it. So really, even though I didn’t know it at the time, The Met was part of my workspace.
This helps me not to become frustrated with immediate progress in my art, because there’s probably a photo in my storage that will eventually become my best piece. The journey is my workspace.