the following interview is from the newsletter and website of the alliance for young artists & writers.
jake adams is an 08 grad of WTHS, and was a member of the AP class his senior year. he now attends MICA for painting. check it out!
How did a once aspiring farmer become an aspiring artist?
And what goes on inside the mind of a young surrealist painter?
Just ask Scholastic Art Award alumnus Jake Adams, currently a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Adams was recently featured as a Celeste Prize candidate (an international prize for contemporary arts recognizing works in painting, photography and digital graphics, video and animation, installation and sculpture, and live media) for a new multimedia piece entitled Friends, about the impact of digital social media networks on friendships (seen below). Recently, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers caught up with Adams, who spent his summer break in Montecastello, Italy. He tells us how his work has changed since winning a Scholastic Award and what, as a young artist, he sees as some of his biggest challenges.
AYAW: Athletes usually have a stretch, prep, or warm up routine before going out onto the "field." Do you do anything special before going to work in the studio?
JA: I analyze many things and a lot of writing usually occurs. Thumbnails and mini-sketches are also very important to me. I need something to work from because everything from my mind accumulates and I cannot control it. It's like a broken bag of pebbles spilling into a moving stream. It is very hard to catch every thought.
AYAW: How did you end up in Montecastello, Italy, and what are you working on over there?
JA: I had a desire to do different things. [In Montecastello,] I have been painting landscapes and I go out every morning at very early hours and climb up and down mountains to find compositions. It has been a fantastic experience, and I have a new perspective on painting. You could say I have learned how to see better.
AYAW: Does location (such as a foreign place) or physical environment (such as weather) have a major influence on your work?
JA: Here it does. Montecastello is another universe. It's pretty much been the same here for hundreds of years, which I think is what makes this place beautiful. I think I am-- or any artist is-- forced to just see and think about seeing. The art work I make here is completely spiritually based because of this. It is unavoidable.
AYAW: How do you feel your work has changed in the last few years? Is there anything you're especially proud of?
JA: As a student, I am still learning. I don't know if I am proud of any one piece but I always feel good when I try new things. When I do that, I usually discover something within that process which I can then use in a series or concentration of work in progress. I also believe that as an artist I shall never be completely satisfied. Making a piece of art is like trying to catch a butterfly that is too high above you. You may try and try, but you will never catch it. That's how you make the most beautiful work. If everything was "finished," then no one would have anything to talk about.
AYAW: What's the most important piece of advice you would give to people who are applying for a Scholastic Art & Writing Award, or who are thinking about applying?
JA: Make sure your work is somewhat unified. You can have different media, but keep it all together process-wise. Let it say something as a whole.
She Is Land, He Is Sky (2008)
AYAW: What do you see as one of the biggest challenges facing young artists today?
JA: It's going to be very hard to be inventive. Many things have already been done. But if you still wake up in the morning with a desire to create, then that means you should probably just keep producing. Chances are you will make something that nobody has ever seen before if you keep working.