We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Tan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Authenticity is the value that matters most to me. Nothing inspires me more than to witness an individual driven by unconscious motivation.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve created Roach. He started out as my alter ego but has become more like a friend. He’s the kind of guy who forebears life. He exercises daily, but he doesn’t gain any muscle. He reads Joyce but doesn’t understand most of it. My art usually features iterations of Roach. I’ve rendered him in ink, charcoal, spray paint, acrylic, and digitally. My most recent mediums are watercolor and pastel. My latest series features Roach as a motorcyclist riding through deserts, being stalked by symbols of impending misfortune. It’s taken me about fifteen years to develop this character. There have been a lot of distractions. I’ve wasted too much time dreaming of Roach on the side of a Louis Vuitton handbag. It’s taken me a long time to be able to make art that speaks for me. I think I’m finally there.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like the DTLA Arts District. I would start there with some Groundworks Coffee and stumble around taking pictures of street art. Before leaving the area I would get a slice of pizza from Pizzanista and then a beer from Angel City Brewery. We would also have to take a look at the LA River and all the cement that comes with it. From there, we would go to Mulholland and hike to the Nike Missile Control site. After that, down to Fairfax for Ethiopian food. I would finish the day trip with pizza, again, at Double Zero. That’s my tour.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Shoutout goes to Matt Stillman. Matt is passionate about art. He motivates me to look at art from the patron’s perspective. He has great taste, and I find myself often picking his brain about what he likes and why.
Renee Tan painted the portrait of Adam Tan.