We had the good fortune of connecting with Adriana (Adri) Ibarguen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adriana (Adri), how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I sometimes feel, when it comes to “work,” that most consider work life and personal life to be separate. However, I often feel most grounded, connected, and spiritual while I work. I’ve begun to learn that for my career to excel, my soul is required to be balanced and connected throughout the entire process.
I find myself forgetting the present pressures of this word, work, and instead get lost in the beauty of the art I am making. And if I were to preserve this any other way, suddenly the truth that I am working so hard to tell gets interrupted and less powerful.
My passion is creating art that compels an audience. My job as a singer/songwriter is to create a soulful experience for my listeners by exposing my vulnerability through poetic and truthful lyrics and adding a modern touch through sounds.
A large part of my art has been influenced through my personal identity and its different cultural backgrounds. It is important for me that my music is a fusion of regional music genres and modern sounds in order to commemorate and celebrate all ancestral roots. At the end of the day, it’s my job as both an Actress and a Screenwriter, to give a safe space for stories to be told for those whose voices have been lost in the wind.
So with that being said, the way I understand balance is the ability of being proportional with the amount of time I spend with each of my priorities, while also, never allowing the priorities to take control of me. It is important for me to reach a fair agreement with myself in order to protect my mental stability. For me the equation looks like this: Spend x amount of time with family, x amount of time working on self growth, and x amount of time working on your craft. The solution of it all is balance, and I have found this balance through flexibility.
My balance has evolved over time ever since I reached a point in my college years where all I did, day and night, was work; to the point where all my creations became repetitive. I got frustrated with my art because I wasn’t allowing myself to take a break and restore energy. I simply wanted to ensure that I would get a job after graduating. Funny how I’m a 2020 graduate and the pandemic hit right before concluding my senior year. At this moment in time I realized that I had barely made any friends, memories, and that due to a global pandemic there were no jobs available. And that’s when it hit me, I needed to find the Yin to my Yang. After this awakening, I’ve managed to break certain habits that would only lead me to overstress myself, such as getting obsessed with one single idea when there’s a world full of opportunities and possibilities. What I mean is that in life we don’t have the power to alternate the outcomes of the outside world, we can only change our mindset to choose how we’ll perceive and manage a situation. And that is why, being flexible has been the key to successfully balancing my work and personal life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is like a chameleon because it has a diverse range of ways it comes to life. I love creating through different activities such as dance, singing, acting, songwriting, scriptwriting, and more. The more variety there is to my art, the more complete I feel as an artist. My creative juices start flowing through day-to-day delights, such as: expanding my knowledge, hearing about others’ life experiences, watching a sunset, reading a book, spending time with my dog, or listening to a podcast.
I am most excited about a project conceived in unison with a dear friend of mine; with our visions collided we’ve established a profound story that will impact the viewers and allow them to comprehend a woman’s emotional journey after being sexually assaulted. The primary message of “On my Way: the moment after” is: Together we can empower society by challenging the idea that women are taken as objects before being considered talent. Aside from this passion project, I’ve been working on my music as an independent artist. I recently released my first single, “Paraíso de Amor,” which is a latin ballad fusioned with reggae that narrates the story of an unrequited love. My next single release will be a collaboration with a Guatemalan artist.
The reason why I’m where I am today is due to my persistence and ability to make connections with people who believe in my talent. The collaborations I’ve made with other artists have all been enriching encounters that have helped me develop and grow, no matter the outcome of the project itself.
My journey has not been easy: I’ve had multiple projects that were left incomplete, and others that were simply mediocre. This made me doubt my abilities as a performer. My biggest critic is me, when I should have been my biggest cheerleader. I’ve released just a snippet of content compared to how much I’ve actually made, and this is because I’ve been wrongfully focusing on perfection instead of applauding my capacity at that moment in time. All artists start somewhere, and after acknowledging where they stand when first initiating, they begin to improve by incorporating discipline and practice. I’m still learning that “perfection” per se is unattainable, but as long as my music and storytelling have a powerful message that will inspire or heal a spectator, I’m gratified. I am no longer bringing myself down, but rather being there for me when a project does not turn out as expected.
I would like to finish by saying that my art will always carry out a message that will be taken in different perspectives, depending on the viewer/listener and what they’re willing to tune in and digest. I believe my art can bring about cathartic experiences, igniting my own healing process and those of my audience members.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting the area I would definitely take them to the key spots in Los Angeles. The Adri-inspired itinerary plan for the week would have a mix of cliche, unknown spots, best drinks, and great hangout spots. I’m a nature lover, so if you are too, I would recommend going to; Point Dume in Malibu Beach, trails in Topanga State Park, and Escondido Falls in Malibu. The “musts” that anyone visiting should go to would be Griffith Park Observatory, the Getty Museum, and the Botanical Gardens at Huntington Museum. As for hangout spots in the city, there are plenty of rooftops to eat with beautiful views like: Broken Shaker, Mama’s Shelter; or watch outdoor movies at Melrose Rooftop Theatre. There’s restaurants everywhere in the area, but Abbot Kinney has the best of not only both worlds, but every world; it’s beautiful to walk around, take pictures with wall art, variety of food specialties, and you’ll find the best ice cream at Salt & Straw. I believe I’ve mentioned too many things to do by now and your schedule must be packed, but you can’t leave LA without trying the cherry on top; my favorite, the Dragon Ball-Z at Matcha Village.
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?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my loved ones, especially my parents and brother. Aside from believing in my talent, they’ve supported my growth both professionally and personally. In the professional world, I’ve been given the opportunity to be enrolled in art institutes where I developed my technique and ability as a performer. They attended my dance recitals, singing contests, school performances, band concerts, and many other events where I got to showcase my creative side. They would always be in the audience standing tall and feeling proud, which gave me a greater sense of security and purpose. In the personal aspect, my family gives me mental strength. Self-doubt and insecurity are obstacles that most individuals battle against, especially if your career of choice demands being vulnerable, approachable, and constantly joyous with spectators. My family has given me a pillar of stability; I can rely on their honesty, support, true love, and words of encouragement. They are my everything: the reason why I believe in myself and my craft. I am able to share my talent with the world and inspire others because I’ve had a safe space to be unique, carefree, and vulnerable. If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Forrest Leo Stricker