We had the good fortune of connecting with Adriana Lámbarri and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adriana, how do you think about risk?

Life’s full of risks, isn’t it? I suppose the biggest risk is not taking it. The most memorable risk for me became apparent when my husband and I were contemplating becoming parents. At the time, I’d only been in my new career for a few years (which came from taking another risk…changing careers…more on the that in a minute). It was a career that wasn’t necessarily the most “child friendly”, nor relationship friendly, for that matter. Being a designer in the entertainment field comes with it’s own unique challenges; weird, long hours, extensive lengths of travel, learning to work with all kinds of personalities, the uncertainty of knowing when your next job is coming, just to name a few. All of a sudden becoming a mother really made it seem impossible. Maybe I was ruining what little career I managed to scrape out for myself. But I didn’t want to be an absentee parent. The idea of raising a human…that’s a big deal. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly at all. What I learned was that it COULD be done. I am very lucky to have an incredibly supportive, loving husband. We talked a lot, imagining different scenarios, playing a lot of “what-if…”. Obviously you can’t plan for everything, but talking it through was helpful in knowing what our expectations were and basically just realizing that we would work “to make it work”. I’ve come to see that a lot of people are in committed relationships and also have children in this industry. You just figure out what works best for you. If people see it as negative, that’s their problem, not yours. I’m so glad we took the risk. I can’t imagine my life without my son. It’s made me a better designer. Life is much too short to listen to the negativity. For sure you should try to weigh out all the pros and cons to something, but if there’s something in your heart telling you to do or not do, listen to it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I work as a professional costume designer for theater and film. I also occasionally work as a costume illustrator, usually with other costume designers. The hustle is constant, so just searching for my next project while I’m working on my current one keeps me busy professionally. The job itself entails a variety of different tasks and skills. Lots of research combined with constant searching, looking for clues within the script that help dictate the direction of the designs, meetings, sourcing materials, shopping, sketching, fittings…these are all part of the job. There is always something to be done right up until the very last moment.  It’s not easy. It takes a long time a build a network of other good, reliable professionals. Covid has now made things even trickier, especially with theater. But the beauty of being an artist is that you learn to flex and bend. You have to. And sometimes those adjustments can lead to some pretty great things. I spent a lot of time contemplating “dream shows” I wanted to design, so I also kept myself occupied by just reading scripts and sketching out hypothetical designs. It kept my “design muscle” active and was very soothing to get lost in the design process. Now that things are turning for the better after Covid, I’m excited to see how theater and film will emerge more invigorated, inspired, and ready to tell stories again.

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.

Orange county has lots of great beach communities to hang out at so I would say there would be several visits during the trip! Some of my personal favorites are The Strands in Dana Point. There’re these really interesting caves in Dana Point you can access from the beach. I also really like T-Street beach in San Clemente and Crystal Cove in Newport Beach. If we could really plan it well in advance, we could rent a historic beach cottage right there on the beach in Crystal Cove…but you gotta be quick, they book up almost as immediately as they become available. If it was summer time, hands down we would have to go to the Festival of Arts Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. It’s such a unique experience, there’s nothing else like it anywhere. It always takes place during the months of July and August. In a nutshell, the show takes place in an outdoor amphitheater where famous works of art are recreated on stage using live performers. Google it. The show always closes with Da Vinci’s Last Supper. It’s absolutely superb. You can bring a little picnic basket with goodies and get cozy with a blanket (since it gets chilly at night!). Every year is a different theme, so there’s always a reason to go back and see it. While you’re there, you can also check out all the gorgeous artworks by local artists on display at the Festival Art Show. Check out info for it here: www.foapom.com. Ideally, I’d plan on having dinner at either Nick’s or Broadway before the show and then perhaps grab drinks afterward at Rooftop Lounge. I’d also plan a day trip to Old Towne Orange. It’s like a journey back in time. It’s been well preserved, basically Main street from like 75 years ago. There’s tons of great little antique shops to poke around, vintage stores (Elsewhere Vintage is a favorite) tasty bistros ( I like Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar) a soda fountain (Watson’s Soda Fountain and Cafe) and plenty of Instagrammable photo ops. It’s a university town, with Chapman University being right there, so the whole place has a cool, youthful vibe. I also really like San Juan Capistrano. It’s such a lovely little town to walk around. The historic Mission San Juan Capistrano does a good tour, if you’re into early California history. Perhaps after a morning visit there, a stroll over to the Los Rios district to grab lunch at Ramos House Cafe and then afternoon tea at the Tea House. Lots of neat shops line the street. On the other side of the tracks are more great little places to eat and “be seen”. I really like Mayfield, which has a delicious fusion menu of modern California with Middle Eastern influences. If at the end of the day we still feel like we need to let loose, Swallows Inn is fun dive bar to get rowdy in. Honestly I could go on forever…perhaps a day trip down to San Diego via the Amtrak would be nice. We could check out Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. Maybe catch a show at the Old Globe Theater, some of the best productions are done there! Orange County has a lot to offer, the list is endless. Please come visit! 😀

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?
Absolutely! First and foremost, my family, which includes my husband and son, and my parents. They’ve always been there to encourage me and not give up. It’s so cliche, but it’s so important. Secondly, my brothers and sister in arms working in this wild industry. When you find “your tribe”, it makes it so much better. Hold onto them and don’t let them go.

Website: www.adrianalambarri.com

Instagram: @adriana.lambarri_costumedesign

Image Credits
– Seth Miller – Jason Niedle

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