We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I quite literally never used to have one. I felt like I needed to wear a tshirt all the time which read ‘I AM THE JOB’ just so everyone would know to stand out of the way so I could bomb my way through job after job, working 19 hours a day. Holidays were an opportunity to gather reference, build new lectures, and ‘work’ (meaning sit with my laptop and stress out about whatever job I was on), rather than, uh, be on holiday. Burnout was inevitable although I feel fortunate that pandemic actually created a soft landing; moving online has allowed me to gauge my time better, manage jobs better, and consider what self care or time spent relaxing and recharging actually means to my own self-interest as well as my ability to do my work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
These days I am mostly an associate professor at the Art Center College of Design, but bringing my art methodology to my practice as a teacher brings a creative synthesis to my work. It’s stimulating working a particular way and then being able to teach others to work the same way – and then to see the fruits of their work, which I am just as proud of as my own!
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.
Awesome question. First: we’d get coffee at Bru or Solar de Cahuenga, my favorite Hollywood coffee shops. (When it’s not the weekend, we’ll grab breakfast at Square One on Franklin) Then we’d head up to my barn, the Shadow Hills Equestrian Center, and trail ride out into Hansen Dam with my trainer Chantal Zuniga, my horse Nox (both of whom help me teach at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects), and some of the gang from the barn. After that, herbal tea at the Backdoor Bakery in Sunland, a gem in the valley, or at Aroma on Tujunga. An afternoon stroll around Echo Park Lake and some insanely delicious vegan from VeStation tops off the day. Frankly I’d do all of that every day if I could, and they are all pandemic-friendly activities too!
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 is to all my students, past, present, and future. Teaching was never my original career intent, and it’s still supported by other art interests I maintain as a professional illustrator and designer, but my students have inspired and influenced me over and over. We always say it takes just one student to keep you going – that one student who takes learning by the horns and just crushes it moving into their career – and who always comes back and reminds you of why you teach in the first place. I have been privileged to have some really spectacular students who have gone on to bring change to the world, as well as students who I also feel privileged to call dear and true friends. Shoutout to all of them!