Hi Adam, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I'm a born and raised Black Country based Illustrator, Designer and maker. I went through the different levels of formal education, studied Visual Communication at Birmingham City University and then have worked as a Freelance maker along with a part time job since. I have a deep love for travel and exploring new cities and countries and just adding to the richness of life. Folk Lore and Folk Art are also of great interest to me, the stories and myths that are intertwined in our modern and historical lives.
When and how did you first become interested in illustration?
Apart from the usual "I've always wanted to do this". I realised that while I was studying a Computer Technology course at a local College, I needed to start making and drawing, it was just something I felt I had to do. With this "epiphany" I embarked on a change of direction, heading back to College to study Graphic Design and then specialising in Illustration whilst at University. So in short, in a technical sense during my college years but realistically I think it has been a life long journey, with no fixed start point and no end.
Please take us through your thought process when starting on a new project.
My thought process depends entirely upon the project, it can go one of a few ways. The one possible route, more suited for client work, starts of with arranging a set of thoughts and ideas around the subject that could capture the essence and the need of the client, this is accompanied by thumbnails of possible layouts. Following this I'll create the individual elements in an appropriate manner, whether this be ink or print techniques and combine them digitally, with minimal editing.
With other projects it can be much more about a gut feeling, creating pieces with whatever feels right at the time, instinctively making marks, deciding on what to include as the process goes along. Which for me, personally, is more fulfilling as you have to release the control and allow the piece to take its own route.
You have done a lot of exhibitions in the UK over time, how do you normally get your post showcased at a gallery?
It all depends on the exhibition if I'm honest, there have been a few ways in which these have come about. Some exhibitions were set up by myself and other Illustrators and artists who wanted to showcase our work and just have a good time doing so; this also lead onto other exhibitions set up by galleries as they saw our work on show. Others were just grabbing hold of opportunities that came along, either seeing posts about calls for exhibiting artists or being contacted directly to be parts of exhibitions. I think it's a combination of right place, right time and making things happen.
Please tell us a bit about Scutters, the magazine you did with fellow illustrator Jack Deacon, how did you come up with the idea for that?
Scutters, that was a great project to work on. I'm not sure how wide spread of a word Scutters is, so for those who don't know, a Scutter is a slang word that could be used to describe people like those on the Jeremy Kyle Show; these are people that are associated with the poorer areas of the country and the Working classes, a bit rough. So with hailing from the Black Country, a predominantly Working class area, combined with the Media's portrayal of the financially poor, you hear a fair few daft, exaggerated stories.
So with this base, the idea with Scutters was basically to look at the ridiculousness and the urban myths that surround these kind of areas and to basically just have a laugh about where we are from and the stories you can hear. Despite the self deprecating fun of it all, it also reflects the sad truth of how our country has abandoned those at the lower end of the ladders and has demonised instead of helping. It's a story you can see in many Working class areas throughout the country.
What has been the project you have been most proud of till now?
It's quite hard to pick one, there is quite a few, Scutters, which was mentioned above is definitely one. I'm also proud the painted objects I've been working on lately (these can be found on my Instagram, as well as in this interview) and the posters that were exhibited at the Electric Cinema. I may have picked more than one.
What do you do when you get stuck for ideas?
Often I'll try to power through and force myself to come up with something, anything, just to try and get the juices flowing. If that doesn't work I'll take a break, I'll work on another project, I'll do some housework, make food or just take five to centre myself again.
What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work?
I used to listen to a mixture of Country and Punk, such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Half Man Half Biscuit and The Stooges, naming a very limited few. However the internet reception in my studio is quite poor, which is a benefit in many other ways, so now I mainly listen to Planet Rock, Radio 6 and Radio X. The downside is, there's far too much talking on the radio.
Do you have any advice for anyone new to illustration?
The advice I'd give to anyone new to Illustration (which I think could apply to anybody) would be to work hard, have fun, do what makes you happy, don't sell your soul and take care of those you love.
Have you read any good publications or visited any interestings sites that you would like to share?
Not that I could name specifically. There's inspiration and information everywhere, I see a lot of good sites and publications being posted online, social media sites are a good place to find some of them. Then again, It's a bit of a sensory overload and hard to remember and even take in sometimes. I think exploring these avenues are useful but at the end of the day you've just got to get down to it, explore your world and make something, there are a lot of reasons to get distracted.
A big thanks to Adam Corns for taking the time to do the interview!
For more information and amazing works from Adam Corns, please visit: http://www.adamcorns.com/All artwork featured in this interview is copyrighted and owned by Adam Corns. Please do not use any of the images without written permission from the artist.