Adam Lister is an American artist from Fairfax, Virginia. His work is exploring pop culture and art history through pixelated images inspired by the 8-bit graphics of the 80s game consoles (Atari and Nintendo). Lister’s geometric 8-bit watercolors are able to breakdown, rearrange and reference iconic images from famous paintings, comics, movies and tv series; although pixelated and lacking details, the familiar images are still very recognizable.
Artist website > www.adamlistergallery.com
Adam, where do you get your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from literally anywhere.. a lot of times I reference memories from my childhood. And sometimes I just take from things that I think have a collective familiarity, which ends up connecting to more viewers.
Which is the relationship and influence between your cultural background (country, studies, etc.) and your artworks?
I grew up in Virginia and moved to New York after high school. My family has always been super supportive and encouraging. My family values hard work so I guess that influenced me to stay focused on my artwork. Content-wise I don’t see too much of a direct relationship to my cultural background and my paintings.
What are you much focused in?
Whatever is unfinished and sitting in front of me. I tend to work on several pieces at one time, back and forth – back and forth. It keeps things interesting for me. Right now I’m focused on making work for upcoming 2018 exhibits. One in May and one in Oct. My works take a long time to make, and I hate feeling rushed.. so I’m focused on staying in the zone and making a lot of new work for these exhibits.
Have you encountered any difficulties when you first started your art/freelance career?
Absolutely! I was cheated, robbed, ripped off, pushed into horrible gallery contracts. I had nobody by my side that knew how to sell artwork so I was figuring out everything on my own. It made me cautious and humble at the same time. I lost out on a lot of things that could have been great, I was unfamiliar with the business side of being a painter. When I was starting out I figured the money side of it would just fall into place on its own. It took many hard lessons to get that straight.
Over these years, what is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession?
Be easy to work with.
Do you think that a creative job is just creativity or it’s discipline too?
I lived most of my life thinking it was all about the creativity, thinking if I just keep making art one day someone will come along and discover me and make me famous. That old romantic idea of being a painter and catching a “big break”.. bullshit. It happens to people every now and then, but I think its more about being disciplined and being consistent and showing people that you are all about your art. And working hard, like working harder than everyone else. When your friends are going to a party, you have to skip it and go work. When you’re tired and don’t want to leave the house, you get your ass up and go work.
Are you currently work on new projects?
I’m starting to build sculptures based off of my paintings. They are in the beginning stages and still need a lot of work, but that is definitely my next major path to explore.