Last September Jason Adams and Vanna Weaver did a two person show at the gallery and this is short interview that we did with Jason.
Jonathan K. Slingluff: So, Jason, when did you get started with art, or is it something that has always been there for you?
Jason Adams: Ahhhh, no, well…. I always liked taking art classes in school, or any applied art classes whether it was wood shop or ceramics or whatever. Plus I always tried to draw when I was a kid, and I even tried to get into oil painting when I was like seven or eight. But I never showed any natural ability and would always end up frustrated. I guess I was always attracted to creative-minded things like making zines, trying to take skate photos. Nothing really clicked. Except for skateboarding. I was obsessed with skateboarding starting just before I turned 13. So fast forward bit. 1992 I turn pro for skateboarding. Find myself sponsored by Santa Monica Airlines. S.M.A. was owned by N.H.S. that does saSantarCruz skateboardrds and blah blah blah….Any ways…. They had a really cool art department. I would hang out with those dudes all the time and shoot the shit — talk about graphic ideas and what not. I remember wanting to be one of those dudes more than wanting to be a pro skater. But I could barely draw a stick figure… Wasn’t gonna happen…ha ha ha…. So fast forward again. 2001 I hurt my ankle…I have no clothing sponsor. I decide I’m going to start making t-shirts and have a concept for a brand. It’s called Six Gun. My influences are punk rock record imagery mixed with westerny-country-musicy-show poster thing…hatch showprint to be specific. I start cutting and pasting, Xeroxing and cutting stencils of western fonts to piece these ideas together. It was the Rancid logo with the skull dotting the “i” that got me into cutting stencils, and here I am now…. Oh yeah, I started attempting “paintings” about five to six years ago.
I know, a bit long-winded. Sorry…. I’m sure I forgot a bunch of shit, too — uugh!
JKS: That’s a lot of fast forwarding, but it seems that your art and your skateboarding go hand-in-hand these days. It’s awesome that you have found a nice balance between the two. Do you feel that you would be able to do the one without the other?
JA: Umm … It’s good to have a balance of creative things to do. Keeps me from burning out. I always knew skateboarding was a creative activity. But now I realize it even more. When I started painting in my garage, I would trip out how much time I would be putting into it and not even craving going skating like I use to. That’s when I realized skateboarding was filling that creative void all those years.
JKS: Where do you pull your inspiration from with both?
JA: I think both activities share the same inspiration. But I think it’s more like medication. I started skating as a way to escape all the shit that drove me nuts as a kid. I felt freedom when I skated; I could actually focus on something. Then I ended up supporting a family from skateboarding, which brought on all new kinds of stresses. Art became my new escape. I now feel freedom in art. It’s really the only thing that calms me down and that I can actually focus on for now. But skateboarding is coming back for me. It’s all starting to balance out, which I’m really happy about. So it’s the search for a sense of freedom that motivates me to do anything…. Well, that and the bills need to get paid.
JKS: It seems that you have a lot going on with your art. That must feel great! I know that right now you have stuff going on in Colorado , Japan , and here in Philadelphia. What’s next?
JA: Who knows? I wish was more of a planner. I just want to keep going. Keep climbing up the ladder. Get through this fucking economy bullshit. Figure out a way to keep paying the mortgage. Try not to fully turn into Al Bundy.
JKS: Well I hope not to see you in a ladies shoe store anytime soon, Jason.