Lindsay Adams is an artist behind some of your fave illustrations. Ever since we first connected via Instagram, I’ve had the pleasure of growing our friendship into something that exists offline too. She paints in heels and we stan a creative who gets her hands dirty by truly committing to her craft. Read on for our interview with Lindsay and keep up with her via Instagram, her website, and Etsy.
Tell us a little bit about your background- who are you and where are you headed?
I’m Lindsay. I’m a DC-based creative entrepreneur who mostly illustrates and paints. During the day, I am a Communications and Brand Consultant, focusing on social media, digital strategy and content development in the Management Consulting space. After that and an hour of yoga, I’m painting, shaping my portfolio with abstracts and illustrations, or working with clients to tackle their artistic needs.
I can paint just about anything, anywhere (the joy of watercolors). I love and live self-care, art, fashion, yoga, and paint. I co-host Watercolor + Yoga workshops, teaching students how to tap into their creative senses.
I studied International Studies: World Politics and Diplomacy, Latin, and Iberian Studies (Spanish) at the University of Richmond. I love culture and travel. I envisioned myself working in diplomacy; not saying that I might not find my way back there, but for now, I’m managing the consulting and art space. I don’t talk much about international studies or foreign affairs in my day to day, but in a sense, it really has shaped a lot of my global outlook on the world and art. Being a ‘firefly,’ aka a creative misfit, I do like structure, but I’m always determined to pave my own road.
In regards to where I’m headed…whew chile, literally the LORD knows. For much of my life, I gave myself very little leniency in figuring it out. I insisted that the desired path would lead to the desired outcome. Spoiler alert: God knows better and God knows bigger. I can say, I am committed to working my craft with diligence and intention. I’m finding myself in my professional space advocating for disability awareness and diversity and inclusion; telling and capturing compelling stories and activating brands; and unapologetically living my art. I am very open to finding a place where these sides meet and until then, I will work accordingly.
How did you get your start in art, painting, and illustration? Who or what inspired you?
I’ve been painting and drawing most of my life. I started when I was four- it was my escape and my release. I became more focused around eight or nine, taking structured classes, summer camp at Corcoran College of Art, and embracing art as an integral part of my life. I went to a pretty awesome prep school, where I became a Drawing and Painting Major after adding it to my core course load. At that point I knew it was going to be something that I kept along my journey. As for the illustrations I show the world today, I taught myself in 2013 and kept it rolling. Before then my style was very classical, oil still lives, figure drawing, and impressionist flowers.
My grandmother and mother really pushed me in my art. Neither of them paints, but they always encouraged me to embrace my unique expression, and show the world who’s boss.
You recently delved into digital illustration; what prompted the change? How important (or not) do you think it is for artists to keep up with the times?
Now, this is funny. I have explored digital art briefly before but it didn’t stick. I had a medium that worked for me and I wanted to perfect that, but I kept having a digital itch. I’m not technically a graphic designer, but I know Adobe CC well enough. I knew I was better by hand but I loved the digital space. I recently had another bout of carpal tunnel, which is a pain, but I was in such a creative momentum, I was trying to find ways to keep it going while also giving my hand some rest. I took to the pen tool in Illustrator, played with some old illustrations, and came across this abstract style that I think I’ll keep in my back pocket (or front) for a while.
Can you speak to art as space to heal as someone living with and overcoming cerebral palsy? How does your craft serve as an outlet for you?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is something I’ve only began understanding more in my adult life. I always knew I was different, I knew I had a speech impediment, and I knew I struggled in some areas that others didn’t. As I began to delve into self-realization, preservation, and care, I wanted to understand more of my journey and how to continue it. I never lead conversations with ‘Hi, I’m Lindsay, I have a disability.’ It’s not all that noticeable and I have never used it as a crutch. As I began to better understand the things that make me unique and the things that cause me pause, I began to understand the effects of CP. The pain in my nerves, the heightened anxiety, and the clumsiness I couldn’t shake. Art is my healing, it is my release, and it chose me, well before I chose it. Whether it be having to repeat myself because someone wasn’t listening closely (I have a speech impediment), or having a moment of grappling with my evident differences, and the anxiety it causes, art has never abandoned me. Through the so-called limited motor control and impaired spatial reasoning, art has truly helped me make a fool out of CP, overcoming unimaginable odds, and living a story I would not have otherwise chosen. CP is apart of me, but art is me, and for that I am grateful. God shows off, She’s lit.
What opportunities do you see for women/women of color/girls like you in the arts and how do you intend to positively influence this arena?
Diversity is in and it’s going to stay in. With that in mind, it is now the time to give anything and everything a try, artistically. There are so many platforms to share and engage with others, so it’s just a matter of choosing yourself, choosing your art, and giving it a try, even when it seems like everyone is doing it. There is enough room for every artist, no matter the medium. There is space at the table, and space for more tables.
In terms of influence, right now I just want to expand my reach. I can’t say I want more, I just want to go farther. I want to live my truth, even when it’s really hard, and inspire others to keep going. The time to be is now, so let’s be together.
What advice would you give millennial women of color trying to “break into” the arts?
Create. Create. Tighten your craft. Create. What you are seeking is also seeking you. You don’t have to wait until you’re in to share; the journey is sweet. Being patient with the process is very important. I sometimes struggle with my personal benchmarks and metrics, but the joy of art is that it’s beautiful either way. What is for you will align with you, and the “no” is often redirecting you to the right “yes”.
What can we expect from you moving forward? How can we be of support?
I’m really into abstract and color stories right now. When I want to take a break or get a quick re-up, that’s been my fix. I think my abstracts are my soul, and my illustrations are my heart. I have a freedom with my abstracts, a sort of ethereal gratitude to my hands for working their magic. My illustrations are a little more focused, but just as freeing. I will launch the 2018 holiday cards in October so grab a pack and share with your tribe. Grab a print, and share the #ipaintinheels love. I love to see the way people light up from my art; it really gives me that extra pep in moments where I’m reading to throw in the paint.
In the end, how do you want your story depicted? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to be remembered as brave, authentic, and intentional. My journey has taken me to different places, meeting different people, and facing different challenges. Every day is not always filled with curated photos, and breathtaking color stories and I want the world to know that is okay. Struggle is inevitable, but triumph is sweet. Even with a hand dealt for a seemingly rigged game, victory is virtuous. Be kind to yourself, and find peace in the good of life. The world is way bigger than us as individuals, so let’s work to live authentically and leave things a little better than we found them.
Just for kicks:
- A Seat at the Table or Lemonade?: A Seat at the Table
- Watercolor or Oil on Canvas? With Champagne: Watercolor, with Henny: Oil on Canvas (lol)
- Instagram or Twitter? Instagram