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Adam Trust: Artist Q&A


As part of our members-only newsletter, The Exclusive, Mississippi Today caught up with Laurel artist Adam Trust. This interview was originally published on July 27 and contributed to Mississippi Today. Every month we offer our members exclusive interviews and events such as this conversation with Ben and Erin Napierto thank them for their support of our editorial office. Become a member by donating any regular amount today and be the first to know about our upcoming exclusive interviews and events.

The Trest is part of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s artist roster, which selects artists from a variety of media and helps organizations fund the representation of artists through grants. His work is featured in the Caron Gallery and currently on display at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian, Mississippi.

His unique style caught the attention of many when he was featured on HGTV’s “Home Town” with Ben and Erin Napier. Trust recently illustrated Erin Napier’s children’s book, The Lantern House, which made him a New York Times bestselling illustrator.

Tell us about yourself and how you got started.

“I started drawing before I could write. I don’t remember not doing that. I grew up with parents who saw my potential in art and made sure I always had what I needed to be creative. I graduated from Mississippi State in 2009 with a BA in Painting and have been working as a professional artist ever since. I am a painter, I work mainly with acrylic paints and ink.’

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Most of my inspiration comes from living in the south. I love the flora and fauna of Mississippi, and I love the storytelling tradition that is so rich in our region. I often refer to my process as ‘visual storytelling’ because I find my work most successful when the viewer can tell me more about my paintings than I even knew about them.”

How did getting out of Mississippi and the South affect your work?

“I love the Mississippi landscape. I just completed a series of paintings for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian (MAX), which is a celebration of each of the regions of Mississippi. Each painting showcases one of the regions and gives a sense of the plants and animals unique to that area. There are so many wonderful secrets in our state, and I’ve had such an amazing experience searching for them and telling their stories through my work.”

How do you define success for yourself and what has been the biggest success in your career?

“I grew up in a home where hard work and perseverance were valued. For me, the measure of success I saw was equal parts hard work and refusal (my wife would probably say it was stubbornness). I am very goal oriented, so for me, success comes when I achieve a goal that I have set for myself. The biggest success of my career (and also one of the most challenging projects of my career) was producing a children’s book that I had the honor of illustrating for Erin Napier. Working on a traditionally published children’s book has always been a major goal of mine, as well as seeing my name on the NYT bestseller list within weeks of release. It was a pretty amazing time.”

Since the show on Hometown and illustrating House-lamp, how has the increased attention affected your work? Has your attitude towards your art changed?

“The revelation that came from both Hometown and House of Lanterns was pretty amazing. It gave me the opportunity to really push myself with the style I had developed. It has allowed me to create work that I am very passionate about. I wouldn’t say it changed my approach much, but it gave me a springboard to work on projects that may have been out of reach before. One of those projects is a new cement tile line that I’ve been given the opportunity to design and will be out later this year.”

What do you hope people think and feel when they look at your art?

“My biggest wish for my work is for people to see it and for it to evoke some kind of memory. Because my work is heavily influenced by traditional folk art and nature, I love when my work serves as a kind of illustration that awakens a lost memory in the viewer. When someone walks into Caron Gallery and see one of my dog ​​paintings and it reminds them of their childhood pet, or maybe the first dog they brought home for their children. In that moment, the painting took on a life and a story that I couldn’t have hoped for. At that moment, the painting took on a life of its own.”

How has being on the Mississippi Arts Commission Artist List impacted your career?

“Of course! Being on the artist list opened quite a few doors. If I hadn’t been on the artist list, I wouldn’t have gotten it museum exposition that I have an opening on July 26 at MAX in the meridian.”

If you could give a piece of advice to an aspiring artist from Mississippi, what would it be?

“Probably I would encourage them to find their own kind! One of my favorite things about being a Mississippi artist is that I can count myself among other artists working in Mississippi today. There are so many great and good artists in our state and I have become a better artist knowing them. Having a local support system in South Mississippi as well as an even larger network at the state level. My experience was encouraging and supportive.”

How can people find your work?

“My original work as well as prints of my work can be found at www.adamtrest.com.”

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