Illustrator Adam S. Doyle is currently featured in Spectra, a group exhibition of artists whose work is strongly concerned with the power of color. His work, which was also featured in Helikon’s show ‘Mythos’ in 2016, has a fantastical flair to it and a sense of deep connection with animals and nature. Read on for Adam’s insightful thoughts on his current and longtime artistic influences, the importance of remaining active and engaged in today’s society, and his top trivia categories:

Helikon Gallery: Did you aspire to be an artist, or did you fall in love with making art?

Adam Doyle: I’ve honestly always identified closely with art. Growing up I wasn’t surrounded by it, but was very encouraged by my parents and especially my grandfather who was a playwright. I drew a lot, as kids do, and just never stopped. When I switched schools in the fourth grade the other kids’ eyes lit up when they saw my drawings. It was an epiphany that pictures were a way to connect with people. The thought of doing anything else with my life has never been fathomable.

HG: Who are some of your current influences or inspirations? Have they changed over time?

AD: My creative outlook was shepherded by so many greats in all media over the years. CS Lewis with his Narnia series and Calvin & Hobbes when I was a kid. The writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell and the world-bending lens of MC Escher when I was an adolescent. A semiotics class in high school introduced me to the compassionate neurological case studies of Oliver Sacks. The paintings of John Singer Sargent, Lisbeth Zwerger, and Andrew Wyeth also made their mark. As have the films of David Fincher, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Christoper Nolan.

These days it’s all about those who have been pushing back on our country’s nonsense. The individuals who are vanguards for progress, challenging our society towards awareness and acceptance. You wouldn’t assume it from my work, because I’m not Ai Wei Wei and my overall focus isn’t political, but as a citizen I’m genuinely inspired by the disruptors. Ashley Judd and the women of the Me Too movement for example. Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee. The kids of Parkland for standing up to America’s gun obsession. Jon Oliver for satirizing the week’s hypocrisy. All of those who speak truth to power have my support. As upsetting as the need for rallies are, I’ve been to a bunch and they are genuinely heartening. Turns out we’re not lazy, complacent lumps after all. Electing a troll doesn’t mean we’ve failed. It’s galvanized us to address all of the misogyny, racism, homophobia that’d been simmering beneath the surface. We’re facing our demons in America. I’m inspired by signs of humans embracing humanity.
HG: What do you look for in the art of others? What would you hope people look for in your work?

AD: To experience something never before seen, yet resonates as deeply true. That’s what I look for and hope people get out of my paintings.

HG: What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?

AD: Abundant sunlight. That’s essential when I’ve been apartment hunting. Exploring caves is fantastic fun, but I can’t spend my days working in one of them. Next most important feature is a view of trees. Cities are my home, but nature can’t be too far away.

HG: What is something most people don’t know about you?

AD: For a handful of years I worked as a production designer and art director in Hollywood.

I love ultimate frisbee, usually getting in a game or two a week. That along with bar trivia have been a regular part of my week in the past 5 cities and 3 countries where I’ve lived. Categories of art, film, and literature are my strong suits. Science isn’t far behind.

I’ve enjoyed volunteering at animal sanctuaries and have had pets for most my life; cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, turtles, hermit crabs, rabbits, frogs, fish, salamanders, an anole, a gecko, a parakeet, and a ferret. Obviously the company of animals means a lot to me.

Thank you to Adam for participating in our survey! See his works on view in ‘Spectra’ through June 2, and check out more of his work at http://www.adamsdoyle.com/.

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