Thursday, October 9, 2008

Q and A with Adam Turman

Back in July I had someone email me asking me questions about what I do and how I got there and so on. I answered all the questions, but when I sent the email, it bounced back so I thought, after a few long months ;), that maybe others might be interested in a little Q & A (?). Ok, so interested or not, here it is:

Hey PersonWhoEmailedMeOriginally, Thanks for contacting me! Thanks for the props. That was a fun project to do for Dana (referring the the skate deck I did for Dana Jacobson of ESPN).

Did you always want to be a graphic designer, or did it start as something else (Like me, I wanted to be a Disney Animator until I found out about the slave labor conditions)?
I always wanted to work for George Lucas on a Star Wars related project. Then when I found out how much detail and extensive, tedious work went into the computer stuff, I was kind of turned off. But the props and posters are totally where it's at for me. So yeah, I'd still like to do something related to that. I'm the kinda guy who doesn't like to do long intensive projects. I'd rather do a bunch of smaller quick projects. That's why gigposters are so fun, not big campaigns.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face everyday?
My schedule. I work a full-time gig as a graphic designer at the College of Cont. Ed at the U of M. I get home, help out with my two kids, dinner, bedtime, stuff like that, then start doing the freelance stuff. Fortunately my full-time gig is very flexible with me and I don't work long hours or weekends, so it gives me time to do my other "fun" work.

Where did you go for Schooling?
U of M, College of Human Ecology, Graphic Design

How much do you think it helped prepare you for "the working world"?
Not that much. I learned more in my first year out than I did my last 3 years of school in my actual major. There's nothing like actual real-world experience, especially when you are dealing with "real" stuff like business and money. Money is what's driving your project if you are getting paid for it.

Did you find that you learned more outside or inside of school?
Out of school. However, I tried to make the most of school when I was there. I studied the competition (MCAD, CVA) and looked at what they were doing and tried to take what I could from them.

With age, comes wisdom. Not that I'm super smart or anything, but I've found the older I get, the more experiences I've had to learn from. I've learned a lot in school. Even more in less time out of school, and an absolute ton since I've been focusing more on my freelance career since 2003. I've learned a lot more about the business side of things and how to keep the creative side and the business side both cool and happy. It's hard, challenging, but awesome at the same time.

When did you first develop your style? What artists helped inspire you? Do you still seek to develop your style, or do you want to keep your style the same for consistency (because, honestly, I'm freakin' jealous!!!)?
I don't really know. I've always had a bold graphic style. It probably started once I started designing T-shirt designs in junior high. Thick bold lines print a lot better than small spindly lines for screenprinting.

Other artists inspire me all the time. Look at my blog and check out the list of artists that are there. However, there's way, way more that I have so much admiration for it's incredible. Also, I don't even know what I'm missing, ya know? There's tons of stuff out there, that's brilliant.

My style is working for me, and I don't think I'll ever totally loose it. But as an illustrator, I'm always trying to develop it. I don't quite know where it's going, but if you look at some of my older stuff, you can see it's gotten more defined over time. For better or worse ;)

Do you have any affiliations to groups or businesses (other artists, guilds, printers)? If so, how did you get those contacts (School Chums, Networking, Random Chance Encounters, Recommendations)?

Online forum:

I keep in touch with friends from college, and my local design nerd buddies.

For posters, I'm really tight with the local crew. There's probably about 12 or so (??) of us (Amy Jo, Lonny Unitus, Tooth, DWITT, Squad 19, Steve Tenebrini, Aesthetic Apparatus, Burlesque, WithRemote, etc.) and we all hang out, are friends, and collab and toss ideas back and forth with each other. It's great. Having friends and a community to be a part of is a huge motivator for a person who's into something. At least that's what I've found. I'm part of a biking forum too. That keeps me even more motivated to ride my bike for commuting.

PersonWhoEmailedMeOriginally you're not annoying. It's cool you're asking questions. You wouldn't be asking questions if you didn't care, so that's totally cool I'm happy to answer them, and it's fun for me to remember why I'm into doing this stuff.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cherry and Spoon Painting

I recently did a painting for a client of the infamous Cherry and Spoon from the Walker Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis.

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I liked it so much that I'm currently having it turned into giclees, both on canvas and paper. More on that when they are available. I'm planning to have some ready for purchase before the holidays!

Jeral Visits!

My good buddy Jeral Tidwell, from Kentucky, had a book signing at Art Minion. Jeral is one of the nicest most helpful artists I know. I invited him to come over to the studio to check it out. He picked up a couple of pieces while he was there, and a painting (that I'm now working on).

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New Studio/Garage Process 11!!!

Seriously. Adam get on it and show us what the hell your studio looks like.

Ok, finally, here it is. No excuses, but I've been busy with freelance work and that has kept me from doing little house-keeping stuff like blogging.

At any rate, here's the finished studio with all my crap moved in.

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The space filled up real, real fast. Of course I could use a studio twice this size, but for now, I'm super happy.

Artwork in the studio:
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OG DWITT and a tin PEZ sign

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Casey Burns, Billy Perkins, Bwaidamann, Bobby Dixon, Chuck Keppler

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BRLSQ stuff or as I like to refer to them: BoNA

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My grandma!!! (the tiger piece), more Bwaidamann, Tara

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Claudia Hek, BoNA, Bwaidamann, Riggs, me at age 4

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Chuck Keppler, Johnny Crap

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I don't normally do tattoo art

...but this one was different.

One of my customers approached me to do a tattoo for him. Normally, I'd steer him in the direction of my tattoo artists at Uptown Tattoo in Minneapolis. However, since my customer was already planning on having his actual work done there by Nic, I offered to help out.

Adam Turman pinup tattoo
Here's what he got. Great work by Nic.

Adam Turman pinup tattoo
Both pics are from the day after the tattoo was applied, and haven't healed. Plus my customer will be going back in for another session to finish up the girl, moon, and other details.

XBox Art from my buddy in France

One of my international buddies emailed me this today. He says and I quote "what is better than playing Xbox 360? Playing Xbox 360 with a Adam Turman theme !!!!!!!!!"

Adam Turman Xbox 360

Awesome! I'm kinda out of it when it comes to video game systems and stuff. I didn't know you could upload images to your gaming interface. Amazing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 10

Ok, at last I left you with no lights, no paint, no trim, etc. Things have progressed nicely. We're just about ready to move in.

Turman Garage

The main bay just needs to be primed and painted and the floor finished.

Turman Studio

Well, the studio is pretty much ready to go with a very few minor things left. I primed/painted/stained all of the finishing.

I learned a whole lot about epoxy flooring. That stuff is crazy. Whatever you do, don't mix all of it at once. Wow, that stuff was melting the bucket, steaming, smoking, hot to the touch, holy crap, I was freaking out. Long story, and some extra $$$ later, I got it done. I'm now an expert on applying epoxy. ;)

I'm thinking the next post you'll see on this will have actual printing studio stuff inside. Then the "Studio Moving Sale" will proceed. Sweet!

Dana's Skateboard - Part 2 - TV Spot!

Turman - Dana Jacobson Skateboard deck

Ok, so a while back I posted about a skateboard deck I painted for Dana Jacobson of ESPN. Well, I had no idea she was going to do this but... she ended up bringing the deck into the studio and after one of the commercial breaks she showed off the deck. My buddy Lonny Unitus recorded the show for me and I took a little snap shot of her on air holding the deck. They're just so cute together! Thanks Dana!

Woodfellas - Illustrations for Seattle Weekly

Turman - Woodfellas

These are a couple of illos I did for the Seattle Weekly. Apparently they have a couple of dudes who run some strip joints out there and it's a little on the shady side. Cover depicts the movie poster from "Goodfellas."

Another First Avenue Girl Painting

Turman - First Avenue Girl

Yes, another painting of the "First Avenue Girl." This one was done for my buddy Simon, who owns the Lord Nelson and Fulwood pubs in Southwark, London. Quite a mate that Simon! Cheers.

If you are interested in a commissioned painting of something I've previously done or something completely new, please feel free to contact me -

Choose the Bike (Pee-Wee Red)

Choose the Bike (Pee-Wee Red)
Choose the Bike (Pee-Wee Red) (18x24)
Purchase it here.

Choose the Bike (Yellow/Pedro's)

Choose the Bike (Yellow/Pedro's)
Choose the Bike (Yellow/Pedro's) (18x24)
Purchase it here.

Crazy 8s!

Turman - Crazy 8s
Crazy 8s! (18x24)
Purchase it here.


Turmna - Ratrod
Ratrod - that's metallic gold yo! (18x24)
Purchase it here.

Navy Pinup

Turman - Navy Pinup
Navy Pinup (18x24)
Purchase it here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 9

Sheetrock and mud.

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Next up garage doors, lights, trim, and paint.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 8

Turman Garage
Siding going up and insulation hung. We're definitely getting there.

Turman Garage

Turman Garage

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 7

Electrical roughed in!

I'm pretty proud of myself, I did all the low voltage, mainly cause I had to. We didn't spec the electrician for the little piddly work.

I did the black wiring, and speaker cable.

Turman Electric

Turman Electric
Nice cans.

New Studio/Garage Process 6

Here's how it's coming along.

Turman Garage
Windows, doors, OMG!

Turman Studio
Studio side all trimed up.

Turman Garage
Main bay with trim

Dana's Skateboard

Dana Jacobson from ESPN recently contacted me to paint a skateboard deck for a Jimmy V's Cancer Foundation and X Games charity event online auction thing (I'll post a link to in when I found out).

Dana Jacobson Skateboard deck

Here's what I came up with.

Dana gave me a clear direction of what she wanted: "Tons of sports stuff, and make me a football player!" Ok, perfect, done!

I don't paint a whole lot, but I'm really happy with how this one turned out, it was a total blast to do! Thanks Dana.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 5

Turman Studio
Ok, I came home today, Tuesday, and check it! The whole garage was framed. Just finishing stuff on the framing needed to be done. It's a lot bigger than what it felt like just walking on the foundation.

Turman Studio
The new studio space, it's rough, but you can tell what it's going to look like now.

More to come.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 4

Turman Garage
Came home to all this framing stuff in the driveway.

Turman Garage
Sammy nervously guarding.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 3

Turman Garage 6
Here's the concrete crew pouring the slab. They made quick work out of their job. The slab was poured in a matter of 2 hours. They immediately put down foundation blocks in preparation for framing.

The new garage/studio will be 33'x24'. It's a 3-car garage with a reverse gable. The whole thing will be heated and insulated. Storage truss above with a pull-down ladder. Everything will be sheetrocked.

I'll have the studio space (11'x24') air-conditioned, canned lighting with numerous outlets. 2 50amp circuits will connect to the garage/studio to run the heaters and all the equipment I'll need in the studio. 2 windows will face the house. It's going to be pretty sweet, and I'll get all my crap out of the basement!

Turman Slab 1
Slab, driveway, and sidewalk poured.

Turman Slab 2
3rd bay side of the driveway.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 2

I've prepped everything that needed to be cleaned up for the demo guys to come in and tear our our old garage.

We moved our garden, part of my new retaining wall, took out the garage door opener (pretty much brand new), and stored all the stuff from the old garage in a POD container. A lot of work, but totally worth it.

So anyway, here's what I came home today after work.
Turman Garage 5
The demo guys made short work out of the old garage and driveway.

Turman Garage 5
Next day, the cement guys came in to form up the slab and part of the new driveway. That blue stuff is high-density foam to help insulate the slab from frost in the winter.

Meanwhile we had a couple of trees taken out as well. One of the trees had Dutch Elm disease, and the other (an evergreen) was so cramped that it wasn't flourishing due to it's placement. We didn't like to see the trees go, but it ended up opening up the space quite a bit for other plantings that we'll do, and a new fence.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Studio/Garage Process 1

Our old garage was in pretty bad shape. We moved into our home in July of 2001, and we knew right from the moment we bought the house that we had about another 5 years or so before the garage would have to be torn down and rebuilt.

The driveway was in really bad shape too. There was a tree (to the left, not pictured) pushing up part of the concrete right where cars would pull out of the garage.

At any rate, this is an on-going process thread showcasing our old garage, and having our new garage, and my brand spanking new studio space be built.

Turman Garage 1
The old garage.

Turman Garage 2
The old 2-car bay. The slab was in terrible shape and we had a significant mouse problem. So bad in fact that some mice decided the muffler of one of our cars would be a great home until we started up the car on a few occasions. Lot's of fun, and lots of $$$ to get the car mouse-free.

Turman Garage 3
Something nice about our old garage is that it had a good size area in the back of it for storage, and a small wood shop. I used that quite a bit. Here you see a door that lead to another back room, that flooded every time it rained and the room pictured was where the wood shop was. Both rooms leaked, had mice, and were extremely moldy. Not so great.

Turman Garage 4

This is the opposite side the wood shop room with a ton of garbage ready for demolition.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Celebrate Summer - cover

Adam Turman

Here's the latest cover I've done for She compliments the Winter Guide cover I did back in January for the same weekly. This was super fun to do for one of my favorite clients. Thanks Leslie!!! Go summer, seems like it's going to be a short one here in the Twin Cities.

Cycle Minnesota

Cycle Minnesota

Gold Medal Flour in it's 3rd edition (18x24)
Purchase it here.