Artist Spotlight: Adrián Oviedo

On Vinyl had the pleasure of working with local artist and illustrator Adrián Oviedo for our South Austin Local Showcase. Adrián demonstrated his amazing creative mind by turning the bands into animated characters to create one of the dopest showcase posters we have seen to date. The imagery on the poster really set the tone for the show itself, and encapsulated the very reason as to why supporting local artists is not only important, but a good investment. We decided to sit down and find out more about this up and coming artist.

Local artist and illustrator Adrián Oviedo received his first drawing lessons from his older brother when he was 3 years old in Monterrey, Mexico. Their mom would encourage them to draw by hanging their work on the refrigerator. Fast forward 30 or so years later, and now he is a professional artist. Once it came time for college, Adrián wanted to study Psychology, but there were no spots left so he had to take a gap year. During the gap year, he got his first job involving art as a graphic designer. Although he didn’t know much about design, he could draw well enough to get the job. Once he returned to college, he decided to study design instead. The rest was history.

In an interview with Adrián, he explained how for the past couple years he has been trying to do more illustration. In order for this to happen, he needs to go back to the basics of anatomy and live drawing to perfect his craft so he can make the jump. Adrián said his favorite artist is Pete Fowler who has a similar style to his own. Adrián first saw Fowler’s work on an album cover and was inspired ever since.

“Sometimes embarrassingly too much of a fan,” he admitted.

When asked what the inspiration is behind his work, he explained how,

“When I was a student in Psychology, I got really into putting things into words. I don’t like metaphors or hidden meaning.”

Clearly, Adrián appreciates logic and efficiency as he went on to say,

“If you want to convey a message, put it into words. That’s the most efficient way to do it.”

Probably not something you would expect an artist to say, but Adrián isn’t your typical artist. He described how when he looks back at his artwork, he can tell how he was feeling at that particular time.

Sometimes, Adrián starts by writing down notes of what he is seeing or thinking. Later, he may read back over a note to trigger an idea of what to draw. The artistic juices flow sort of inconsistently. It may take a couple of hours to figure out what to draw or even a couple of months before he is happy with what he is working on. Adrián discussed how for his personal art, it is really never-ending.

“There is always something I want to change,” he said.

Out of his own collection, his favorites are Diablo and The Feast. The hidden detail and depth of the designs are outstanding. Adrián recounted how he would “open the door” while at home and invite whoever was knocking to come in to chat. He explained how his interest in Psychology turned into a love for words and arguing with friends or anybody that’s willing to talk. These long chats with strangers are stimulating and sometimes even included as references or meanings within his pieces.

When asked what message he wants to convey with his work, he admitted he’d been asking himself that same question a lot lately. He likes to draw things that have a lot to say. You can see this in the degree of detail he includes in his art. However, he wants to take this a step further.

“I’m always thinking, what can I do to make what I do important or beneficial to society.”

To make this happen, he has started collaborating with organizations he feels are already making a difference in the world. With regard to cultural influences, one of his favorite pieces called The Feast depicts the different backgrounds of people in the city of Austin.

“I told myself when I got [to Austin], I want to draw again,” he continued on to say, “I want to do this, I don’t think I will ever stop again.”

He said his end goal as an artist is really two things– to make a living and have his art mean something for someone.

While talking to Adrián, it became clear to me almost immediately how nice and down to earth he is as an artist. His talent is clear and abundant throughout his whole collection. It also became clear to me that he is determined to add value to the world through his art. Adrián noticed when he first got to Austin that,

“Here you see everybody risk it; they don’t care whether it’s a risk or not.”

It is nice to see an artist risking it to follow their passion and make a difference in the world.

Check out his full collection and website here.