This week of #BEYOUROWN we are joined by the Creative Director Adrenus Craton, of London HOUSE Studio. As you may well know on the 26th of August, a unique art exhibition was beautifully presented at the HQ in Shorditch, London.
Ambitiously titled ‘Battle of the Soul: Rebirth’ it celebrated a year since the studio originally opened its doors. We talked to the incredibly talented Adrenus after she presented her work that took 10 years in the making, and got a real insight into life as an artist as we discussed ‘that’ painting that put her firmly on the map.
Congratulations on the launch of your Exhibition Battle of the Soul: REBIRTH”It must of taken forever to put together, can you share with us the process and strategy of putting an event together like this.
Thank you! Yes, it has been quite a lot of work and it has definitely been an incredible decade-long journey. It’s become apparent to me over the years that with any event there is always the same scenario: How you want it to go, and how it will actually go. Realising this, and that the journey is the destination, really makes the process of creating, organising and delivering much more enjoyable and more meaningful. For me, the strategy of putting an event like this together has a lot to do with things happening organically, i.e., finding the right space at the right time, connecting with the right energies, nothing being forced, going with the flow and everything being done with purpose.
We noticed that Propercorn sponsored this event, how difficult is it to get sponsor involved to help you move things forward, and possibly give you the exposure that you need?
My belief is that when you are finding your place in life and wholeheartedly believe in what you are doing, you will begin connecting with those of like minds. So, I guess the level of difficulty would depend on who you are attempting to connect with and why. What I’ve experienced is that those who are on separate paths or in different head spaces than you, will be more difficult to connect with and build relationships with. Propercorn is a brand I’ve always believed in. I researched them last year when London HOUSE Studio first opened in Shoreditch. I’m a big fan of things being “done properly” and so I felt their quality, their team dedication and the direction they were headed was similar to what I hoped to achieve within the HOUSE. They have a beautiful energy and work ethos, and I’m honoured to have had our event sponsored by them.
What artists currently inspire you?
At the moment it would be the artist behind the “KooKoo” collection, which was on private exhibition earlier in the year in Gstaad, Switzerland, at Siegfried Contemporary. He is inspiring because from what I’ve observed , this artist, James Franco, seems to represent a freedom in creativity towards every perceived stimuli. It all makes perfect sense, the translation of narratives across various genres depending on which art fits the art… I love that. It is refreshing when someone goes out and decides to just do it… create, write, BE this and BE that, explore, experience and experiment. I’m so incredibly intrigued by people like me. We are another breed and when you notice them it’s hard not to want to collaborate or create something with them. It is already on my next list of experiences, to hold an art exhibition at London HOUSE Studio in honour of The Art of Elysium. My dream as a child (and still today) is to make a positive difference in the world through this gift of creativity that I’ve been given. So, I wish to collaborate with this artist one day and attempt to do just that. Another artist that inspires me is Banksy. I’ve always admired this work. I am appreciative of the inspiration Banksy’s works always seem to stir up inside of me along with the contemplative ripples it causes globally.
The industry is incredibly tough to get into and it can be just as hard to get recognised, how do you deal with this?
My answer has always been to just be yourself… the best version of yourself. The only way to know what is that best version of yourself is to experiment, to experience, to always try, to sometimes fail, to always try again, to just keep going until you find your fit. Maybe it is ironic to say in an interview, but I honestly believe that the main goal shouldn’t be to get recognised, but to just live your life and find your fit. Then, if recognition comes, great! Be ready to share a bigger message when it does.When did you decide to become an artist?
Hmm, I can’t actually remember ever deciding to become an artist. I just was, from a very young age, always creating something. My earliest memories are of me drawing on road trips,, drawing on the walls of my bedroom, painting on our wooden floor boards and passing artwork under my parents’ door.
What advice can you give to other young artists out there embarking on this same journey?
Never give up. Never care more about what others think when it is making sense to you.
What influences your work?
Life.Life is the magic. Life is my reference, my guidance, my inspiration, my everything. It is what inspires the ideas and the titles and the colours.
Do you have a story to share that you experienced and use to express that through your artwork?
I had the privilege of working on behalf of The Cedar Foundation (a charity organisation that was once based in Bulgaria, currently based in Tanzania) who were working towards providing better lives for Bulgaria’s disadvantaged children and young persons. One afternoon, I was able to accompany the foundation to an orphanage/home in the city of Gorna Koznitsa where we spent a few hours happily running around in the sun and playing football in one of the nearby fields. Every single one of these children had the brightest smiles and the most genuine laughter. They even made me feel a pure simple happiness, the kind we oftentimes take for granted. It was difficult for me to realise that the life they had just come from, they were merely leaving it behind for a few hours only to return soon after. It was the only moments I was able to personally spend time with them, but it’s what inspired the painting “Bulgaria’s Golden Roses” and it will be remembered as something truly special. I wrote about it and on September 26, 2009, the painting was auctioned for 4,900 Euros – with all proceeds being donated to the foundation.
What is the poem?
Bulgaria’s Golden Roses
Are something special to behold Like dreams that never get old Or even ice cream…
That’s always cold
Winning after deciding not to fold Breaking the mold
And becoming something better Even better than we’re told
They are just like this. Like roses dipped in gold.
What are you currently working on right now and how do you plan your future?
Currently, while wrapping up the final days of my art exhibition, Battle of the Soul: REBIRTH, I’m working on several different projects / genres with fashion week coming up in September. These days, a fashion photographer, boutique model agency director and creative director at London HOUSE Studio, planning for the future has become much more intense (in a good way). It calls for one day at a time even hour by hour.
What obstacles do you face as an artist and how do you cross that barrier?
As an artist, I’ve identified my obstacles some years ago as being my own self. Once you learn to tame the mind and go with the flow, nothing is a barrier. One of my favourite phrases this year has been, “Nothing happens to you, everything happens for you.”
What do you like to do when you are not being creative?
I’m not really sure what it means to not be creative, how to answer that. I actually sat down and thought very hard about it because it’s a good question. Up until now, I genuinely cannot come up with anything I would like to be doing other than being creative.