Welcome to the third feature from the new Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. Styled in our most recent collection, and photographed by our Editor Cal McIntyre, read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear. To shop the products Adam is wearing simply click the images.
Meet Adam Warren, a young London based creative with an abundance of vision and an already established portfolio of work. Helping with the Art Direction behind Folk Clothing and Mare Street Records, a Co-Founder of Bitter Magazine, and Founder of Alcatraz Beach Club. If that wasn’t enough for being a 22 years of age completing his studies at University, Adam also does freelance graphic design work for clients. It appears all of Adam’s skills holistically work together in harmony. The Idle Man met up with and styled Adam in our AW18 collection in his East London flat to gain some insight into his work.
Adam’s Art Direction help with Folk and newly founded Mare Street Records - he presents and embodies a consistent composed theme within each fluid direction. The consistent inclusion of muted tones and natural light carry Folk’s branding of contemporary and premium designs. Although, his help with Art Direction for Folk stands as an umbrella for Adam Warren’s body of work. Mare Street Records is a DIY podcast platform discussing London's creative scene. Launching it's first podcast with Nabihah Iqbal and Nicholas Daley, it offers up an insight into young artists and their creative process whilst trying to navigate being a young creative in London.
Adam has a strong voice in fashion and extends this to emerging artists throughout his co-founded Bitter Magazine. Bitter is a full bleed, compendium-esque photography and writing magazine/journal. The primary purpose is to provide a place of publication and appreciation for upcoming creatives. The 140-page spread recognises the limitless room and rules for creatives. Yet, the variation of formats and style within Bitter reflects the diversity of art and the complexity of its definition. This collection of contrasting pieces mirrors Adam’s non-linear path to becoming one of the founders of Alcatraz Beach Club.
Another path of Adam’s creativity is Alcatraz Beach Club. Alcatraz Beach Club pops-up around London and stands permanently online. The collection is an assembly of collaborations with industry professionals. Each piece with a unique purpose and a story.
Providing a platform of exposure for creatives is something that needs to be promoted more within the industry - Where did the inspiration for Bitter come from?
Completely agree. I guess Bitter came from a desire to showcase work that might not necessarily make it into an established mag, somewhere other than the internet. I see something physical - like a publication - as a lot more special and valuable. Also, the fact that we didn’t have a theme or limitations on what we would be happy including in it resulted in an amazingly weird collection of work.
Folk has enabled you to grow within the creative industry – what else do you feel has contributed to the success of your career so far?
I’m not sure about ‘the success of my career’ but I owe a lot to Folk and its founder Cathal for being so open and trusting in me with various projects, allowing me to begin working in a real environment compared to just setting myself random tasks at home. I’d like to think I’ve always been extremely open to working with whoever on whatever, resulting in me being surrounded by an amazing group of creatives and mates that constantly inspire me. That’s helped I think.
What is your usual process of creativity from start to finish in regards to your Art Direction for Folk?
In terms of graphic work we’ve got a really strong limitations when it comes to putting out content which helps maintain it as a strong brand. With the photography it’s similar, it often comes down to the purpose of the shoot. Once we know what we want to achieve with it we can begin brainstorming appropriate photographers and ideas. It can be extremely freeing working in this sort of way, as opposed to just pulling an idea out of thin air – it made me reevaluate my own brand: what guidelines I wanted to establish for myself and where I saw it fitting into the industry.
Where do you look for inspiration when planning any of your works?
Literally everywhere. I’m a hoarder of art, books, magazines, posters, objects. My phone and computer are clogged up with thousands of images that I’ve saved and lists I’ve made. I actually have one list of photoshoot concepts that I counted the other day consisted of about 60+ ideas that will most likely never see the light of day... Save and re–visit is my usual process.
The growth of social media has aligned with the progression of your career – do you feel it is impacting the voice for the creative industry in a positive or negative manner?
I mean it would be crazy to say that it hasn’t impacted the industry in a positive way. It’s been a catalyst the amount of work that gets made. It's easier than ever to learn about the history of art and design as well as discovering smaller movements and niches. It also simply allows younger people such as myself to develop on their own and break into the industry without the going through the institutional structure, i.e. getting a degree and having to go through a process of non–paid work placements. Having said that, the negative effects of social media do bleed into your everyday life and can be a serious burden.
What’re your primary considerations when selecting content for Bitter?
Bitter Mag started with the idea of reaching out to friends and people we’d worked with already to submit something they were proud of but hadn’t been published. It resulted in this sort of eclectic archive of work that everyone had created over the space of a year. We wanted to maintain this approach with Issue 2 but also setup and open call for submissions. I think we have a strong idea of what we want the mag to exist as and consider work based off that.
Stepping into the future, where do you feel you are heading and what are your goals moving forward?
For the last few years I’ve maintained a consistent philosophy of just wanting to get my hands dirty with all sorts of creative projects and am really happy with where I’ve landed so far. Folk have offered to incubate Alcatraz Beach Club, my own brand, which I’m having an amazing time planning. I’m beginning to explore furniture design, working on Issue 2 of Bitter Magazine as well as getting involved in Mare Street Records, a new music podcast in London. As of now I feel like I’m at the beginning a lot of different avenues and am plainly excited to see what happens, as opposed to trying to set myself any specific goals.
How did you get your foot into the industry and what advice would you give to other aspiring creatives?
I can’t help but feel that luck always plays a role but like I said previously, don’t underestimate the power of social media and promoting yourself online: there are endless amounts of people to work with and offer assistance to. Always reach out to people even if getting a response seems slim. My best decision was applying for a part–time job on the shop floor at Folk, an independent company in the industry I wanted to work in. It allowed me to build relationships with the small team behind it and progress from there.
If you had to describe your creative style to others – what would it be?
Still trying to figure it out.