The lovely and talented artist, Miss. Emily "Lou Rat" Adams
1.What is your name?
My name is Emily Louise Ruth Adams. AKA Emily “Lou Rat” Adams. In art school I went by the nickname Lou. Recently, a close friend of mine confessed that she thought the “R” actually stood for “Rat”. Ha! I love it, I thought, I’ll keep it. Rats have always been a part of my life; from my first tattoo, to the reoccurring image of rats in my artwork, it only seems to be a natural fit for my name.
2.What is your quest?
My quest is to share. To share experience, memories, excitement, confusion, you name it. We’re in this thing together, so let’s do this thing together. I get so excited about different experiences and ideas that I desire and feel the need to share the intensity of it all. The best way that I know how, is to make art about it. At its essence, art is communication. The more accessible and a part of daily life that art can be, the more open dialogue we can share.
Photography by Emily "Lou Rat" Adams
3.What is your favorite color?
Rust is my favorite color. Basically any variety of deep warm earthy burnt orange reddish hues. I like rust color because it is warm, dark and bold, yet the reality is that rust is fragile decay. Evidence of time, rust is a living thing/dying thing.
4.Your known around town for your paintings and screen prints. How long have you been working with the two mediums?
It was high school when I became more serious about developing my technical skills with drawing and painting. But it was not until Columbus College of Art and Design that I realized how passionate I am towards printmaking. This was eight years ago. As I recall, you couldn’t drag me out of the print lab if the building was on fire. To this day, I simply feel euphoric working with the medium. The layering of images and the stages of processes give endless possibilities for style and aesthetic of a printed artwork.
Screen Prints by Emily "Lou Rat" Adams
5.What inspires your designs?
I am a list maker, so here we go: City Streets. Telephone Poles. Buildings. Trains. Rats. Love. Life. Memories. Time. Loss. Death. Paradox. Freedom. Politics. Tattoos. Color Schemes. Faces. Handwriting. Power. Decay. Impressions. Patterns. Punk Rock. Make-up. Bicycles. Old Cars. Religion. War.
6.Any awesome project that you’re currently working on or anything you’re looking forward to in the near future?
I am extremely excited about my latest series of photographic screen prints. I have spent the last couple of years setting up a studio where I can efficiently create works using my own photographic images. The process requires a darkroom, high water pressure and a decent amount of space. The images I work with either come from my “resource library” of previously taken photographs, or if I need something specific, I’ll go out on a photo shoot. Once I process everything digitally, I burn (expose) it to a screen that has been treated with light sensitive emulsion. My next series are the Ohio River bridges on wood panel. These will be the largest in scale that I have ever worked in screen printing.
Miss. Lou Rat in her studio
7.Who are your 3 favorite artist?
Barbara Kruger – Her bold style and poignant messages are truly engaging, confrontational and thought provoking. Her work would not carry the same impact if it weren’t for the way in which each piece is displayed site specific to the message. She is a crucial part of art and modernity.
Diane Arbus – I both love and feel a kinship for her ability to photograph people in their natural state of existence. Her images arrest the soul and capture universal truth of the beauty and a grittiness of life.
Shepard Fairey – I am inspired by the fluid visual aesthetic in his work. His style is bold and demands attention. He is an artist who has shown the world that art is something everyone is a part of. His strong work ethic is something to admire as well.
Art by Emily "Lou Rat" Adams
8.What music do you listen to while you work?
When I’m working, generally I prefer lyrically heavy music. I tend to listen to a lot of 50’s and 60’s rockabilly. When I get tired of this I switch to hip-hop. It’s funny, but when I get into a project I need to be somewhat distracted from my analytical thought process. It’s easier to enjoy the act of creation and critique it later.
Art by Emily "Lou Rat" Adams
9.Where can we find you and your work on the interweb? Any shops here in town caring your handmade goodness?
My newly updated website:www.loulandunderground.com
I’m not selling at any shops at this time, but I have been putting together an exhibit called The Undertow Artshow. The theme of this group show is “Against the Current”. My goal was to get artists together who are making work that deals with controversial topics. Times are difficult for most everyone these past couple of years. Let’s see the response from artists, let’s get together and talk about it.
The Undertow Artshow will be at The Art Store in downtown New, Albany, IN 205 W Market St. Saturday, July 30 from 2-11pm.
10.What’s a typical day like for you?
In the mornings I do what computer work that I can. Either updating my website or preparing and printing images to burn (expose) into screens.
Then it’s off to work at the day job for a good 6 hours.
Once I’m home, fighting the falling sun, the real work begins.
Here are a few different scenarios:
Woodshop – Preparing surfaces to be screen printed onto. Or building the next part of my print lab such as a 4-color t-shirt press, or my next big project, a light exposure unit.
Darkroom – Using light sensitive photo emulsion to burn (expose) my images into the screens. Or cleaning old images from screens for the process to begin again.
Studio – Printing, listening to Jack Scott, Janis Martin or JoFo and dreaming up new projects to get started on.
Artist assistant hard at work in the studio
If your looking to an awesome local artist for a show/exhibit at your shop, business, show, etc. Contact Emily about showcasing her work! I’d love to be drinking coffee while completely surrounded by her art…..wouldn’t you!