Profile: Adrienne Kammerer

Marbled Myths
Illustrator Adrienne Kammerer delves into the depths of dark folklore and haunting creatures.

Magic and mythology are channelled through graphite onto paper to form wistful portraits that are not unlike that striking moment when old horror movies get eerily quiet. Kammerer uses real and imagined references to childhood fears and fables to create these masterfully rendered drawings. She chats with OTM about fairytales, the creative process and a casual gun hobby.

L: An Unkindness of Ravens / R: Woodland Wanderers

Natalie Kaine: Where do your ideas come from? Describe the recurring themes.

Adrienne Kammerer: Most of my drawings tend to revolve around folklore, fairytales, superstitions, myth and magic. I’m obviously drawn to more macabre subject matter. There are a lot of great online sources for finding old photographs. For the most part the images I use as reference for my drawings are black and white, anything from the 1940’s and back; other than that I’m not too picky about keeping to a particular time period. Once I find a few good images I experiment with various ways to change the context/composition of the original photograph.

NK: What’s it like being part of Narwhal? 

AK: I really enjoy working with Kristen and Steve and the rest of the staff at Narwhal, they’re a great gallery for emerging artists and established artists alike. They put on a lot of fun and interesting shows, and their gallery space is constantly evolving.

NK: What is your process when working with clients? Can you run us through a typical job?

AK: When I’m first approached I’m given the article, the dimensions and the deadline. The deadlines vary from job to job but sometimes a month, sometimes only a week. I try to come up with a few concepts that aren’t too obvious or literal while not being to abstruse, which can often be difficult. I’ll brainstorm maybe 2 or 3 different ideas and pitch them. Once an idea is chosen, I send in a rough sketch of what it will look like, once that’s been approved it’s just a matter of getting everything done in time for the deadline.

L: Dark Messengers / R: Midnight’s Children

NK: Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?

AK: Not so much creative slumps as productivity slumps. When I’m working a full-time job to make ends meet, after a full day of work, I often have trouble finding the motivation to work on drawings.

NK: Any interesting projects, personal work, new passion… etc.

AK: There is a group show at Narwhal that I’m participating in coming up in either late October or early November, and I’m part of Nathan Jerevicius anniversary group show on the 31st at Toytoyko in New York. There are two shows that I’ll be working on for next year, but the details are still up in the air for those. I hope to be keeping myself busy.

NK: Any advice for others who are pursuing creative goals?

AK: Don’t be complacent. I can spend 30 minutes on an art blog and find at least one person that’s working in the same medium as me and doing it better. There is always room to improve.

NK: What do you like to do outside of art?

AK: I enjoy music and travel. I also shoot guns recreationally.