Frankly, The Folksy Magazine


Adam Slade – Inspired By…

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 4 minutes.

Adam Slade Dancing Skullfly's image

Surface designer Adam Slade shares his top inspirations. He’s pretty inspirational himself to be honest.

One… Maxalot.

It was after viewing this website, recommended to me by my lecturer that I was possessed by the mad urge to create a large scale mural wallpaper as part of my final collection. At times during the design phase I wished I’d never visited the blasted website at all, since the design was such a pain to create! It was worth it in the end though.

Wallpaper inspired by Maxalot - Adam Slade
Wallpaper inspired by Maxalot - Adam Slade

Two… a photograph of my Granddad’s removal business van from the 70’s

I don’t have it – but I remember it clearly enough. I love the photograph because it reminds me that, as well as running his removal business, he also at one point ran a fish and chip shop. Not super glamourous, but it is proof that you can never take on too much! Which is the attitude I’ve had to adopt since the interest in my work after New Designers.

Three… ‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap

The song is beautiful and ethereal and the lyrics are softly cryptic and highly metaphorical – so much so that the true meaning behind them is a complete guess. I think it’s about a break up, the lyrics such as ‘crop circles in the carpet’ perhaps referring to marks left in carpets when furniture has been taken (by an ex lover) after the break up. It’s inspiring to me because, although the lyrics are tragic and sorrowful – the beautiful metaphors make the song so enchanting, and give it an optimism which is uplifting. It reminds me of my work – seemingly beautiful at first, but a closer look reveals something darker.

Four… the day I was told that I’d been accepted onto the course at Bath Spa university.

Every time I faced difficulties during my studying that made me feel like giving it up and moving home, whether it was creative block (which is far too common!), a fall out with friends which made everything seem depressing, or just good old fashioned home sickness, I would remember how I felt when the Head of Dept Kerry told me I had a place.

She expressed her doubts to me there and then. I was just 18, no foundation year, not super clued up on the fashion or interiors world and I knew she saw me as a risk. At times I almost proved her right. But I was desperate for that not to be the case, and so every time I felt like things were going down hill I thought of how I felt when I’d been told that, despite the potential for failure, I’d been believed in. I think of that feeling every time now something goes wrong!

Adam Slade - "Dancing Skullfly's"
Adam Slade - "Dancing Skullfly's"

Five… my family

It’s pretty hard to say who inspires me to most, since I spent 3 years at a university crammed full of super talented people. Every one of the lecturers and technicians has had stacks of amazing industry or creative experience and the knowledge I’ve siphoned from them has been unbelievable. However the people who inspire me most are none other than my own mother, father and sister. It isn’t for any creative reasons either – it’s just the relationship we have and the lengths that they’ve gone to to make me happy. They never stop telling me how proud they are of me and I’m proud to tell of that about them.

Six… New Designers 2011.

I was part of it and it was amazing. If I hadn’t been selected to go as part of my universities stand, then I wouldn’t be where I am now. There isn’t much more to say about it, other than I will be going to visit the show every year until I die.

Seven… Tracy Kendall.

Tracy Kendall - Cutlery
Tracy Kendall - Cutlery

Now there are many other designers work who I admire, and who’s style of work mine is probably more a kin to. However Tracy’s work inspires me because of the way in which she produces it. I spent two weeks two summers ago at her London studio – I’ve never been worked so hard! Her relentless and pristine attitude gave me such and insight into her seemingly simplistic work, no detail was overlooked and nothing was permitted to be even 1% off. I look at her work with such appreciation after working with her, and I hope that I can one day be just as meticulous to get things the best they can be.

Eight… my parter Will.

We met in first year at university and we’ve seen each other grow up through it. I am what I am now because of how university life as a textiles student has shaped me and I’m becoming what I’m becoming as my experience as a designer increases, but before all that I am truly what I am because of Will. Being together during university, which is such an evolutionary stage in our lives has moulded us around each other. Being aware of how we’ve changed together is enough to inspire me to the eyeballs.