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Q & A with 2020 Merchandise Artist Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose

Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose is a Diné digital artist who specializes in 2-D creations and 3-D printed jewelry, and was featured in the 2018 Fashion Show with a line of 3-D printed looks.

With a Virtual Indian Market, his futuristic designs with natural elements was a natural choice for this year’s merchandise.

We asked Adrian a few questions to find out more about his inspiration and his process. Here is what he said:

How long have  you been doing art and how did you start?  

I’ve been doing art as long as I can remember. My mom put me in a lot of different art programs as a child. I played the piano, beaded, painted, you name it, my mom introduced me to a variety of different mediums. Growing up in Santa Fe too, was rich in culture and always lively.

How long have you been an Indian Market artist?

I used to participate in the Youth Market making beadwork and watercolor paintings. After that I would share with my mom off and on. Then I decided to take a break and felt the need to focus my process on something new. I decided to attend UNM and study architecture. 

Do you come from a family of artists? 

Yes, my entire family did an array of different art. It helped inspire my thought process creating my art and where I wanted to go with it. Also my mom introduced me to her friends which were artists as well and I got to see many different perspectives growing up within the art community. 

What is your process for creation, and where do you draw your inspiration?

When I start on a new project I make sure I facilitate a strong vernacular language that can be read on many different views. Throughout the years of creating artwork the main qualitative aspect has been a rug design that my great-grandmother weaved. It has been the foundation to my process and how I translate that concept into my 2D graphics, fashion and now jewelry. My inspiration comes from life and my identity of whom I am as a person. It’s a constant evolution applying digital applications to tell my story.

What was your reaction to being asked to be the merchandise artist?

To be honest it caught me off guard. My process is anything but traditional and at times can be a controversial topic how art is portrayed within the Indigenous art community. It means a great deal to me being asked and I hope it opens the doors for younger artists creating work through unique processes. 

What is the meaning behind your piece, Tranquil Vitality?

Tranquil Vitality is apart of my newest series titled “Pandemonium of Beauty,” that brings harmony and chaos as one. I wanted to use vibrant colors to illustrate a sense of euphoria. During these times I needed to create a place of happiness to help focus my sense-ability and I wanted to share that with everybody. A place to escape and engage the mind during these unsettling times. 

What was your reaction to Indian Market going Virtual?

I thought it was a great way to help artists establish their digital presents. A way to build on an ever growing digital platform that we all live in today. It’s a great way to stay connected with your audience and to connect with others globally.

Adrian’s Website

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