Adrian Forrow x SS17

Adrian Forrow is an award winning multidisciplinary Artist and Illustrator with clients in Canada, Europe and The United States. He graduated from OCAD University where he won the Merit Award for his outstanding achievements in the Illustration Program.

Adrian has been recognized multiple times by American Illustration and other award annuals. Adrian's most recent clients include: The New Yorker, 
Urban Outfitters, Bloomberg, The Walrus, Second Cup, Plan Sponsor, Bruce Mau, Sid Lee, and Concrete Design Communications. When Adrian is not busy working in his studio you can find him on one of his (many) bikes or camping. 


When did you first get into illustration and how did you decide this would become a career path?

A - I have always been interested in images. I had a hard time learning how to read as a kid so I naturally became interested in comic books and graphic novels. For birthdays and holidays my family typically gifted me art supplies like sketchbooks and pens. It was an easy way to explore my imagination and create things. I never studied art specifically as a child but I really loved the feeling I got from making images. As I got older I became obsessed with skateboarding and music. The DIY culture of skateboarding and punk rock fit my personality and beliefs. I started looking at skate magazines like, Thrasher, and fell in love with the branding and style of the advertisements. I loved the individualistic style and identity that these skate brands encapsulated. I saw how images influence communication and that really appealed to me. After some time I eventually got exposed to art as a career. I never wanted to be an artist specifically but after studying it and honing my skills I realized that it was one of the only careers that brought me joy. I didn't know Illustration would work out for me but I knew that if I really tried and worked hard something good would come from the effort. So far so good!

Tell me about your process. How do take an idea and turn it into a real life piece?

A - My process can vary from project to project. I've been fortunate enough to work on all kinds of projects from large scale murals to packaging design to editorial illustration. Variety is the spice of life so adapting my process has given me the comfort to ability to diversify my visual language. When I start a project I try to consider all the rigid features of the project. Size, materials, atmosphere, complexity. Once I know all the restrictions my design can adapt and flow with the needs or demands of the project. I find it increasingly important to draw. By this I mean pen on paper. Or any other tool that can physically make a mark on paper. I find that starting outside of the computer allows for experiments and accidents to happen. The simple time it takes to sharpen your pencil might be the enough time for an awesome idea to burst forward or allow you to see something that you hadn't seen before. Drawing is the most important part of my process but research and learning is another keystone that allows my work to be thoughtful and unique. 

What’s the inspiration behind the SS17 collection? 

A - The inspiration is simply to capture the unique ecosystems that exist around the St.Lawrence River. Through research I was able to find a ton of amazing information to try and distill in my imagery. I wanted to focus on the things that make that area unique. I found diversity in the plant and animal life and tried to capture the varied and exotic living things in that area. There was so much great stuff that I wanted to include that the geometric arrangement of the pattern made the most sense to add organization to the abundance of imagery. I also wanted to present these elements in a unique and imaginative way and simplify the individual aspects of the imagery to create a more imaginative interpretation of the world we live in. Through research and study I was able to find the right kind of inspiration to inform my creative vision.