Midwest Artist Adam Radcliffe
The state of Illinois has produced several impactful artists for our generation. People such as Kanye West, Don C, and Virgil Abloh. These individuals grew up in a unique midwest culture that shaped the way they create. Adam Radcliffe is not at the level of Virgil Abloh but he is carving out a path of his own that is very notable.
The state of Illinois has produced several impactful artists in our generation. People such as Kanye West, Don C, and Virgil Abloh. These individuals grew up in a unique midwest culture that shaped the way they create. Adam Radcliffe is not quite at the level of Virgil Abloh, but he is carving out a path of his own that is very notable.
Adam Radcliffe is from Elgin, Illinois, which is a suburb outside the city of Chicago. Radcliffe spent his time as a kid playing basketball, playing video games, skateboarding, and drawing. One of his favorite games growing up was Runescape, which is an online multiplayer role-playing game. Radcliffe told us that basketball was his main passion growing up, and he only truly got into the arts when he was in college. During his sophomore year, he took a 2D design course as a fine arts elective. Radcliffe fell in love with the 2D design process and really enjoyed taking the course.
“[My teacher] taught me how to make posters. Our final project for the semester was to make a movie poster. I did one for the movie Good Burger, and that is where I learned how to do stuff on illustrator,” said Radcliffe.
This class is one of the main reasons why Radcliffe began doing digital illustrations and making posters. When the class ended, it was not until the following year that Radcliffe was able to continue illustrating in that manner. In the summer of 2019, Radcliffe made the investment to purchase an iPad and an Apple Pencil. While in college, Radcliffe would design posters and print them at his college library to give to friends. As notoriety increased on campus about his work, he began selling his art for $5 a poster. On his posters, he drew musical artists and created pieces based off of the request of the buyer. Radcliffe knew he had a talent for creating, and that eventually led him to start his own Instagram page dedicated to displaying his works.
“98AJR” is the name of the Instagram account on which Radcliffe articulates his creative venture. The naming of the account comes from the year Radcliffe was born and the initials of his full name. The account started with Radcliffe doing fan art of some of his favorite musical artists. Radcliffe saw how art leaves an impression on whoever views it. For him, seeing fanart being promoted by a musician or rapper was fascinating to him. This type of art was the basis for the account. Radcliffe would create art from the rappers and musical artists he most admired and would post the result on 98AJR.
“The first person that acknowledged my art was Smino. Which is crazy! All these people came out to tell me good job! Good job! That was so rewarding,” said Radcliffe.
Radcliffe’s art is impressive, to say the least. He specializes in effectively using color as well as accurately encapsulating the energy of the rapper or musician. Our favorite illustration from the page is a depiction of Tyler the Creator in a yellow suit. The art truly captures how energetic and unique Tyler can be.
Radcliffe just graduated from college and is excited to be entering into the real world. In terms of creating art, Radcliffe is also big on customization and plans to start up a YouTube channel similar to Marko Koterzo. Radciffe told us that he does not have everything planned out but is excited to continue to create.
Adam Radcliffe was very fun to talk with. His energy and playfulness was refreshing. We wish prosperity and joy for him on his artistic journey. We are also thankful he took the time out of his day to come speak with us.
98AJR Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/98ajr/?hl=en
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