Story Gatherings | Nashville, Tennessee

While You Were Sleeping || Adam Hall

Written by Kellyn Robison

While You Were Sleeping || Adam Hall

Being an artist takes sacrifices. Many of you work full time jobs to support the art that you create on the side. Some of you are hard at work on your next project while the rest of us are sleeping.

We love sharing your stories as inspiration for others who are working to create meaningful art.  This video, directed by Matt Underwood about painter Adam Hall inspired us, so we wanted to share it with you.  But we wanted to dig a bit deeper into Adam’s story, so we asked him a few questions answered below:

1) What do you think most shaped how your story has lead you to make your art?  

Looking back over my life there are all of these subtle clues and moments that at the time didn’t fully connect, but now make complete sense with regard to how art is now a huge part of my life. 

As a child I moved around a lot between parents and would deal with the internal struggle by expressing myself in art.  Finding ways to release emotions creatively whether they be negative or positive has always just been sort of in my DNA.  As a late teenager I eventually found a new passion for travel and experiencing other cultures that led to wanting to convey those powerful moments on canvas.


2) Do you think painting is a form of storytelling. If so, what story do you feel like your pieces are telling? Can you tell us about an example? 

100% yes. Not all my paintings are meant to tell a grand story and sometimes the only purpose is to evoke emotion and pull the viewer in to a familiar place or time within their own story. If my work can connect on a deeper level that then inserts itself into someone else’s story then I’m stoked.  It’s also very fulfilling when a painting sparks a desire in someone to want to go explore and find adventure in their own story.

Recently I created a very personal painting of myself in a Raincoat looking out into the sea (painting titled “untamed”)  where I found myself deconstructing all I once held dear to me as foundational truths.  The story was about coming to place as a human being of pure open-mindedness and finding wisdom in holding onto things loosely vs. tightly. The painting resonated on so many levels with the public that strangers would come up to me and start sharing their own stories with me that had remarkable similarities.  

3) What would you say to encourage other artists, makers, and creators out there to inspire them to keep going?

Don’t let fear get the best of you and truly embrace that you were meant to be an artist. Have a plan of action with your art, put in the work,  and be intentional with where you’re going.  Surround yourself with people and things that matter the most and when your feeling creatively lost, take a break to go and serve other human beings.

So much good advice in there for everyone who is working to create something every single day. Don’t give up. Keep creating. Keep telling your story.

Kellyn Robison

VP of Everything at Istoria Collective.