The 116 Life X Adam Grason

Posted on April 16, 2014 / by Katie
(Illustrations below by Adam Grason) BIO  Adam Grason is a designer for Disney's creative services. Adam is also the owner of Zadok Fourty Four, a design studio focused on print, apparel, and illustration. Originally from Kansas City, he now resides in Florida with his wife Christina and son Harper.  INTERVIEW  Tell us a little bit about the path to where you are today.  Well my path has been a huge long journey. I grew up in a Christian home and remember seeing my mom worship and read the Bible every single morning. But even with that, it didn't take long for me to go my own way and start flirting with sin. We lived a relatively low income life in a really rough area of Orlando called Pine Hills. Gang violence ran rampant and life for a white dude was tough. My entire childhood was filled with art and drawing and I would use it as a way to escape. I eventually landed an opportunity to go to a better high school based on my art and it really helped shift my mentality about what my life could be like.  I later found the Lord in my junior year of high school and it has eternally changed my art forever. I never did go to college and it has allowed me to fully claim that my abilities are God given. No school can claim to have crafted me as an artist, only God can.  My career has been a journey. In short, I went from designing for churches to designing for some of the largest companies in the US. I've had the pleasure of doing work for Krispy Kreme, Chevrolet, ESPN, Disney and the one and only Reach Records.      What does a typical day of work look like for you? I wake up around 5 AM. Most mornings I crawl into my garage and throw some weight around...on lazy mornings I crawl to the espresso machine. I'll get in a lil devo with the Lord. It varies, I dont have a set way I spend time with Jesus. I make breakfast for myself and my wife and head off to Disney at 8 AM, where I am currently in a TA role. Once I'm working, I'm locked in. I check my email a lot! But I hit work hard and enjoy the process each project brings. I get off of work from Disney and come home to freelance...busy life for me. Did you have a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to design/illustrate?    When I was working for churches, I reached a point where I hit a block and just couldnt keep going on in the way I was. It was in that same time that I lost my lil brother, my grandmother and an adopted baby (the birth mom decided to keep him). It was in that point, that I realized that I had to really establish a career as an artist.  What risks or hard decisions have you had to make to live unashamed?  With no formal training, I made the jump into going fulltime as a freelance artist. It was a huge risk because I had no plan, no backup plan and no one knew who I was. But it was the Lord and it was because of that moment that I am where I am now. I could have easily shrunk back and lived a safe life. I could have kept going on with business as usual or I could break out and trust God. A huge unashamed moment.  What does the unashamed life look like in your context?  It's a life that moves by the winds of the Spirit. For me, my faith is something I have no worry about. People know I love Jesus and stand for Him, the real truth to my unashamed comes through more in my decisions. As an artist, there is a lot of risk and living unashamed means not shrinking back from making tough decisions or making those risks. It also looks like a humble person working in a field that births egos and pride. For my art, I honestly rarely do any fully "christian" art. I see my work as a representation of living unashamed because I have no fear in designing art that is inspired by my relationship with Jesus. I dont need to throw Christian symbols or terms into my art for my art to be filled with the Spirit. I firmly believe anything I create is from the overflow of my love for God, whether it's an illustration of trees or if it's a product label. How have you worked through success? Failure? It's a toughy. It would be great to say I have never let success get to my head, but I am proud to say it has never stayed there. Whether its success or failure, I understand that God is the grand architect. With success, I firmly understand that if I let it get to me and puff me up, that in a moment I can be painfully humbled. If it's failure, I embrace that character building moment and move on.   Have you had any mentors along the way? The only mentors I have ever really had were in my youth with my Youth Pastor George Sotolongo and Senior Pastor Carlos Sarmiento. I haven't had any official design mentors, but if I had to say designers that have helped shape me, I could easily say Rogie King has been huge for me.      Do you have any favorite books?   Anything AW Towzer, Glory of Christ by John Owen and  The Prophecy of Isaiah by J. Alec Motyer as of right now.           What verses or passages in Scripture have sustained or encouraged you?  The entire book of Hosea feels like a commentary of my life...and no I didn't have a girl that cheated on me. The Lord has used that book to expose darkness in my own heart and areas where I have committed unfaithfulness to the Lord. I can easily relate to Gomer and Hosea being God. No matter how many times I may turn, He is willing to take me back and even buy me back by the blood of Jesus.      Can you offer some encouragement to other unashamed believers out there? Never let anyone dictate what being unashamed means for your life. You know the areas where your heart tries to hide and only you can break those by being unashamed. Work hard and live without any regrets. Give your all in your craft no matter what it is...you don't need to be an artist to have influence in your craft. We have a finite amount of time on this earth to make an impact and once we are gone, we are gone. I have chosen to be the best at what I do for the single purpose that unless I am successful, my impact is greatly decreased. Take advantage of the opportunities to share your faith by your actions. I have found that my impact on sharing my faith is best when I live my life for God versus simply saying a dialogue and calling it a day. Lastly always remain teachable...you are never too good to be a student and humility needs to be embraced...trust me God will humble you. Live unashamed in the freedom Jesus bought for us.    "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58 Connect with Adam on Twitter and Instagram!   Click here to nominate a friend to be featured on The 116 Life!