KOKOMO, Ind. – A school trip to New York inspired Adrian Gazcon to dream big about his artistic career.
“I thought to myself that one day I would come back to New York to do an exhibit or something with the art,” said Gazcon, senior at Indiana University Kokomo.
A day came sooner than he had expected.
In early September, Gazcon was among 10 emerging international artists selected for a New York Fashion Week pop-up gallery with Australian clothing brand Ksubi, New York street artist Hidiji and performance artist Travis Rogers. by Dnt Watch Tv.
The selection has given him great confidence as he prepares to earn a degree in New Media, Art and Technology (NMAT) in December.
“I struggle with a lot of doubts, but I exceeded my expectations as to how far I can push my art,” he said. “I proved to myself that I was wrong in a way. I can be a working artist if I work hard.
He heard about the Fashion Week exhibit on Hidiji’s Instagram page and submitted digital files of “Paranoia,” a 4ft by 4ft cartoon painting, for review. Within days, his work was selected and he received a box to pack and ship. He also received an invitation to the opening and closing ceremonies of the gallery, and was able to attend the closing.
He called it “a surreal experience” to see his painting included in the exhibition.
“At first I didn’t believe it was real,” he said. “Being from Logansport, Indiana, and here I am with my work as part of New York Fashion Week. Now I think about the next step, like doing exhibitions abroad or having a clothing line. I saw at Fashion Week that people love to see art on clothes, and maybe I want to.
He has come a long way during his time at IU Kokomo. He started in the NMAT program, then moved on to general studies, believing that a career as an artist was too broad. Then he thought of a quote from his favorite artist, Pablo Picasso, which said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is knowing how to remain an artist once you’ve grown up.
He considered studying a field that would lead to a more traditional career and decided he had to be true to himself.
“There was something, a hunch, maybe, that I had to continue the path of artists,” he said. “At first it was scary to wonder if I’m an artist, how am I going to make a living? How am I going to do ? The only answer is to do it. You just have to take the risk. If you don’t, you’ll never know whether or not you’ll get there.
He is building a fan base via social media, noting that “Paranoia” has received nearly 5,000 likes and over 300,000 impressions – as well as a request for permission from an admirer to get a tattoo. He also sold prints through this network.
“It’s a little wild right now. When I post art, it gets a bit viral, ”he said. “I never thought people would care. They tell me how much they love my art and how I inspire them.
Gazcon is proud to set a good example for the young members of his family, not only as the first in his family to go to college, but also as the first artist.
“I’ve always felt this pressure to do more, to inspire others,” he said. “I am leading the way for my younger brothers and sisters. I just hope I can teach them to take risks and do what you love. In the end, it’s always worth it.
Education is KEY at Indiana Kokomo University.