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In the Minneapolis art scene, Adam Turman is a total rock star. His work encompasses everything from the cult of Minnesota hot dish to pinup girls, and often both at the same time. Since 2003 his art has appeared on everything from local zines to concert posters and tees, in a style that has become the embodiement of Twin Cities cool. You can find Adam's stuff on his website, adamturman.com, and on facebook, twitter, gigposters, and Niamh's kitchen wall.

Wanna add some Minnesota cool to your wares? Grab this devil rider in machine embroidery and hand embroidery formats, and rock it Midwest style.

Tell us a bit about your background -- what led you into art and what drives you now?

Photo: Bobby Light


I’ve always been into drawing and making art. It’s been a way to express myself and sort of document the things I’m into, stuff I like, and events that have influenced me. I remember when I was a little kid about 4 years old, I went to the zoo. There was this kick-ass cheetah there, and I tried to draw him from memory when I got home. I drew the black lines first and filled it in with yellow and proceeded to ruin my yellow marker which now had black all over it. I learned a lot from that experience, both in drawing things that I think are cool (which I still do) and how best to apply medium. I still draw things I think are cool. Things that influence me as of lately are the local poster scene in the Twin Cities, and I’m currently following a few amazing artists’ work on Facebook whose work is very comic book and pinup heavy.

Tell us about your design and the story behind it.

This piece is the Devil Rider. I’m a big cycling fan. I’m by no means a good cyclist, but I love to ride, and I love the traditions of epic cycling races like the Tour De France. In the Tour, there’s a few characters you’d see on some of the stages. On the mountain stages, there’s always a guy dressed in a devil’s costume who’s taunting the riders as they go up the hill. You never want to be the cyclist at the back of the pack because the devil will take the hindmost. Also, the King of the Mountain rider (the rider who takes the most points on the mountain stages) wears the polka dot jersey, hence the red polka dot cape.

What’s your studio like?

Small. I work out of my house and garage. I have a print studio in the basement that’s about 300 square feet including the press, rack, exposure, darkroom, and washout. It’s tight when there’s more than one person working. I also have about 250 square feet of garage space for print storage. I use the garage for storage and shipping. I have artwork from my influences/friends all over the place in each space, plus radios and turntables, bikes, and fridges.

What’s your favorite craft project you ever made?

I was 10 years old when my family moved to Minnesota. My dad signed himself and me up for a fishing class. We thought that since there’s 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, that we should learn to fish proper. One of those outings I was waiting for my dad, fishing off a dock on the St. Croix, and caught a small musky that was jumping around in the harbor. We had to throw it back. I went home and made a paper mache version to hang on the wall. Of course mine was bigger than the real one.

Finally, if you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be?

Burnt Sienna.

Check out more of Adam’s stuff at www.adamturman.com.

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