We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Vicarel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In both my personal and professional life I strive to personify the phrase “pursuing balance.” Though, my perspective on how to embrace this concept has evolved with time. I’ve come to view balance as something that’s achieved throughout years or the entirety of life, not necessarily the day-to-day. I used to feel that if I wasn’t striking a balance on a daily basis: work, play, success, etc, then I hadn’t achieved balance; however, I now embrace the notion that there are many seasons of life, and some seasons are laden with work, whereas others are more laden with play. I’ve spanned the gap of working 15hr days, for weeks, as well as taking off work completely for months. From a big-picture perspective, I’m essentially net neutral, and that’s what I’m working towards. Coincidentally, at this very moment in time — and really for the first time in years — my work life and personal life are fairly balanced. I’m currently working 7–9hr days and spending a lot of time outside of that doing the other things in life that I love.
What should our readers know about your business?
Vicarel Studios is a hybrid creative studio focused on the artful implementation of strategic design. We think like designers, and execute like artists, and this enables us to create provocative brands and artful experiences unbound by industry or medium. Regarding our work, we’ve done everything from rebrand Native Roots, Colorado’s top Marijuana Dispensary and designed labels and cans for New Belgium Brewing and Great Divide Brewing, to creating lettering for So Delicious, painting live murals for SyFy Network and teaching workshops to the executive team at NBC. How did I get here? We’d need about 7 whiskeys to tell that tale. Succinctly, I can say that focusing on relationships and people as opposed to financial incentives has gone a long way. I’m not saying that you need to devalue or undersell your work; however, the process of building relationships grows a strong and deep-rooted referral network that is absolutely invaluable. Throughout the 6 years I’ve been in business, I’ve also learned (and continue to re-learn) the importance of “the business stuff.” Individuals in the creative industry oftentimes seem to think that they just need to produce beautiful work, and the rest will fall into place for them. I’ve learned from personal experience that learning how to talk about your business and what you do, marketing yourself, understanding best practices when it comes to pricing, etc. all payoff way more so than simply “getting better.” For businesses and individuals alike, I’d love to let people know that we not only have the ability to deliver best-in-class creative solutions for almost any creative problem, but we also strive to give back to the creative entrepreneurial community whenever possible. In that effort, I have a newsletter that goes out weekly (vicarelstudios.com/newsletter) that sheds some light on the obstacles, issues, and actionable steps that can be taken as a creative entrepreneur or small business owner.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll brush over a few spots and why: trail runs at Matthews/Winters Park in Morrison: this is my favorite trail running spot in close proximity to Denver. Best bang for your buck in terms of drive time/views. Work session at Nurture: this is Denver’s first wellness marketplace, and is a one-stop-shop for great food, coffee, working spot, as well as any wellness needs you may have. Drink at Improper City: not only do I have a collaborative mural on a wall there, but their back patio is huge, beautiful, and in the heart of the RiNo Arts District, where we could then walk around and soak in some of the best murals in Denver. Rapid fire: Jazz in the park on Sunday eve at City Park, (i’m not gonna mention my favorite hikes because I don’t want them to be ruined by the masses ha!), Duck Congee at One Fold for breakfast, shot and beer combo at Matchbox, bike ride through Stapleton for low key eves, board and bottle at Postino on Monday/Tuesday night and pool at Don’s on 6th.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I fully acknowledge that the ability to pursue a career as a creative entrepreneur is a privileged position. The main contributing factor in both my confidence and my ability to pursue this career path was the support of my parents. Thanks to their support, I graduated college debt free and with a surreal amount of emotional support, encouragement and positive affirmation. My parents have pushed me to pursue the arts since before I myself took it seriously, and now that I have a sustainable business, I can look back at the bumpy, winding path and confidently say that it is because of their support that I had the confidence to do this on my own terms. THANKS MOM AND DAD!! <3 Keepin’ it in the fam, I’d also give credit to my brother, Matt, and sister, Emily. I idolized my brother when I was younger, and only initially dipped my toe into the arts because he had done so (he was an amazing cartoonist) and I wanted to be like him. Emily and I lived together in Denver for 5 years, and she vicariously experienced the trials and tribulations of starting a creative business through me without reaping any of the benefits haha. She, an interior designer herself, is also a constant sounding board for critiques and ideas for projects that I’m working on.
Other: Newsletter: vicarelstudios.com/newsletter