Adi Goodrich started building from a very young age with her father, who owned an architectural preservation/woodworking business. With a background in building and an education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and La Sorbonne in Painting/Drawing, Architectural preservation and Art history, set design is the perfect culmination for her. In 2009, she moved to Los Angeles to begin a career in window dressing and design, she worked both for Barney’s New York in Beverly Hills and Anthropologie. This quickly transformed her skills into doing Production Design for commercials and Set Design for photo.
Adi’s work is inspired by art history, foliage, architecture, outsider art, growing up in the flattened Midwest, relations in color and the use of new materials.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. My name is Adi Goodrich. I’m a set designer based in Los Angeles. I design and build colorful sets. I think that sums it up pretty well. I also enjoy: dancing alone in my apartment, going for solo walks, drawing pictures, being on an airplane, smoking electronic cigarettes, painting very detailed patterns, and talking to my sister.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’m currently working on a few ad jobs. I just finished a Macklemore music video and a Chambord campaign with Stephanie Gonot. But, I’m really excited about the personal work I’m doing in the evenings for a solo show at The Standard in December. It’s a lot of fun to make work, which no one has any say in but yourself.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other designers are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? Well, a topic that comes up often with me and my friends is personal work. It’s difficult to balance personal work and paid work. The paid work, if you’re lucky, can be really beautiful and monetarily very rewarding, but it’s difficult to find time to make work that is for nothing else besides the joy of making. I think it’s important to maintain your studio time. It’s how bigger and better ideas come to you. It’s important to be scared and to try new things out constantly. It’s important to look around wherever you are and to be inspired and make those images happen in the studio. That’s what’s going to keep me going! We need to make work for fun! It needs to feel clean and pure!
How did your interest in art or design begin? I’ve always been interested in making things, for as long as I can remember. My dad was a woodworker and mechanic, my mom wrote poetry and was always gardening. We weren’t allowed to watch television when I was younger, so we all made stuff, or took our toys apart to see how they worked—basic kid stuff that transformed into me, my brother and my sister being creatives. I’m often completely out of the loop with pop culture, but I can talk shapes, color and ideas FOREVER. So, I’m not the best at parties, but that’s alright.
How has living in Los Angeles affected your design practice? If I wasn’t in Los Angeles, I probably wouldn’t be doing set design. I used to do illustration, so I’d probably still be drawing pictures of houses and trying to sell them to the home owners.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I use all sorts of materials. It’s fun to always try new materials, see how you can push these into ways that aren’t expected. I think it’s really cool when people notice “ohhhhh, that’s made out of cotton balls!” or, “Dang! You used tin foil there??”
Tell us a joke. You want a dirty one, or clean one? Johnny took a bath with Bubbles. Bubbles was his neighbor.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? I’m really into this photographer, Qiu Yang.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? Going for walks! I try to get out in the nearby Elysian Park everyday. I live in a little valley with hardly any cell reception because its walls are these great big hills. My favorite spot is up on the tallest hill in the neighborhood. I sit and think, write, read and give myself daily pep talks. “Hey, don’t be scared! You got this, Adi Goodrich!”
What was the last show you saw that stuck out to you? I’m in Chicago right now, I just saw some cool animations at Western Exhibitions. The artist was Lille Carre, she’s so good! I went to school with her and I’ve always loved her comics; it’s nice to come back home and see people totally killing it and still being impressive as ever.
What is your snack/beverage of choice when working in your studio? Perrier water, a little tiny espresso, dried mango.
What are you really excited about right now? I’m really excited about rap music.
What are you listening to right now? Gucci Mane
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? “Fuuuuuuuuuuck yesssss” “Holy shit!” “Dude, what!?” “Siiiiick!” “Can I work for you?!”