Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Bucci.
Hi Adam, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
As early as I can remember, I was drawing on paper plates or placemats in restaurants. My love of drawing and painting never left me. I was creating a portfolio in high school because I planned to go to college for visual arts but my love of theatre took me in a different direction. I studied theater and dance at Muhlenberg College in PA and have since been pursuing a career in TV & Film. Drawing and painting remained a hobby but I never had the time to give it all my attention but I did want to do more of it when I could!
In 2018 when I came up with name Small Town Weirdo, I wanted to start small. I made the decision to try out painting on Tote bags because they were the most aﬀordable to work on. I had never used Fabric Paint before and there was a big learning curve involved. The totes were also easier to replace if I didn’t like a design. Maybe a few months after dabbling with the tote bags, I thought it was time to try something bigger. I had a few weeks before I was to attend an event. It was a 20th-anniversary party for one of my favorite movies and I decided to paint a character from the movie on the back of my black denim jacket. Well, it was a hit. It got an insane amount of love. People were saying, “I need this!” “Where can I get one?! Being someone that didn’t always feel comfortable in his own skin, I suddenly felt extremely empowered. There’s just something about a cool jacket that can change your attitude when you walk out that door! I still didn’t really have time to focus on painting so these ideas were just left on the back burner.
But along came the pandemic. After the initial shock of lockdown wore oﬀ, I needed a way to stay creative. I dusted oﬀ my paints and brushes, invested in 20 jackets and got to work. I felt so trapped and stuck many times and I had moments that I doubted everything I was doing because I missed performing. There were a lot of missed or delayed opportunities due to Covid. My husband, Adam Huss, and I were so close to getting our elevated werewolf movie we created, LET IT KILL YOU (which harnesses the werewolf myth as metaphor for being “other than”), oﬀ the ground, after years of development and then BOOM it all stopped. As an actor, it was scary to put so much focus on something else. It felt like I was giving up on something I worked years on, but I knew I had to come to terms with the fact that in this crazy time, I had no choice. I had to pour my heart and soul into something else. It was then I realized that the very thing I thought would distract me from my goals and the message I wanted to tell the world could be just as powerful and as fulﬁlling.
In the almost two years since Covid hit, and as acting auditions pick up and producing our projects are a reality again, I have still been working round the clock to keep the painting momentum alive! I just recently launched my new website and online store www.smalltownweirdo.com.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It took non stop creating and painting and posting on Instagram for more than a year before I got some eyeballs on my art. The biggest challenge and biggest silver lining was the pandemic. It gave me the time to focus on a new art form but it also was scary as hell spending money on a new business when no money was coming in.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I take pride in the amount of time I take to make sure someone’s custom made jacket is exactly to their liking. I spend anywhere from 2-6 weeks on one hand-painted jacket. A lot of my heart goes into my art and I hope it shows. I’m known for using the horror genre for most of my inspiration but I love creating all sorts of paintings.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
I can’t believe how much research it took to understand starting a small business. I would just advise artist to take that side of things very seriously and educate yourself!
- For hand painted jackets, prices vary from $300-$2000 depending on design detail
- Smaller price point merch from $2 – $38 are available on my website.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.smalltownweirdo.com
- Instagram: @smalltown_weirdo
- Twitter: @smtownweirdo
Adam Bucci (main photo taken by Adam Tyree) Adam Huss, Coltron Tran, Dionne Neish, Greg Rikaart, Ilia Anais