Whether it’s detailed winter landscapes, stylized camper vans or any number of commissions and collaborations, for Adam Haynes (aka @stickfort), no piece can begin without a little time spent outdoors. We sat down with the artist to talk about his process, his materials and his contribution to the Rumpl x Yakima Original Puffy Blanket.
From what we hear you’ve wanted to be an artist for a long time; how did you get your start?
I grew up in a tiny community and the little grade school had a wonderful art teacher. I’ve loved to draw for as long as I can remember. I’ve had many mentors over the years, from that grade school art teacher to my illustration professor in college, but the one that influenced me the most was a freelance illustrator that I interned with in high school. He showed me that you can make a living doing what you love and it always stuck with me. He still inspires me, along with countless other artists and illustrators living and dead. Too many to mention, so much talent out there.
What sort of preparation goes into a project before you put ink to canvas?
1) Walking, thinking, gathering inspiration. This includes small thumbnail sketches, written notes, and short scrawls to remind me of details.
2) Sketching to determine composition, color and feel.
3) Ghost in a full-size sketch on the desired surface. Draw, paint, revise, and repeat.
And then you bring it into your studio?
It totally depends. Sometimes there are many rounds of revisions before anything is inked or painted, and sometimes I go straight to it. I always try to clean my studio, sharpen my pencils and stage my tools to ensure a fresh start to each new project.
What excites you most when you first start a project, and what keeps you going when you’re hours into it? When do you decide that it’s done?
There’s always some anxiety at the start. Blank canvas; endless possibilities. It’s exciting but not my favorite part of the process. Once it starts to take shape and I can really envision the end result, I start to get excited. It’s done when there’s no more to do. Usually, there’s a point where I’m either really happy with it, or sometimes I just run out of time, but it’s a somewhat fluid state. I could probably pick up anything from my stack of finished pieces and start working on it again, but I try to call it done and leave it at that.
What was the inspiration for this Mt Hood & Gorge piece?
It’s a view from a hike on the Washington side of the Gorge. The color comes from many sunsets I’ve seen and recorded on the drive from the Columbia back to Central Oregon. I love the way the air and water contrast and layer with the darker landscape. It’s a view with so much depth and atmosphere.
What’s the first thing you do when you finish a piece?
Stretch and hit the trail for a run or a bike ride.
What’s next for you?
I switched it up from full-time freelance to a job this summer. I’m taking a break from commercial art, doing graphic design and working my own passion projects on the side. So far it’s been working out great..\