Adam Haynes: The Bounty Is Plentiful August 07 2014, 0 Comments « Back to Blog

Words by Colin Wiseman

Adam Haynes doesn’t look like an artist. You won’t see him walking around town in a paint-splattered t-shirt. He doesn’t have any visible tattoos. No deep bags under his eyes from late nights in the studio.

Haynes looks more like, say, a small-town carpenter—a healthy, active human who typically blends into a social gathering. He’s friendly and polite. A typical mid-30s dude raising a family in the outdoor-oriented central Oregon community of Bend. Indeed, Haynes identifies with the laborer set as much as he does with the creative crowd, at least when it comes to his day job.

“[Commercial art] feels like more of a craft than just creating,” Haynes says. “I’m not just splashing paint on paper. Commercial art, a lot of the time, feels more like drafting or architecture where you’re building something through methodical steps.”

Rooster

See, commercial art is how Haynes makes his living. With clients ranging from Red Bull to Nike to Gnu Snowboards to Specialized Bikes to Patagonia to Smith Optics, he’s damn good at it, too.

But behind his average Adam façade, Haynes is a painter. A fine artist. An inspired and inspirational dude, spreading his perspective through a refined palette that is largely brought forth from the mountainscapes in which he invests the bulk of his spare time.

Haynes is a snowboarder, a mountain biker, a devotee of mountain culture. He came from the small town of Camp Sherman, OR, grew up riding the community-oriented slopes of Hoodoo Ski Area. He chose to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at Montana State University, Bozeman, because of the quality riding at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. After a stint in Portland designing t-shirts for mainstream audiences, he moved back to Bend to be closer to the mountains. Now, he snowboards 70-plus days per year, rallying his home mountain of Mt Bachelor with the whole Bend crew, exploring the northwest backcountry on multi-day missions with dudes like Josh Dirksen and Temple Cummins. He regularly places well at the Dirksen Derby and Mt Baker’s Legendary Banked Slalom, both of which he has won in his category. And both of which have inspired his art—one need only look as far as the piece “Mt Baker Park & Ride” to see a work that came straight from his experience at the LBS.

Mt. Baker Park & Ride

“There are few things I’ve experienced in life that compare to the feeling that envelopes me when traveling and snowboarding in the mountains,” Haynes says. “There’s the vast stillness, the great beauty, and the delight of being able to move within a frosty landscape with comfort and purpose in pursuit of pure joy. The crisp air and lack of the usual distractions allow my senses to focus and gather, and the bounty is often quite plentiful. Whereas I sometimes feel stuck and uninspired when staring at a blank sheet of paper, it’s the exact opposite when I’m up in the mountains. There’s so much inspiration everywhere that it’s difficult to choose what shape or form or feature to put down on paper. Usually, I try to remember to take lots of pictures and make a quick sketch or two, and then try to carry that feeling back into the studio.” 

It’s simple, really—Haynes is inspired by the life he leads, and it’s a life built through sweat equity and no shortage of alpine inspiration. So while you shouldn’t expect Adam to be mailing anyone his ear anytime soon, you can expect to cultivate an intimate relationship with his work underfoot and on your person for years to come. And, if you so choose, find inspiration from creative pursuits hanging on your living room wall.

For Colin Wiseman's extended interview and Q&A with Adam Haynes, check out frqncy.com