If you have, you probably took a gaze at the bottle or tap label, and maybe without knowing it, experienced the work of Adam Haynes. Working as both a commercial and fine artist, the Bend-based illustrator's art can be seen on several lines of Deschutes brews and up on the mountain as the artwork for Gnu Snowboards. His intricate drawings of extreme riders that place the viewer in the snowboarder's boots, or on a bike at the top of a gnarly landscape, were the basis for the Nike 6.0 campaign, used on billboards and bus stops nationwide.
Adam Haynes grew up in Camp Sherman, went to Montana State University where he earned a degree in graphic design, landed in Portland for a time and then moved back to Central Oregon to fuel his outdoor lifestyle. Haynes got his start designing shirts for Adidas for four years, where even though he was given detailed assignments, his eye and hand were allowed to develop.
"We were sent on these incredible inspirational trips - these Americana road trips taking pictures and gathering ideas, seeing what regular people where doing and wearing," he says.
Eventually, Haynes moved into the realm of the freelance graphic design, and also painting. This overlap seems natural and easy, a common quality found in Haynes' drawing style, and also his point of view. On the walls of his studio and on his website (www.stickfort.com), there are images of hardy landscapes littered with broken-down cars, vintage buses and old RVs. In fact, many of his drawings are carefully rendered, but have a gritty quality. Some of the Nike 6.0 drawings show makeshift skate parks through skewed fish-eye lens. It's technically dead on, but with a vibrancy that feels both youthful and interesting. Haynes' DIY skate parks, for example, look dangerously fun. His paintings are also vibrant and pulsating, but with nature becoming a diabolical kind of character; with splintered trees crushing cars, or as in the case of "Rogue Wave," joyfully smashing everything in its path.
"In Portland, I was interested in these urban landscapes, where it didn't take long for the plants to creep back in. Now, living in Bend, I travel to eastern Oregon, where it's the opposite. You'll be out in the middle of the desert, and there will be a car door and no other parts of the car. It's right out there now," says Haynes, pointing out his studio window.
"We leave this imprint on the landscape. It's intriguing. What's the story? How did it get there?" he asks.
Haynes' work has a sense of humor that keeps it from wandering too close to the apocalyptical. "Kiddie Cars" shows the aftermath of a demolition derby with plastic toddler automobiles. "Lone Pine" depicts a camper next to a decrepit tree. An electrical cord from the camper snakes up the trunk, and a rope swing dangles from a broken branch.
"I'm influenced by things that have worn down," says Haynes of his paintings, many of which evoke a rusted-out, weathered mood.
The palette of his work echoes this feeling, with dry tans, faded blues and grubby avocado green. There is a fondness in the nostalgia and an appreciation for fringe cultures (both urban and rural) that arise as subjects in Haynes' paintings and illustrations.
"I was never one of those people with a lot of angst," he says. "I just enjoy drawing things I find interesting."