Adam Karig Haynes:This body of work was a continuation of some of the subject matter I’ve been painting the last few years. I get most inspired when I travel to new places, so most of my subject matter is taken directly from my observations when I’m out of the studio. It doesn’t have to be far from home; I find a lot of my inspiration when out exploring on my bike or around Central Oregon. Most of the images are landscapes, but mainly I try to focus on telling a little bit of a story about the place I’ve chosen. It’s more about trying to capture the essence of the subject matter than to accurately portray it. I used a combination of new work and a couple of older pieces for this show, and I feel like they fit in pretty well with the new stuff. I’ve been working with a lot of warm grey tones in my palette for a while, and that helps to tie things together.
E+E: You have done an impressive amount of commercial work for big clients. Do you like doing commercial or fine art more? Which one has been the best client to work for?
AKH:I really enjoy commercial work, especially some of the projects I’ve had lately. I like working on a set of directives and trying to come up with a good solution for the client. Not to mention some of the great folks I get the opportunity to work with. But painting and fine art is very important to me. I don’t get to do it as much due to financial reasons, but I hope to change that balance more in the future. I’ve been lucky to work with many great clients over the past few years. Patagonia is a favorite, I love working with that company.
E+E: Where does your artistic talent and interest come from? Did you go to school for art? Was there a particular person who inspired you to start making art?
AKH:I’ve been into drawing since I was a little kid. I went to school for it, but not to art school. I tried, but I wasn’t quite there yet, so I ended up at a state school that had a great art program. There have been many people that inspired me over the years, but one in particular stands out. He was a prominent local commercial artist and the father of two of my best friends in high school. I used to hang out at his studio a lot in high school, and he even let me do a little internship with him that ended up being my introduction to graphic design. He showed me that it was possible, and is still a great inspiration to this day.
E+E: What other artists have inspired you? Or musicians, movies, writing, etc.
AKH:My favorite artists are Katshuhiro Otomo, Evan Hecox, Thomas Campbell, Aaron Draplin, Alan Moore, R. Crumb, Frank Miller, Aaron Horkey, and many, many, more. Mainly illustrators, but that’s what I’m in to.
E+E: You are now located primarily in Bend. Do you prefer Bend to Portland? Is there a particular aspect of it that inspires you?
AKH:While I love visiting Portland, Bend is definitely where I prefer to live. When I’m not in the studio, I spend a lot of time outside, and Bend is a bit of a mecca for the outdoor set. I do most of my brainstorming while riding my bike or snowboarding, and the close proximity to both activities is very inspiring for me.
E+E: What is your process/ medium on the new work? Has it changed from your other previous work?
AKH: Nope, still working with acrylic on wood. I really like the medium, and it’s stuck with me. I’ve never taken to canvas as I tend to stretch it out too much while doing detail work; the tight stuff always has me putting too much pressure on the painting surface. Until I’m painting so much that I start to get bored and experiment, I’ll stick with this process. Most of my commercial work is pencil, ink, and colored in
E+E: What is your favorite piece you have ever done? Your “Mona Lisa”? Why?
AKH:Probably “Silverton”. It’s a large vertical painting that came about after a great trip to Colorado. It was painted on this beautiful old piece of wood that I found at a junkyard. It had a bunch of layers of old paint on it, and after I sanded it and cleaned it up a bit, the painting just sort of grew on it. It’s one of the few times that the surface became as much a part of the painting as the piece itself.
E+E: I noticed some references to mountains and road trips on your website, so: Favorite mountain? Favorite road trip destination? Favorite thing to do outdoors?AKH:My favorite mountain is Mt. Jefferson, due to it being the mountain I grew up next to. Favorite road trip: the next one. As I said earlier, I love to ride my bike and snowboard, along with fly fishing and camping. But mainly, I just like to walk.
E+E: Other than the Compound show, what else are you working on? Anything we should look out for?
AKH: I’m pretty excited to start on my next round of projects this week. There’s a new helmet design for Icon Motorsports, some commissioned painting work for Mt. Bachelor, and a couple of additional private commissions for friends. So I’m stoked. I get to paint all summer, something that I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to do.
E+E: Anything else the people should know? AKH: Thanks to Katsu and the good folks at the Compound for the love and support. And thanks to my family and all my great friends in Portland who came out to see the show and say hello. Cheers!