Artist Profile: Adam Haynes

Comments by Susie Floros/

Artwork: Adam Haynes

Originally featured in Snowboard Mag Vol. 10, Issue 2 | The 10 Year Anniversary Issue

Imagine a young boy in a small community in Central Oregon, who was surrounded by nature and books. A home without television made it essential for the boy to be creative as he explored the raw beauty of his natural world. Running through mossy, lush Pacific Northwest forests, beside a winding river’s fluidity the boy dreamed in color. This same boy later grew into a snowboarder, an artist, a man by the name of Adam Haynes – a man who earned a Fine Arts degree from Montana State University, a graphic design position at adidas and cultivated his reality into rich dreamscapes with mainstream appeal. Whether creating board graphics for GNU or projects with Nike, Timberland Boot CO., Quiksilver, Patagonia and Red Bull, Adam Haynes continues to live and work on his terms – quietly in the mountains. He’s living proof that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.”

Artwork by Adam Haynes

Your past Storyboard columns for Snowboard Mag have included the Dirksen Derby, Greg Todds Annual Memorial Noboard Race and The Mt Baker Legendary Banked Slalom. Is it safe to say you’re a true snowboarder above all else?
It’s safe to say that snowboarding has a very special place in my life. It’s taken me all over the Americas and introduced me to many fine friends and riding buddies. I’ve shaped my life to facilitate it, and I intend to keep doing it for as long as I can stand on a board. At this point in my life, I spend more time doing art than snowboarding, but I still try to keep the workload light in the winter so I can hit the good days.

How has the Pacific Northwest inspired the landscape of your art?
It’s what I’m immersed in, and where I travel the most. And it seems the more I explore it, the more vast and varied the terrain becomes. It’s easy to get inspired all the time, just hard to narrow it down to what to paint.

What is your favorite medium to work with?
Acrylic paint and wood.

Do you listen to music when you paint?
Some music, but mostly lots of audiobooks. I used to read pretty voraciously, but I’m afraid I’ve gotten lazy and now it’s all about fiction series.

What’s your latest audio read?
I just finished Streets of Laredo, the 4th book in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove series. One of the best.

Artwork by Adam Haynes

Is your approach and process different when you paint a GNU snowboard graphic vs. a poster for Red Bull Ultra Natural?
Definitely. Most of my board graphics for GNU are either a pro model or something art directed, so it’s more of a team effort. I depend a lot on Barrett and Temple’s feedback for their models, and often I work with different techniques than I usually use. The Ultra Natural poster was a lot less art directed, but still needed to capture the spirit of the contest. I looked at a lot of pictures, made some sketches and cranked it out. I think it took two weeks. Each model for GNU takes about 6 weeks with all the rounds of changes and refinements.

What are your top 3 favorite snowboard graphics of all-time?
Salomon Sick Stick in Tie-Dye by Geoff McFettridge, Burton Custom with the Turtle and the Burton Malolo Thomas Campbell graphic.

Which came first for you, the snowboarding or the art?
I started drawing when I was pretty young, and I didn’t start shredding until 8th grade so it’s safe to say the art came first.

Do you see future paintings while you’re riding?
Oh yeah. I try to take a quick photo or a mental snap whenever I have a “moment.” There’s a lot that I don’t try to paint though. Some of the most beautiful moments I’ve had in the mountains are pretty damn hard to replicate once flattened to 2D and rendered in paint. Sometimes it’s best to just enjoy it while it lasts.

Who has been your greatest influence and inspiration?
There have been so many great influences in my life; it’d be hard to narrow it down to one. Mikey Parillo for sure. Jamie Lynn, Scott Lenhardt, Aaron Draplin, Evan Hecox, Thomas Campbell, Craig Kelly, Josh Dirksen, Aaron Robinson and so many more. Some I haven’t met or only knew a short time, but they’ve made a huge impact on me.

Artwork by Adam Haynes

With a vast list of clients including Nike, Timberland Boot CO., Tonka, Quiksilver, Mervin Mfg, Deschutes Brewery, Specialized, ICON, Patagonia, Icebreaker, ESPN and Red Bull how do you keep true to your creative vision while balancing the company’s needs?
It can be difficult at times, and sometimes it doesn’t work. I just try to do the best I can. Most of the recent jobs I’ve been doing have been pretty close to my heart, things I’m interested in. So it’s pretty easy to get passionate about the end product.

What’s your favorite place in the world that painting has allowed you to travel to?
Not too many places yet, I’m afraid. I’ve got a show coming up in Alaska in two years though, and I’ve got high hopes for that one. I’m going to try to make a pretty good trip of it.

What does a perfect day of snowboarding look like to you? 
If I’m riding at Bachelor, 10” of new is pretty nice. Anticipation makes a fine alarm clock, sometimes so good that there’s a hike in the morning before the lifts open. A nice crisp sunny day is always welcome, but the best are the storm days where your tracks fill in every run and everyone has gone home by noon. That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Will you snowboard and paint the rest of your life?
You bet. No question.