Living life on your own terms is an adventure in a category all its own. Not convinced? Just ask an artist—there’s no field guide that can prepare you for branching out on your own and pursuing your passion.
That’s why we feel so lucky to work with visionary artists on original product collaborations steeped in stories of adventure. Here, the places that inspired three of our Spring 2016 Artist Series designs. We’re not saying that strapping them on will lead to a trip, but we’re not not saying that either.
Jolby & Friends Creative Studio | The Wilds and the City of Oregon
Josh Kenyon’s art may be defined by hard edges, but his career trajectory is anything but linear. Growing up behind comic book pages and computer screens, Kenyon enrolled in a California college for 2-D animation but took a sharp left into graphic design shortly after. From there, he moved to Chicago, where he developed a work flow with his partner-in-crime Colby Nichols—Kenyon would create a pattern or texture by smashing wood with paint on a piece of paper or rubbing grass on sand paper, scan his work, and share it digitally with Nichols. And it’s that visceral experience of interacting with nature that inspired his Artist Series webbing pattern.
“I try to get out and forage, fish, clam, hike—anything to enjoy Oregon,” says Kenyon. “My art and our business thrives because of where we live, and I continue to look for new inspiration.”
Inspired to get out of their Portland-based studio, Jolby & Friends creatives Kenyon and Brett Stenson roamed the wilds and the streets of Oregon, taking in the sights, the people, and the sounds to come up with their geometric webbing pattern.
Leah Duncan | The High Deserts of the Southwest
There’s something magical about the desert. Just ask textile designer Leah Duncan, who relocated to Austin, Texas, a few years ago.
“I love driving in the valleys and hills,” she says. “If feels like a different world out there. It’s so peaceful but stark and rigid at the same time.”
The desert seeps into most things that Duncan creates, from her use of baked-earth colors to her use of real-life objects as inspiration for her patterns. For her Artist Series webbing design, she was inspired by—what else—cacti.
“This design was inspired by a trip to New Mexico where we drove through west Texas, the high desert, and New Mexico, stopping in White Sands, Santa Fe, Chimayo, and Taos,” Duncan says.
“This trip inspired me to create a design that would reflect the vast landscapes we explored. The sharp hills of Chimayo and West Texas were my starting point in this design, and I pulled a few other elements we saw—such as cacti and brush—that dot the landscape.”
Emily Hoy | The Mohican River
Emily Hoy’s textile patterns and collage art have been influenced by everything from surrealist master Salvador Dali to vintage ‘70s coffee table photography books—but the most potent inspiration actually comes from a more humble place: her childhood in Ohio. Her father was a naturalist and her mother was an artist, so Hoy and her sister learned about plants, animals, and creative expression from a young age.
“I think the spirituality of the land speaks to me more than anything,” Hoy explains. “Mother Nature has a kind of silent language that you can interpret in anyway. I feel like she is painting a new picture for everyone to see everyday that is different from the day before.”
Teva sandals were a big part of her life from childhood, too—she’d wear them during canoe trips down the Mohican River.
“I’d strap them to the side of the boat while we were paddling to avoid getting the tan lines,” she says. “And if I lost them in the river it was no big deal, because it was an excuse to jump in the water and swim after them.”
For her Artist Series webbing pattern, Hoy combined the colors of her ‘80s childhood, the look of traditional textile beading, and Native American patterns and shapes for a shoe as at home in a gallery as it is floating down the river.
Shop all of the new Artist Series styles at Teva.com and #strapintofreedom!