Loomstate WAYFINDRs are wanderers, thinkers, doers in a different wayers. They take every opportunity to jump out of the ordinary and into their own pool of thinking and creating. In their own way they make a big splash.
Fred White is Loomstate's new WAYFINDR who is passionate about being outdoors and manages to make it a priority even in New York. Amid the hustle and all the moving parts, he makes the time to create - specifically he likes to paint on clothing. His canvas of choice right now is Loomstate's chambray and we couldn't be happier :) Through subtle geometric detail, reminiscent of mountain peaks and indigenous textiles, Fred thoughtfully highlights all the fine structural design details. For a limited time we'll be offering Fred's custom, made-to-order chambray on Loomstate.org! 10% of each purchase will go toward land conservation efforts by Conservacion Patagonica. Place an order >
Instead of sitting down for an interview, we picked Fred up and went for a hike! We learned a lot about him, how NY energizes him, what he digs about working at Patagonia, what sci-fi book he's on now, and about his art.
We know NY can get cramped, physically and time-wise. How do you manage to have a creative space?
I find the creative space all around me, inside and out. It's a complicated city, but life and nature are complex and that excites wonder in me. I don't try to fight against the challenges of city living, they are too many and I'd lose. Instead I try living with the reality that everything is changing all time and that change is the most powerful and creative force in the universe. New York City itself with it's massive steel and concrete giants, underground portals and labyrinths of streets is a massive creative space. I seek inspiration wherever I am and absorb the array of sounds, textures, shapes, colors, and vibrations that come alive in the city and transform the creative energies that flow through the brush and paint onto a shirt and called artwork.
From fresh to finished garment, what’s the painting process?
Evolving with each piece. I start by studying the details of the stitching and craftsmanship of the garment and get to know it's attributes. After prepping my workspace, paints, brushes etc., sit quietly, meditatively until something develops in the mind and I can see things on the material that haven't materialized yet. Might even be a wrinkle or crease in the fabric that gives me an idea. The most important part of the process is feeling the mental and physical connection. I don't usually know what I will paint until I am in the process and then once it starts it's moment by moment searching for the mental and physical constraints that will shape change into patterns of lines, shapes, dots, shadow and colors.
What inspired the geometric details on this chambray?
The edges and craftsmanship of shirt itself, like the slanted and chiseled pockets and cuffs, the triangles under the collar, at the time it seemed a good complement. The chambray by itself is the most beautiful and thoughtfully made shirt I have ever worked on. I am also very much inspired by indigenous textiles and designs of the Naga, Shipibu, N'debele, and Hopi cultures.
Is everyone at Patagonia a climber/hiker/adventurer?
No, but many are or at least not far from a path that eventually leads to something in the outdoors. Patagonia certainly does it part to encourage everyone to get out and explore.
Is Patagonia National Park (supported by Conservacion Patagonica) as raw and beautiful as the awe-inspiring images we see online? So much more. The images wouldn't capture the true beauty of the park, which for me are the places it protect and can see and appreciate but no human can get to. Among the immense of Peaks and Valleys of the park, nestled in the backcountry I witnessed Giant Parakeets, and the rare Giant Woodpecker, Condors, but glad to have only seen Puma tracks. Closer to the ground wild orchids and lady slippers could be found. I saw places where no human could ever have gone, Patagonia is an earthly treasure unlike anywhere else.
One of those quotes that pops up every now and then in your life...
"Reach for the sky." -Mom
What are you reading now and can you recommend a few for summer?
I am currently reading Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant by Paul Fleischman and Star Wars: Last Command by Timothy Zahn. Summer Recommendations: The poetry of Hafiz, Wild Seed-Octavia Butler, Cat's Cradle-Kurt Vonnegut
How would you suggest getting into climbing in NY? There's six climbing gyms in the city each with something for all levels of interest and ability. There's bouldering in Central Park, and the Shawangunks are less than 2 hours north of the city near New Paltz. Make friends you will need climbing partners. Get hooked!
What’s your favorite spot to hike in NY, accessible by train? The Hudson Valley, Beacon Mountain. Next time we climb the firetower! That was so much fun!
Check out more of Fred's atwork at www.change49.com