Every month, the next generation of great artists puts their spin on the ThinkNW logo.
Through their work, artist Hayden Stern from Seattle, Washington (unceded Duwamish Territories) explores the non-normative body, madness, survivorship, and intimacy in fat, trans, and disabled communities. They believe in the power of art to rewrite narratives about powerlessness, trauma, and embodiment.
How did you initially want to approach your interpretation of the ThinkNW logo? What were your thoughts and inspiration?
I knew that I wanted to incorporate a figurative element into the logo, both because I am a figurative artist and because one of the most important parts of living in the Pacific Northwest is, for me, the incredible community I’ve built here. I also knew that including native flora or fauna was important to me, as a way of visually grounding the logo in the physical space of the PNW.
How did the direction in designing the ThinkNW logo evolve/change over time?
I initially planned to foreground native flora and fauna and have any figurative element be either abstracted or a background element. I also initially planned to work in color. However, once I began designing, I found my way towards a primarily figurative design and black-and-white, linocut-inspired linework. Trying to balance my training as a fine artist with the more graphic sensibility of logo design was a fun challenge.
What are some of the specific elements in the ThinkNW logo design that you feel are unique/cool/fun?
I enjoy the way the typography integrates into the image portion of the design. My own studio practice rarely incorporates type and I’m proud of how I rose to that challenge.
When did you know that art was something that you wanted to pursue?
I think I’ve always known I would be an artist! Image-making is and always has been a kind of compulsion for me.
What are your biggest inspirations in your art?
Birdwatching, the way art media leave marks on a page, arthropods, medical pathology, the miracle that is the human body.
Do you think that you have a style? If so, how would you describe it? If not, why is that?
In general, I would say that my style is saturated, dreamlike, and highly tactile. However, I enjoy working beyond the scope of that style when I get the opportunity.
What is most important to you when expressing your art?
Balancing technical excellence and risk-taking.
Where do you feel your art is going next?
I have one year left in my undergraduate art degree at the University of Washington. Currently hoping to just keep showing my work and building a sustainable practice.
Find more of Haley’s work here!