#adapt and create with HUW THOMAS
CO-FOUNDER OF PAYNTER JACKET CO.
CREATIVE MEDIUM: SKATING
Huw is one of the co-founders of Paynter Jacket Co., makers of beautiful, limited edition workwear jackets, made sustainably and with purpose. Huw has joined our #adaptandcreate campaign to help inspire creativity whilst at home, by re-learning an old skill - skating.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR CREATIVE IDEAS?
A lot. An idea doesn’t come from a single source, but multiple sources and references that I’ve come across throughout my life and then mixing them all together. Reading widely helps. As well as watching documentaries and films of all genres, and learning about the lives of different people.
The more I open myself up to different sources, the more ideas I find. Once I find something I like, it quickly get obsessed with it. Going deep down the rabbit hole on that particular subject, learning everything I can about it. So when it comes to finding ideas, I have a lot of places I can pull references.
Skating has also become a different way of discovering London. The city has never been so quiet. And it may never be this quiet ever again. It’s
also a great place to learn to skate again because no one is there to watch and judge you as you constantly try not to fall on your face!
When I was younger and taking inspiration from that point in time. As the artist James Victore says, “The things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.” That’s why during the Covid-19 lockdown, I’ve started skating again. Instead of learning a new skill, I’ve decided to relearn what I was once good at. It’s a chance to figure out and understand why I was obsessed with it when I was younger.
For me, when you skate, the simple things that we overlook every day, like pavements and drains become opportunities. How high can I jump off them or over them? When you’re on the board that’s all you’re thinking about is what’s ahead of you and how are you going to respond to it. If you’re thinking about anything else, you fall off.
WHAT ARE THE MOST VALUABLE LESSONS YOU'VE LEARNED AS A CREATIVE?
You don’t have ideas, you find them. As I mentioned in my previous answer, you find ideas by keeping your radar on. Always being on the lookout. When you find something you like, take a picture of it, write it down, take a screenshot and put them in a folder. It could be physical or digital. And visit it often. When you need an idea, flick through it. Remind yourself what you found. What you liked. Why did you like it? And then trying connecting the once unconnected. That’s when you’ll find your idea. As Steve jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” You just need to start collecting a lot of ‘things’.
Always questioning everything. I prefer to come across naive, instead of pretending to know all the answers. Dan Wieden put it best:
"When you don’t know, you try desperately to find out. But the minute you think you know, the minute you go – oh, yeah, we’ve been here before, no sense reinventing the wheel – you stop learning, stop questioning, and start believing in your own wisdom, you’re dead.”
HOW DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT AFFECT YOUR CREATIVITY?
It has a huge affect. Being in a light, quiet space, which has all the tools you need to get ideas out and put them into action, but isn’t too chaotic, gives my brain the space to play and come up with ideas. I always have a pen and a big notepad nearby. Phones are great for taking down ideas too, but sometimes you need to sketch the ideas out multiple times over.
When it comes to planning ideas and projects I like to be able to cover a whole room in samples, swatches and sketches so I can see everything all at once. It’s slightly chaotic. But I love it because you can link ideas and inspiration much quicker when it’s all out in the open.
Depending where I’m at with an idea also determines what kind of environment I need. Whether I need to come up with ideas, am doing research for an idea I already have, or getting down to put it into action, all these tend to take place in different types of environments. Right now, these all take place in different seats around the house!
"By approaching everything with a beginners mind, it’ll help you to uncover what was always there but had gone un-noticed"
Huw wears our Principe Sunglasses in Black.
Here's what he says about them:
"Like a 1965 Porsche 911, or a pair of Converse Chuck 70's, the Príncipe frame is a classic. They look good from every angle. Every curve and detail considered. And they fit perfectly too. I put them to the test and they didn't slip once. They're incredibly well made. And as you can probably tell, they've become my favourite pair of sunglasses."
GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY, AS A COMMUNITY
Through #adaptandcreate we are not just aiming to inspire more creativity within the home, but we're also trying to continue to grow as a brand during a time when we are restricted in so many ways. Whilst doing so we are trying to give as much back as we can to people who need it the most. Which is why 20% of all our revenue is currently going to the British Red Cross.
We hope that through #adaptandcreate we can inspire you to express new ways of creativity at home as well as to help us support the British Red Cross.
Don’t forget to share your #adaptandcreate moments with us on Instagram.