Behind The Brand: Designer, Jamie Browne

  • Style
posted by James Willmott

Introducing Jamie Browne, the mastermind behind the illustrative creations at Volcom HQ in Southern California. Spending his days sketching intricate, knockout designs equipped with his preferred tools of choice, Jamie draws inspiration and focuses strongly on the vibes of the rebellious skate lifestyle, good times with mates and rock’n’roll culture, all that seem to intertwine perfectly to reflect his true creative talents.

Hailing from Sydney and now based in California full time, the young designer’s life reflects the attitude of his art flawlessly, often winding down at the Volcom HQ’s very own skatepark after a day at work, or playing music with some of his best buds, brainstorming the next big idea.

We at SurfStitch recently teamed up with Jamie to design a special beach towel featuring the eye catching, definitive art we fell in love with when first seeing his work, and found out exactly what makes him tick while we were at it.

Jamie, thanks for taking the time to catch up. What’s been happening in your world?
No worries, thanks for chatting to me. I just moved into a new little place out here in SoCal and have been travelling as much as I can. I recently had a couple of rad weekenders in Austin and New York.

For those who don’t know, give us a brief inside to who you are and what you are about?
I’m an illustrator who grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and am influenced by the laid back lifestyle of surf and skate culture, it’s irreverent characters, jargon and relaxed outlook on life.

You’ve designed the latest towels for SurfStitch. Where did you draw inspiration from for the design?
I was stoked to design SurfStitch’s latest towel. The Yin Yang is one of my favourite symbols to work with in my art, because you can explore two contrasting ideas. I’m really into the juxtaposition of sunny beach vibes against darker themes – night and day, chill death, etc.

How many others did you have in the bank before eventually choosing that one as the final edition?
I usually have a couple of ideas on the go for a project but as soon as I put the Yin Yang on the towel I knew it was the one ha.

We’ve had colours in the past, why black and white this time?
I usually work in just black and white, I love the high contrast and the simplicity. Black and white is timeless and strong. It’s also more open to interpretation I think.

How long would a design like this generally take you?
It really depends on the idea. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head and just work but other times it can take a while to come up with something, that’s the tough part. I work on a pretty small scale but obsess over the details, I’ll often draw the same thing a couple of times until I get it just right.

What are your tools of choice when designing?
I work with pencil and black Artline felt tip pens on paper, that’s it, simple and reliable.

Apart from the towels, your art is really unique and raw. Do you make your own inspiration or do you obtain it from anywhere in particular?
I have this kind of summertime universe that I pull from but it’s constantly being influenced by music, skating, travel, cartoons and social interactions like silly banter with mates over a few frothy ones. Sometimes ideas will spontaneously find me when I’m in the right place at the right time.

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Describe your workplace?

I work at the Volcom HQ in Southern California with a really cool team of people. Best part is there is a huge indoor skatepark downstairs! At home, I have a nice little desk with a window that overlooks a pool – it’s chill.

Favourite beats to draw/design to?
I enjoy a heap of different music but when I’m wanting to get lost in the zone and draw I like to listen to anything from obscure and trippy 60’s psychedelia and garage rock to Fuzzy 70’s Afro beat and Zam rock, Old and new stoner/doom, Psych rock as well as a little jazz from time to time. Here are a few of my favs right now: Cold Sun, Captain Beefheart, Amanaz, Pentagram, Earth, Dick Diver, Wes Montgomery.

You’ve also worked over in California, how did this opportunity arise?
I had always wanted to have a crack at living in the US and after I had been working with Volcom in Australia for a while, I expressed my interest to the dude’s and when a position opened up in the art department over there, I went for it!

Apart from putting pen to paper, what else do you get up to in your free time?
Skateboarding – I usually skate every night after work. Having a skatepark at Volcom is pretty handy. I also play guitar and enjoy getting out for a few cheeky bevies with friends.

Any other exciting projects to come?
I’m involved in an upcoming artshow called The LB Project which combines artists and skate photographers collaborating on skate decks, the show will tour the US this year and raise funds for some great causes. I’m also about to start selling some prints and other cool merchandise on my website.

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Shop Jamie’s SurfStitch towel: