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From skateboards to Purolator packages, things are on the move for the former Wintersleep bass player
After napping for the first two weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. John’s based graphic designer and illustrator, Jud Haynes, spent a week organizing his comics and his records.
“I need to be busy and I need to be doing something,” he said. “(So), when a design job came along, no matter what it was, I was excited to do it because I just wanted to get back at it.”
It was either that, or he was going to go out of his mind, he said.
For years, Haynes played bass in the band Wintersleep, all the while, continuing to follow his passion for design.
“There was about a ten-year period where music became my job and design was my side (job), but then when I moved back to Newfoundland I switched back again,” he said.
Recently, Haynes was approached by shipping company Purolator to design some of their holiday boxes.
“There’s such a wealth of amazing … illustrators right now,” Haynes said. “I’m both surprised and happy that I got the call.”
Purolator chose an artist or illustrator from every province and territory with Haynes being the Newfoundland and Labrador pick.
“My stuff appears on album covers usually, and beer labels, that’s basically my market,” he said. “Anybody else beyond those two scenes probably has no idea that I exist. So, something like this is great exposure for all of us.”
And just to make sure he’s never at a loss for work, during the summer, Haynes combined his love of skateboarding with his design work when he created skateboard company Atlantic Aire with Jon Loder, who also owns the stores Relic and Civic Duty in downtown St. John’s.
“It’s been pretty fun to see online how many people are buying them and riding them and how many are buying them and putting them on their wall,” he said. “There’s lots of people doing both and I take that as a real compliment.”
1. What is your full name?
Jud Gregory Haynes.
2. Where and when were you born?
Digby, N.S., in 1974.
3. Where do you live today?
4. What’s your favourite place in the world?
My loft space in my house. Krista (Power, fiancée) and I have made it super cozy and exactly everything we need and want in life is right there. I’m probably no more comfortable anywhere than I am tucked into my little nest at home.
5. Who do you follow on social media?
Lots of illustrators, skateboarders and musicians.
6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve never tried coffee or tea in my entire life.
7. What’s been your favourite year and why?
2006. (Wintersleep’s) second record was out and we were touring, and it was actually catching at that point. The band was doing well, and we played the very first Osheaga (Montreal) that year. We did Virgin Fest (in Toronto) and Hillside (Guelph). We were getting to play all the festivals that I’d always been buying tickets or wanting to go to my whole life. Suddenly now, we were on the bill.
It was also (a year where I was) coming back (to St. John’s) a lot. Whenever I wasn’t on tour, I was hanging out here.
That same year is also when I met Krista.
8. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Pack up and leave Wintersleep when the band was on fire and everything in that world was amazing and move back to Newfoundland, feeling like it was the right thing to do at the time, but really having no idea. And not knowing if I was basically throwing away the best opportunity of my life.
If I could have brought Wintersleep here with me, I would have. The band (members) were all moving to Montreal and I had a pull that was pulling me back here. That was a really, really hard decision to make. But I don’t regret it at all.
9. Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
When I was 15, I wanted to be a comic book artist (and) my mom said no, you’re going to be a graphic designer. I remember her words were “because they get paid,” which I just laughed at.
She had a friend who owned an ad agency and that friend agreed to take me down for a full day of job shadowing. And so, for that day, every couple hours or so I got shuffled to a different department.
By the end of that day, I went home and (said), ‘Yup, this is what I want to do’… and that’s basically been my path ever since.
10. What’s your greatest indulgence?
Binging terrible sci-fi TV shows. I’ll watch pretty much anything if it takes place in space.
11. What is your favourite movie or book?
I love “Lost in Translation,” the Sofia Coppola movie. There’s just something about the entire vibe, the soundtrack and the way the movie’s shot, that I just love it from beginning to end.
12. How do you like to relax?
I guess I don’t really ever relax. (But) what I do is relaxing to me because I enjoy it. I don’t get that stressed out about it often. Working for yourself, I get to call so much of my own shots that I can make everything about the job work for me.
But the most relaxing part of my day would be walking the dog. Which happens three times a day, so I get a couple hours at least every day of that kind of relaxation, which is amazing.
13. What are you reading or watching right now?
I’m watching “The Crown” (on Netflix). And I’m about to start reading a new (comic book) series that I’m very excited about called “Sweet Tooth: The Return,” (by Jeff Lemire and José Villarrubia.)
14. What is your greatest fear?
Snakes. I was an army brat and moved around my whole life. When I was a kid, we lived in Ontario and a lot of times we lived on the outskirts of cities or in small towns. It was amazing, growing up in the woods by lakes and you spend your entire time running around the woods, it’s great. But there’s snakes everywhere and a lot of them were huge. They were big black water snakes, and it seemed like they were everywhere I went. You’d be walking at night and they’d be in the grass below your feet and you’d step on one and it would lash back and it would just freak me out.
15. How would you describe your personal fashion statement?
Terrible, terrible. I have a uniform for sure and it’s just jeans and a t-shirt and always a ball cap, usually a trucker hat. And almost always a jean jacket. It’s been my uniform for 25, 30 years. There’s been periods of time when the trucker hat became cool and then goes out and then it comes back and becomes cool and I just ride through all of it.
16. What is your most treasured possession?
My bass. 1976 Fender P-Bass. Definitely, if my house caught on fire, I’d grab that and be doing a barrel roll out the window hanging onto my bass.
17. What physical or personality trait are you most grateful to a parent for?
Both of my parents were always super-sensible and practical. They were never impulsive, never irrational. I make the joke a lot of times that we grew up like a family of robots.
I grew up that way, as a bit of a stone. But when I look at it now, it’s really helped when a lot of bad situations come up.
18. What three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
It’d probably be weird for (member of Sonic Youth) Thurston Moore, but I’d probably just get my mom, my dad and Thurston Moore. He’d be in a weird spot, but we’d be all having a great time.
19. What is your best quality, and what is your worst quality?
I don’t know that I necessarily play well with others anymore. I’ve kind of been doing my own thing for so long that now when I’m pushed into a situation where I have to work in a group, I’m not that good at that anymore.
I don’t know what my best quality would be. I feel like I’m a nice guy and I don’t really have any enemies, so on some level I must be not pissing too many people off.
20. What are you listening to right now?
Musically, I like to listen to a lot of electronic music. That’s been my thing for probably 15 years now. I also listen to a lot of ‘80s thrash metal. When I work, I put one of the two of those on. It either sounds like there is a techno dance party happening or there’s an ‘80s Metallica concert going on.
Note: This has been edited for length.
Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.