Former Finisterre 'jack of all', Harry Fricker regardless of employment status remains firmly rooted in the family tree. The Designer come Creative Director now resides in the thriving outdoor hub of Vancouver, British Colombia, heading up the sustainably successful Arvin Goods.
Balancing time between the often hard to attain city and surf, we caught up with the creative nomad on all things inspiration, direction and surf.
I’m actually sat in a very well lit departure lounge in Toronto… It really isn’t where I want to be. I am en route to the UK to catch up on some family time, waves, friends and you guys ;)
As of right now, my time is focused in Vancouver, British Columbia and on a brand which I co-founded and have been building and directing over the past year, Arvin Goods.
Located in Seattle, WA, Arvin Goods is a lifestyle focused, sustainable basics brand. We make some pretty rad socks and underwear through some truly low impact manufacturing processes.
What has the journey as Creative Director been like so far? What have you learnt?
It’s been a ride that's for sure. I didn’t see myself being a “Creative Director” so soon. As each project got bigger and each new team needed new creatives, more direction and management, my role evolved into what it is now. It’s been a sharp learning curve, a fun one but it definitely has its challenges.
Learning the task of delegation was my first hurdle, I am sure any business owner or someone new to the role can relate. But learning that there are incredible creatives at one’s fingertips and having a number of great friends in similar situations to bounce ideas and experiences off has been a huge help.
Not all clients have been a dream, there’s been a few times I’ve been stung (which was inevitable), but it's taught me the importance of trust, the need for contracts and how much time is really worth. I’m always learning, I love to connect and talk to people about their journeys and it’s great to have seen myself evolve as a creative.
How did you make the move to Vancouver?
It had been a long time coming. Back in 2011, I made the trip out to test the waters. Spending some time working within the marketing team at a brand called Sitka, I instantly fell in love with the place. It’s a city with a small town vibe. You can’t really beat a thriving metropolitan city with towering snow capped mountains and a wild coastline at your fingertips.
After retuning to the UK in 2012 we had told ourselves we would return, but the next time for a good healthy stint. Then in 2015 we (my lady Lizz and I) applied for work permits, packed up and jumped across the pond.
With the small town vibe of the city there is some great community pockets. Being a “creative” and someone who wants to explore the natural beauty of British Columbia, I’ve managed to find some great people and built up some real strong friendships. The city is open to everyone, there is a great cultural mix, a respect for the First Nations and their land and a real drive for innovation and the chance for something new. It’s a bloody expensive place to live though.
What does your creative process look like? How do you explore within the design world and bring to life new projects?
The creative process is a funny one. Of course I’d like to give a really conceptual, deep answer… but I’m not sure I can. I am always on the lookout for different inspiration from styles of art, genres of music and locations. These can all inspire me. I try to give myself a week or two before I start any project with a time for reflection and inspiration. I can be pretty hard on myself to secure a set direction. My notes are endless and I can sometimes get lost down the rabbit hole, but that’s fine. I definitely know what I like and try my hardest to get there.
Of course. His early curiosities to travel are what sent him out to explore and seek adventure back in the 70’s and beyond. We continually discuss the trips I’m taking, debate on the correct way of doing it and find joint passion of meeting new people along the way. If it wasn’t for both my parents encouragement to find something for myself, to live in the moment I am sure I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I owe them the world and one day I will introduce them to mine in British Columbia.
A Huckberry Ambassador, alongside the likes of Chris Burkard and Mikey DeTemple, who and what inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?
All the people I meet inspire me, even the ones who have tried to sting me...maybe they inspire me the most to keep rocking what I’m doing. It’s been a rollercoaster so far, and I can see it will be for some time to come. The ride inspires me. I’m young, I’ve got a long way to go.