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Geoffrey Holstad: Inner-view

Stay Wild


Geoffrey Holstad is an artist, creative director, plein air graphic designer and citizen meteorologist. He is currently daylighting as an apparel graphic designer at Patagonia in Ventura, California. By moonlight, he is the co-founder and director of Cabin-Time, a roaming creative residency to remote places.

What do you have for breakfast?
Huevos rancheros from Farmer and the Cook (Ojai, California) and 100 cups of gas station coffee, consumed outdoors.

What are you doing at Patagonia?
I am the in-house apparel graphic designer at Patagonia. I design new tee/hat graphics, help curate the other amazing artists that we work with, and assist with print production work. I cannot imagine a more inspiring, authentic, eclectic, rewarding place to work. I am very proud to work with such an amazing group of friends who care so much about radically responsible business, and for our planet.

I am also a board member on Patagonia’s new Environmental Media Grants Council, responsible for funding radical, grassroots filmmakers and creatives devoted to protecting the environment.

Conquerors of the useless!

How did you end up working for Patagonia?
Leading up to the offer from Patagonia, I did freelance illustration, hand-lettering, design, and creative consulting for a little over five years, much of which was for the outdoor industry. I worked with a lot of clients like Poler, Stussy, Dakine, Merrell, etc. which gave me a little bit of momentum in the outdoor/skate/surf apparel worlds. I also wrote for the super fun blog Cold Splinters, through which I met a lot of great people which helped that snowball along.

As I became more and more devoted to Cabin-Time, a personal project that accrues no money (by design), and less so to paying commercial work, it became increasingly apparent that I would need some steady income to pay student loans, and keep the lights on.

I left Michigan for Southern California in the winter of 2013, for a full-time design gig at Patagonia.

Why are you doing the Cabin-Time residency thing?
Cabin-Time is a roaming creative residency to remote places. I started Cabin-Time in December of 2011 with designer Ryan Greaves and photographer Colin McCarthy, and we (now a crew of six working creatives) have since hosted five residencies and over 40 artists from around the world.

Cabin-Time has been the most rewarding and important project of my life, and keeps getting better. I spend much of my 5-to-9 working with my best friends to make this project work.

We are embarking on our sixth residency at the end of this summer, this time, to an off-grid homestead in Northern Idaho.


That Thalia catalog you did a while back is the funnest freaking catalog I’ve ever seen. Did they give you total creative freedom or what?
Corey at Thalia got in touch with me to design a tee for the shop in 2012, and then followed up with that catalog project leading up to the 2012-13 holiday season. I did indeed have freedom to do pretty much what I wanted with the cover, and hand-lettered and illustrated some assets for the inside. I also did a little interview with Corey for print in the catalog as well.

Thalia’s great!

Aside from C street and the surf in general, what are some unexpected joys to living in Ventura?
I actually live 16 miles up the mountain in the tiny town of Ojai with my girlfriend and fellow Patagonia designer Sarah Darnell.

Foraged blood oranges, condors, black sage, hot springs, bouldering, Pine Mountain, sunshine, great vegetarian food, swimming holes, baby coyotes, Beatrice Wood, and crystals.