Adrian Knott is the man behind the clothing label Rake and also creates really cool artwork both for sale and as a freelancer for other brands and intresting projects. Adrian was kind enough to take the time out to answer some questions about surfing, art and other stuff…
Where are you from/where do you currently live?
Torquay Vic Australia . The home of bells beach!
Above: Rake 5’0 ” shovel nose simmons
Broken head , Noosa , Corsair , Spooks or any hollow dredging beachy.
Above: Master Glasser Sean Nettleton & the barnacle bill log
Favourite music right now?
No real favourites I usually listen to the radio all day. I work from home alone so I don’t get to talk to anyone all day, a bit of talk back on the radio makes me feel like I am connected to the world.
Above: Jordan , Sean & Ado. Photo: Ryan Heywood
Describe Rake in one sentence?
Collaboration of friends, surfers,shapers,artists & photographers.
Above: Ado & Trent Whitehead. Photo: Shaun Freeman
How did Rake Clothing begin?
was doing another label called Arkive which I sold to Thalia Surf in California I was having dramas registering the name in the states so I dumped the whole thing. I thought it was time to focus my time into a brand that was based on all things I really liked.
I was pretty sick of the direction of the commercial surf steeze. I could see that there was a hole in the market for something different.
I came up with the name RAKE, not Garden rake it actually is a surfing term which describes the amount of the fin outline that is curved backwards , the angle between the back of the fin base & the offset of the tip of the fin. So that was it ! I had a name, now I wanted to gear the brand to fit in independent stores like Thalia Surf who had a slightly organic feel almost a mix of the old surf flavour mixed with contemporary, trying to focus the brand outside the competitive surf realm.
Once I had the clothing line underway I wanted to produce a solid range of specialized boards that would sit along side of the clothing.
I worked with Jordan Nobel & Sean Nettleton who are into riding and shaping alternate boards & worked with traditional pigments & tints.
The first range was super small but had a great reaction from the stores as they were looking for something new.
Above: Rake mini simmons foil
What is the Rake style?
Tell us a little about your background and how you got into surfing, art, fashion and creative stuff?
My old man was a keen surfer & talented illustrator so he got me in to surfing pretty young , we lived in Noosa Heads when I was 9 so
I could get a surf in before & after school. Later we moved back to the city which sucked as I only got to go to the beach on the weekend , I was always in to art so I knew from a early age that I wanted to work for a surf company some day, that was a dream for me.
I had a short stint at art school before I quit as they used to be really unsupportive of my kind of art they even told me there was no future in surf graphics so I left & ended up getting my first job at Piping Hot which was a good way to learn the ropes of the industry.
After that Job I managed to get a job at Rip Curl in Torquay, I got to work in all areas from wetsuit design to designing boardshorts.
It was a pretty sweet job, we travelled internationally for meetings & tradeshows, met loads of cool people but eventually it became stale
& boring so I left & started my own freelance design company since then I have worked for most of the surf companies, kids wear & fashion labels.
Above: Sean Nettleton
What advice do you have for people who want to start their own brand?
Its bloody hard work !!! I guess you have to be willing to do lots of work for little reward there is so much to do when you start up you have to be prepared to do all sorts of stuff from packing, invoicing, manufacturing, shipping as well as coming up with fresh designs that actually will sell to the retailer as well as out of the store.
Above: Handcrafted cedar fins & handplanes by Jason Westman
What are the things you love the most about what you do?
It can be pretty rewarding to see people wearing or surfing something you have created as well connecting with so many talented people who share the same interest in the surf lifestyle as I do.
Above: trimming green island peelers
Who/What are your main inspirations?
Sufers I am inspired by: Joel tudor, Tyler Warren, Ryan Burch, Richard Kenvin.
Artists : Geoff mc Fetridge, Steven Harrington, T-moe, Alex kopps , Nat Russell, Cahnam.
Friends : Dave Allee, Ryan Heywood, Trent Whitehead, Simon Perini, Cyrus Sutton, Shaun Freeman.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
What tool or items could you not work without?
Describe your work space
I have a little studio at home , Clean & uncluttered . I like to have minimal things around me otherwise I feel crowded in my space. If I want to get messy I have a shed which doubles as a shaping bay. I usually build, screen print, paint & sand out there, it’s a pretty nice space & place to hang out.
Above: printed tissue , fiberglass, resin on wooden box wall art
Where can people buy your art and clothing online?