Blake Gordon is an all-round good guy who we we’re lucky to collaborate with on our summer Barkers x LegaSea range. What started as a mutual respect for the ocean developed into conversations about design, New Zealand summers and what binds us as kiwis.

We quickly learnt that Blake is a creative enigma and has many hats when it comes to design. He’s an Illustrator by trade who has been expressing himself through all sorts of design avenues as well as working on several projects for many like-minded NZ businesses. And when it comes to down time in his own words, he’ll be spending 2022 “in the shed trying to progress and perfect my engraving”. We caught up with Blake to talk future goals and what’s next for him this year.

Following on from our earlier chats, if someone came up to you and asked what your LegaSea prints mean or stand for, how would you describe it to them?

I feel lucky to have grown up in the Bay of islands, it has set me up to be a true water baby. Exploring and enjoying the ocean has always been a big part of my life. The prints came very naturally from my memories of the beautiful sea creatures that we have in New Zealand. Dad freediving for crayfish, feeding his friends and family. Watching hundreds of gannets chasing boil ups whilst sailing past was always such an incredible sight.

We’re so stoked to have been able to collab with you in 2021 on the Barkers x LegaSea range, with our heads already in plans for 2022, what’s next for you?

Thanks, it was a really cool project to be a part of. 2022 for me will be focusing on expanding my freelance work, continuing to work with some of my amazing clients. Spending time in the shed trying to progress and perfect my engraving will always be something I'll make time for.

What influences you and your illustrations?

My inspiration comes from my lifestyle and the hobbies that come along with it. I'm super lucky to have found myself working for clients that share similar values and visions.

A lot of what we do here at Barkers is centred around the belief that it can be done better, that innovation is not necessarily always about new things, but more so looking at how we change the way we do things or approaching design from a different perspective. Much like your venture in ceramics and engraving. Tell us how this came about and what you love most about breathing new life into something old?

I was craving something different to do as I was getting worn out on digital design and working with markers. Initially, I thought engraving jewellery could be fun. After buying some kind of engraving machine I soon found out how fine and detailed this would have to be. A few months down the track I spied a beautiful green vase at one of my favourite Op shops and a light bulb switched, I could engrave that. I'm really enjoying a new creative outlet, learning a new craft. I love that nothing new is being produced and I'm doing something I haven't seen anyone else really doing. It's a selfish outlet, drawing what I want and when I want. I'm keen to keep it that way.

Because it’s summer we have to ask, what’s on the adventure list for you?

After a long lockdown in Auckland my partner and I both missed our families and craved a trip away. We have squeezed in seeing both our families around Christmas in Northland. Currently on the road in the South Island in our Landcruiser, equipped with a Feldon Shelter tent and all the necessary camping items for guaranteed good times. Hunting waves and quiet campsites is our top priority.

As someone who spends a bit of time in the studio solo, what is your go-to music?

My music tastes are super varied which keeps things fresh while working. A few artists that featured in my Spotify Top Songs were Turnstile, J. Cole, Thundercat, Dope Lemon, Neil Frances, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and a guilty pleasure that always features is Post Malone.