Artists are the lifeblood of adventure cycling and we are always on the lookout for people doing great stuff. Recently, we stumbled upon Spencer Hawkes, also known as Nomad Patches (@nomadpatches), a Portland-based illustrator, and designer whose work is not only visually stunning but also practical. Spencer creates biking-related designs that he transforms into patches, which can then be sewn onto anything from bike bags to shorts.
Spencer has been crafting patches for the past eight years. His business, like many small businesses, was started by chance. It all began when he designed a patch specifically for a family bike tour. However, his fabricator had a minimum order size of 50, which was a lot more than the nine riders on the tour. Not wanting to waste the extra patches, he decided to put them up for sale on his Etsy store. From there, his business took off. He continued designing patches and selling them online, building up his business one patch at a time.
Spencer keeps a long list of future patch ideas on his phone. When a new idea strikes him, he first sketches it out in pencil before moving it to the computer to be illustrated and proofed by his manufacturer, Falls Creek Outfitters. Alongside his own creations, Spencer takes on commissioned and collaborative work as well. He is always looking for new and exciting projects to work on, so if you're in need of patches for your future endeavors, Nomad Patches is undoubtedly the place to go. Bike Gear Database patches anyone?