Meet the Artist: Claire Van Winkle


    Interview with the Artist

    Injinji’s Artist Designed series includes socks intentionally designed by talented creatives who find inspiration in the natural world. Each pair of Artist Designed socks tells a story, tying into a theme chosen by the artist. The designs are created exclusively for Injinji, and the socks are Limited Edition – so don’t wait to stock up!The Alaska Collection is the fourth in the Artist Designed series, created by Claire Van Winkle, a surface pattern designer, illustrator, and professional expedition guide. In this interview, Claire shares the influences behind this collection, and what inspired her adventurous designs.

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    You chose the Alaska theme, are there specific places or memories you thought of when creating these?

    Absolutely. Alaska is my playground. Everything is bigger and better here. Between the jagged peaks, the free-flowing rivers, and the megafauna, I’m constantly amazed by this wild landscape. I’ve been involved in the Alaskan tourism industry for several years now and have designed trips and guided multi-day expeditions all around the state. This collection was inspired by the places I work and play in and includes specific mountain ranges, wildlife, and experiences from my travels. For example, the Aurora design was inspired by a trip I took up to Coldfoot with my boyfriend last October and the mountain lines are taken from real ranges up here.


    Can you share about your design process for this collection?

    I started working on this design collection while I was driving from Colorado to Alaska to begin another summer guiding season. While driving, I had a lot of time to think about the shapes and contours of Alaska and to decide how I wanted that to be visually reflected on socks. I love Alaska for its roughness. Its wildness. Its bigness. Its do-it-yourself-ness. But in the end, I decided I wanted to highlight the movement, the joy, and the awe that is possible to experience when exploring this incredible state.

    Which design from the Alaska collection is your favorite and why?

    Oooh. All of them. But generally, I’m moved by mountain lines and wild, groovy shapes. My favorites are the Aurora, Orcas, and Denali designs. To me, these three designs really highlight the movement, energy, and joy of Alaska.