Fruits Art Club is described as a multidisciplinary design studio in Denver, serving as a platform to create, share and motivate others. The studio posts daily submission-based posts on its Instagram, which also includes collaborations with other creatives to “provide a sustainable platform and creative studio that will last for years to come,” according to the website. The creatives that make up the brand are proficient in poster design, branding and creative direction, often partnering with other brands —including fashion brands — and creatives to speak out about important and relevant topics and be a force for good.
Andrew Wetmore — founder of and creative at Fruits Art Club — spoke with 303 Magazine to discuss the come-up of the local company, the collaboration and design processes and how the design studio is adjusting during the unprecedented times of COVID-19.
303 Magazine: Tell me your story and where your passion for design all started. Did you always have a passion for art and design growing up? Where did your journey with it all start?
Andrew Wetmore: I would say my passion for design has always been there all my life. Most of the time it was something I didn’t know I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it seemed to manifest itself in every aspect of my life. Constantly doodling as a kid or even getting my first computer to start teaching myself how to design digitally really pushed my creativity to what it has become today.
303: What motivated you to officially pursue a career in the design field? And what influenced you, or how did you decide to begin your own business?
AW: I think the motivation came from wanting to do something that had more freedom compared to a normal 9-to-5 job. I never saw myself working in an office because I felt I had too much to show the world through my designs. So why let it go to waste? When starting my own business, my motivation came from wanting to help other people who were in my position when first starting a career in design. It is a difficult one to pursue because it can be extremely competitive.
303: Why do you think it was important for you to have your own business?
AW: I love having creative control over everything. It’s always been my strength and my weakness because it is quite difficult to let other people direct or aid on projects. It’s all a part of growth and finding those relationships with people you can trust.
303: What led you to begin working with fashion brands to collaborate on certain products?
AW: Merchandise has always been my favorite medium in design. Digital posters and covers are great, but printing something on a tee or hoodie just brings it to life. It feels more personal and it’s something a consumer can hold onto for a long time.
303: I know you recently worked with Station and the MCA — tell me how that, along with other similar projects, came to be.
AW: Most of these projects stem from casual conversation and the desire to just collaborate when something feels right! I’ve been talking with Mars over at Station for a while now and he approached me about this project with MCA Denver. After we shot some ideas back and forth we came up with the Taker Care of Her design within a day and we fell in love with it.
303: Can you tell me about the other fashion-based projects you and Fruits Art Club have worked on in the past?
AW: Fruits has worked on a lot of merchandise projects over the past year. We work with a printing company out of London called Everpress. They use a pre-order based system so nothing goes to waste and we only print what we need. We typically do one collection focusing on a certain theme or word that resembles current times. As far as working on fashion-based projects myself, I am now a graphic designer and brand identity manager at Madhappy. They are an amazing brand that focuses on the importance of mental health and it is an amazing initiative I have been a part of for the last year.
303: What is your favorite aspect of design and what is your favorite part of the design process?
AW: My favorite aspect of the design is the diversity and never-ending inspiration from everyone and everything. Something new is made every day and it is amazing to see other artists take on the world and what design means to them. My favorite part of the design process would be the variations of something before the final result. Sometimes it can be one revision, sometimes it can be 100. In the end, it somehow turns out just the way you needed it to be.
My favorite thing to say is ‘once you start, you can’t stop.’ And by that, I mean once you start pushing yourself into design work, you will never be able to stop. You will always find things in the world that you think could look better and you will always find things in the world that will inspire you even more. It’s like putting on a pair of glasses that help you see aspects of life that other people may not see.
303: What have you found to be the biggest challenge of working in the design/arts industry?
AW: The biggest challenge is being fairly compensated for your work. Being a designer for 6+ years, I have learned a lot of new things, new programs and new ways to go about the business side of my work. There are always people who don’t see the value in your work and it can be very unsettling/difficult to those just starting. This was also a big motivational push for the start of Fruits. I wanted to have a platform where people could send in their work and we would feature it on our growing page that was getting amazing engagement. This brought more attention to these smaller artists and in return, they received more commission work and recognition to push their careers further.
303: What do you hope for the future of Fruits Art Club? And can you tell us about any upcoming projects you’re currently working on?
AW: I hope Fruits Art Club is able to maintain a sustainable and useful platform. It’s hard to tell where it will be in five years but I plan on pushing it as long as I find it useful. As far as upcoming projects go, we plan on releasing a handful of tees this year and hopefully working with more design studios on other types of projects.
All photography provided by Fruits Art Club