Aloha Pua Honu: Andrew Bawidamann Art

For most people in our industry, the artist behind our Aloha collaborations needs no introduction: Andrew Bawidamann, owner of Bawidamann Design and an extremely accomplished artist who keeps us all daydreaming with his pin-up art. His work also graces the products & logos of many brands in the tactical space.

While there is much you do know about this designer, gear-maker and artist, only Andrew is able to articulate his design inspiration and design process that lead to exquisite artistic expressions year-over-year.

Here’s a peek into what went behind Andrew Bawidamann’s art in this year’s OTTE Gear x Bawidamann Aloha Pua Honu masterpiece:

 “My custom patterns are made from the ground up in my Design Studio. I start from zero meaning I don’t just acquire a “mediocre at best” camouflage production file and build on it. I start from original found items like vintage apparel, fabric scraps, swatches…even old photographs, and then spend a lot of time creating faithful high quality camouflage patterns from these artifacts. I have to make a 1000 tiny choices as to which shapes, types of lines/outlines to use. To say my patterns have a personal touch is an understatement. I think you will appreciate our pattern fidelity compared to a lot of other stuff on the market out there. It matters. It shows.” 
“I wouldn’t have been able to complete Aloha Pua Honu pattern without the help of Marty @badgerordnance. He provided me with original WW2 Frogskin items that allowed me to recreate this classic pattern faithfully from the ground up. It is always interesting to see how many differences there are in the same pattern amongst different print runs, items, and manufacturers.”

“The Plumeria has a personal meaning. For my 1st anniversary after our Maui honeymoon, I ordered a Plumeria cutting from Molokai. It was just a little green stick. It arrived in October and my wife had serious doubts we could get it to grow and survive the winter. It’s been almost 4 years and it gets bigger and more beautiful every year. It is a magical piece of Hawaii that lives with us. Every flower illustrated in this pattern is taken from our 1st Hawaiian anniversary Plumeria.”

“I was inspired by the original Pacific 1942 Frogskin Garments. We have limited edition Honu Beach and Honu Jungle colorways, and a super-limited edition Honu Atoll – a blue that will inspire magnificent things at the height of summer!”

“Lastly, the dark, grainy image featured on the hang tag (pictured above) came from a photo I found in my Grandfather’s trunk. He served in the Pacific and must have taken it on a celebratory occasion. This is the final personal touch in an effort that I am very proud of. I hope you enjoy your shirt/Aloha Pua Honu print as much as I do. Mahalo, Andrew”  @abawidamann 

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