Snowboarding and art accept consistently gone duke in hand. The accord amid both worlds is all-encompassing and founded in each’s appeal for adroitness and originality. Both are expressions of appearance and act as extensions of ourselves. Aloof as those that bandage in for a active affect with their riding, those that actualize beheld art affect with their craft. And while there is a connected account of riders who actively artistic in assorted art spaces, there is a abundant beneath account of artists who accept fabricated abundant contributions to snowboarding. Of those, Mark Kowalchuk is absolutely on the abbreviate list.
Hailing from Calgary, Mark has been added affecting in not alone the snowboarding association but additionally that of skateboarding and music. His accomplishments aural the boarding apple accommodate a connected account of cartoon for YES., Academy, SPY, Ovan, Trouble Andrew, and more. He alike owns his own skateboard company, Artschool Skateboards. Accustomed his absorbing resume, we alone anticipation it appropriate to ability out and tap the apperception of a man who actual acceptable has created the art for the lath beneath your feet. With aggregate from admonition for hopeful artists, to belief of how he got to area he is now, the adventure beneath alone scratches the apparent of what Mark has created and continues to make. Dive in actuality to bark aback the blur of one of snowboarding’s best embodied artists, and accomplish abiding to chase forth with his accepted works to accumulate a agog on eye on what comes next.
I accept consistently been absorbed in art–it was appealing accessible for me to apperceive what I capital to do in life. I went to a accomplished art academy and majored in drawing, painting, and printmaking. Afterwards that, I was aggravating to amount out if I was activity to get my masters and become an art teacher, but it was at the time area bright architecture was starting to absolutely booty off. It was all appealing new again and seemed like a air-conditioned affair to get into, so I confused to Toronto and got ancestry for design.
What were the aboriginal years of your career like?
I consistently had bodies cogent me that it was a absurd to accomplish a career out of it. And I am not adage that it wasn’t, because it absolutely takes abounding years of charge to angle out and ascend that ladder. For me, it was consistently bright that it’s what I capital to do whether I was ultimately acknowledged or not. I was absolutely a little bit of the atramentous sheep, but I had a admiring ancestors and they backed aggregate I did. They are still some of my bigger admirers to this day.
I would brainstorm it was a connected road.
It is absolutely a connected road, and I do accept article to say about that–the industry has quadrupled if not added than that in popularity. Anybody wants to be a bright artisan these days. You accept all of these bodies advancing out of school, and it is a altered vibe and mentality now–not that it is added entitled, but bodies see the success of the beforehand bearing and they apprehend that instantly. Personally, it has been twenty years of active to get area I am now.
How did you aboriginal get into creating cartoon for lath brands?
For years I alone did accomplished art and my own architecture assignment while I skated and snowboarded on the side. They operated apart of anniversary other. I didn’t alike apprehend I could accomplish art for snow or skate brands. My aboriginal skate gig was aback I confused to Calgary about fifteen years ago. A acquaintance was skating for a bounded aggregation and he asked me to architecture his pro graphic. My aboriginal snowboard bright was in 2007. It was with Jason Broz, who lived in Calgary for a abbreviate aeon of time and started a snowboard cast alleged Clyde.
What affectionate of things were you accomplishing afore you got into the lath world?
I had an art flat and I was alive on honing my barter for myself–and again alive a architecture job on the side. It absolutely didn’t become absolute to me until 2008 that I could booty my accomplished art, amalgamate it with my architecture work, and accept a career in lath design.
Do you accept a aberration in access amid snowboard cartoon and skateboard graphics?
I anticipate so. You absolutely accept to accede bounden adjustment on snowboards, and barter adjustment on skateboards. I additionally feel like blueprint wise, what is in appearance has afflicted badly in both skate and snowboards over the aftermost brace of years.
Do you accept a alternative amid the two?
No, I like them both. They both accept their challenges, and style-wise, I acquisition what bodies appetite skateboarding is a little altered than snowboarding. Don’t get me wrong, there are so abounding exceptions to the rule, a cast like Lobster has that insubordinate skate vibe to them. But best bodies like attributes added in snowboarding and added banter amusement in skating.
Do you accept a admired bright that you accept designed?
I get asked that one absolutely a bit, and it’s a absolutely adamantine question. I anticipate for me, it is absolutely about assertive boards or works I accept done that beggarly added to me as a axis point in my career–works that I feel I was able to hit some array of ambition with. Some of the aboriginal cartoon I did are some of my favorites because it was my aboriginal time aing up with brands that I still assignment with today. Some of the actuality I did for the bandage In Flames was absolutely big for me because I was such a huge fan of their music.
What role does music comedy in your life?
Pretty abundant all of it. I am badly afflicted by music and movies added than anything. If I weren’t a accomplished artisan I would accompany music. I accept to a lot of lyrics and cull a lot of account from them for my art.
What are some of the beyond challenges you accept faced as an artist?
I anticipate as an artisan we consistently appetite to claiming ourselves. If we didn’t, it would be brackish and boring. Aback I toured with In Flames and alive corrective on date for them–even admitting I accept alive corrective a thousand times–I accept never done it in that format. Strobe lights in my eyes, I alone accept two hours to bang out this painting, and I am amidst by bags of distractions. Abounding metal music announcement with crazy fans–I candidly didn’t apperceive how I was activity to do it. But it formed out, already you get it done it gives you the aplomb to do the aing big challenge.
Are you able to feel annoyed with completed projects?
I don’t anticipate I am anytime satisfied. I anticipate that is mostly aloof my own hang-ups. I am consistently aggravating to advance myself to be bigger and to advance my skills–be it with a besom or a pen or whatever my average is–it can consistently be cleaner. There is consistently added detail, and I don’t anticipate absolute or actuality agreeable exists.
How would you ascertain your style?
It is adamantine for me to ascertain my own style, but bodies accept told me that they anticipate it is like a bright atypical meets skateboard art. Aback bodies ask what affectionate of art I do, I acquaint them I am an illustrator.
Who do you draw afflatus from aural the art community?
My bigger access is MC Escher. He was one of the best book artists of the 1800’s. He did aggregate by duke and the detail akin he got was ridiculous. Also, old skateboard artists like Jim Phillips and V.C.J. from Powell Perlata–their bandage assignment absolutely inspires me.
You accept done abounding collaborations in the past, what is your admired allotment and what is the best difficult allotment about alive with addition else?
Everyone has his or her own altered way of producing. I accept my methods of how I get things bottomward on a canvas, and anybody isn’t the same. It’s boxy aback you charge to accident processes together. I tend to get all my fills and underpainting done, and again I add all of the bandage assignment over the top at the end. Some bodies blush block their actuality in and do the bandage assignment first. I anticipate alive with addition artisan is fun admitting too. Aback you are in a band, you are jamming with some added dude, and he has his appearance and you accept your style, and again you array of augment off anniversary other. That happens in art too, they alpha accomplishing article air-conditioned and you alpha arena off it. It doesn’t amount if it turns out or not, because it all aloof works on a akin of accepting fun and creating together.
I would brainstorm it can additionally be appealing accessible as far as evolving your own style–seeing what they are accomplishing and again accumulation it into your own work.
It is crazy how that happens. I absolutely accept two absolutely acceptable artists accompany that alive in Squamish in Whistler. I acclimated to alive acrylic and do a ton of collaborations with them. I bethink painting one day and my associate mentioned that I should use Indian ink with a besom for my linework–because you can do some absolutely air-conditioned aqueous able curve with it. Now I use it every day, on every painting I accept done since. It afflicted my appearance completely.
What are your admired mediums?
I accept two altered styles that I anticipate I am accepted for. A lot of bodies apperceive my pen and ink stuff, which is a bit added detailed. I will do all the linework by hand, and again I will browse it and blush it digitally. On the added ancillary of the bread would be my painting, which I use acrylic and again I will do all of the linework with Indian ink over the top. Those are my two capital mediums.
Do you adopt one to the other?
I anticipate that best bodies are added afflicted with my ink and pen work, but I additionally adore painting a lot. I acquisition alive painting to be absolutely adequate and there is a allotment of the action I absolutely enjoy. I get added detail out of cartoon than painting, so I accept a bit of a altered appearance with assets than my paintings. Bodies that don’t apperceive my process, they will anticipate it is the same, but I apperceive my assignment able-bodied abundant to apperceive that my bandage assignment is tighter aback I use ink.
How abundant of it is a ameliorative action for you?
I anticipate it is a bit of a abounding spectrum. A lot of times I will accept a account of projects that I charge to get done and some of them are acutely added agreeable than others. Sometimes I am told to draw this or that for some project, and it’s a job. Added times, I am accepting article done for myself or I accept chargeless administration because the applicant brand what I do and they will aloof pay for that. If you are actuality told to draw article or it is a gig and it is about money, it isn’t that agreeable and you aloof do what you can in your own style. But sometimes it can be absolutely ameliorative if you are cartoon for the account of drawing. Aloof abstraction account or painting because you accept an abstraction that you appetite to put out there.
Are there any projects that you are attractive advanced to in particular?
Here is the thing; I draw every day. I generally accept a appealing huge account as far as projects that I charge to get done and I end up axis a lot abroad because I aloof don’t accept abundant hours in the day. But sometimes, I will accept these sketches, that are aloof amphibian and account for things that I accept capital to use, and an befalling will appear up. So I will cast aback through the sketchbook and accomplish that abstraction appear to life. Sometimes they aloof sit on the shelf for a year.
Do you like alive on murals?
Besides accomplishing bartering assignment at home; I do bags of alive paintings and murals. I did a huge one at the Cochran skate esplanade that the burghal had commissioned me to do in the big basin there. I did a nice big one a few years aback for Volcom at the new abundance they opened in Calgary. They are one of my admired types of projects to assignment on because it’s such a altered claiming accustomed the size.
Do you see any arising trends that you are aflame about, or conceivably added patterns that are maybe a little tiresome?
There are absolutely consistently trends in art. You can’t abstain it. The times change, and the artists advance in assertive means depending on what bodies are into. At the end of the day you charge to advertise your work, so while you are accomplishing things for yourself you are additionally accomplishing things that will sell. There are a lot of things that accept been fatigued a lot–like skulls, pizza, and all of the archetypal reapers and wizards. I don’t absolutely anticipate that things get old or tiresome, aloof as connected as they are done in a altered way that reflects an artist’s style.
In your mind, what are some of the parallels amid the art apple and the lath worlds?
That’s interesting. I don’t know, sometimes I feel that I am cool alone from things because I absorb so abundant time in my art cave. I accumulate my feel on the skate and snow world–I own a skateboard company–but I am about not on the beating of the art world. I chase a few artists that I anticipate are sick, but I don’t absolutely apperceive what the arena is. I stick to my own guns. I anticipate with artists–a lot of us get into art because we are a little alienated and generally get ashore in our own active and imagination. Sometimes we attending in so abundant that we balloon to attending out.
If you were to accord a beginning artisan that was absorbed in accepting into the lath apple amplitude some advice, what are some of the things you ability acquaint them?
I candidly anticipate the best affair you can do is to assignment on your barter and assignment on your abilities and consistently aloof advance your methods for yourself. Don’t try and admeasurement your success off addition else’s success. Aloof adulation what you do. Draw every day. Alike if you accept to get addition job accomplishing article abroad until your art career takes off. There are assertive accomplish that I accept taken to get area I am, and I anticipate alive on your portfolio, architecture your website, demography on grassroots projects that you can put beneath your belt and that will accord you experience–things that you can accelerate to bigger audience later–those are all accessible steps. But you additionally charge to be patient. It takes years. You are activity to acquisition that best of these artists that appear out of academy won’t accept success in the aboriginal bristles years, and again they apparently acquisition article else. If you accept twenty artists that appear out of school, you will accept bristles that stick with it.
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