Part 2 of Travis Parr: The Icelantic Interview

In our ongoing series, we're taking you inside the Icelantic headquarters for some one-on-one with the creators of the award winning Icelantic AT Boards. This week we continue our interview with Icelantic's head artist, Travis Parr. Make sure you get a chance to check out Parr Studios, at Enjoy! Cassi: Where does your inspiration come from for the ski images? Travis: Image wise it's coming from life experiences. The initial ski was The Scout. I tried to create this Indian scout to kind of represent the ski, and then we went to the different models. In choosing the different models, we kind of came up with these names that we thought encompassed what the ski was actually about, like there's the Pilgrim, Nomad and Shaman. And in doing that, [I] kind of applied the same to the art by offering a pilgrim type image to that. The first years were native, kind of in the clan that's kind of how I was perceiving it, me and my buddies starting this company in the mountains. A little visual metaphor for how our company was in the very beginning. And then kind of grew into the ones we're doing right now which are the migration, which is another visual metaphor for how our company is developing. All of our company's pretty much migrating all over the world. Going to France and going to Norway. I mean we're getting skis everywhere right now. I'm trying to keep that theme going in these next five years, kind of visually showing the different growth and experiences that our company experiences and then translating that into our graphics. Cassi: How has the process of creating the images evolved since The Scout? Travis: Honestly it just came natural. Like I just figured out how I wanted to do this. I did the first one digitally, half of it digitally, you know and then the upcoming ones I was like I can just pound this out using paint. And it looked even better. I mean you can see like canvas texture, which I think makes it a step above the rest, cause it's like a fine art print on top of a ski. I could work it all digital but, then they have an original painting, and I'd rather do an original painting. And it adds more work to the company to have that final product rather than a digital print. And no body else is doing it like that, so might as well do it. I think people are doing graphics, but they're not doing paintings. We've gotten great response from it. Cassi: Are you in galleries too? Travis: I have. I currently have been on a great streak and I don't even need to do galleries right now, just sell them direct. People commission me to do paintings before they've even been painted. Cassi: Are you working for other companies? Travis: Icelantic is probably about a sixth of my year, probably more. I mean it's growing and growing as we go. It's just crazy. Crazy growth. Other companies, I'm working for, I've just done some work for 686. Fashion, you know the snowboard clothes. They have an Ace series. It was about a year and half ago, they found me out in Munich, Germany while we were at this trade show with Icelantic winning that ISPO award. [They] came up and saw the graphic from the skis and wanted to hire me for one of their Ace jackets. What that is, is like an artist collaboration effort and they just showcase different artists. There's been like Shepard Fairey, and, I don't know, the names just go on and on. So they asked me to do it. I was pumped, cause I've loved that company ever since I was a little kid. And so I got my own ACE jacket. I've worked for them three times; they're a great company to work for. Um, Loaded long boards. That's out of Los Angles, they're like a new kind of technology skateboard, kind of like Icelantic a little bit, but skateboard wise. I did the graphics on the bottom for those. It's been running for like two years, and they put 'em on like every board. And then Rusty surf boards. Did like some trade show boards for them. Space Junk. Cassi: What is space junk? Travis: Space Junk is a gallery in France. They've got three different locations in France that showcase board sport artists. What was funny about it, was when we were at the [ISPO] trade show and we were doing the skis, these guys were doing live paintings so I just went over there, kind of talked to the gallery owner a little bit and then ended up painting with them for a day. It was only a day, but I wore an Icelantic shirt for promotion, and busted out a painting for them. And then they loved that so much that it got into their catalog, next years catalog, and then I don't know, we've just been in contact ever since. I just did this board about 8 months ago for Quick Silver that Space Junk sponsored. It was called Art on Foam, and it went to France, Australia, Japan, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Check Republic, Poland. It's crazy. Cassi: Does the snowboard culture affect your ski art? Travis: I would say yeah. I mean, just the graphics that the snowboard can take, it's such a wider surface to play with. I don't think ski designers back in the day even thought about it. You know by putting these images on these skis and snowboards. And it's a different market than it was before. Cassi: Do you think graphics affect the sales of a ski? Travis: I mean I wouldn't say graphics make or break the ski, but it does make or break somebody coming over and giving it a second chance, or you know going and questioning it; asking about it. It's just different audiences, I mean I know new school skiers want a ski that's going to perform in the park, that's their number one goal. They're not going to go out and pick the graphics before they pick the skis, but you know if you've got a cool graphic with a cool board, you'd rather pick that than a cool board with a dull graphic. I don't know; people are image hungry. People love it. Cassi: Did you get an award for your art specifically at ISPO? Travis: No, for the company. Which, you know, that's huge. I mean the parameters were marketing and art and the product and the whole deal. It was for everything, which was even better. Cassi: Advice for new artists? Travis: Don't settle for second, not when there's first out there to get. You know, market. You gotta be business savvy, you gotta be marketing savvy, you gotta have a great product. It's just a lot to take in, but it's really easy if you're passionate about what you do. It just comes natural. Icelantic's just so fun and it's almost effortless. [And] don't do it alone. -- We hope your summer is going great! Be sure to check out Parr's online world at Peace and snow, Icelantic P.S. -- Did you know? Icelantic apparel never goes out of style! Check it out! P.P.S. -- Who is this Cassi? The "Cassi" who interviewed Parr is Cassi Clark. She has written extensively about the sport of skiing, as well as business, history, and playing house. See more of her stuff here: ------------------ Copyright, Icelantic LLC, 2007

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