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 http://www.parrstudios.com/. 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
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
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.
Other companies, I'm working for, I've just done some work for
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
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
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 http://www.parrstudios.com/.
Peace and snow,
P.S. -- Did you know? Icelantic apparel never goes out of style!
Check it out! http://www.icelanticboards.com/apparel.htm
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: http://www.onsnow.co.uk/
Copyright, Icelantic LLC, 2007
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