After his arrival exactly one year ago, the SDS has watched a surf kid from the South design board graphics, tackle product catalogs, put down pow turns, and learn a nasty tail slide on down rails. Plus he started a family, managed to eat every microwavable food ever created, and introduced the office to some good ole’ Virginia humor… Oh, and he did all this while still racking up a 50+ day season.
When it comes down to it, Brewgnar is irreplaceable and does a great job in the Design House. So take a break and get to know one of Rome’s graphic designers…
When did you join the Syndicate?
I started the beginning of April last year and moved up to Vermont from Virginia. My friends and family down south think I’m crazy because their perception of Vermont is Antarctica, but honestly I love the weather and summers here are amazing. I traded in a 30 minute drive to the beach for a 20 minute drive to the chairlift from work. I would say it was a fair trade.
What do you do at Rome?
My official title is “Print and Web Designer”, but I’ve gotten a chance to work on product, video direction, and tradeshow booths. It never ends at Rome and everyone wears a lot hats which is cool.
Were you ever an intern?
I was an intern for a month at an ad agency in Richmond, Virginia but they needed a designer so they ended up just giving me a part time position. It was rad because it forced me to step up to the position quickly. Plus, I never had to do any coffee runs.
As a designer you are constantly looking for inspiration – what are some things that inspire your work?
I’m always looking at stuff in the skate and surf world because that’s what made me want to become an artist/designer. I also love illustration, it’s what I went to school for, so I’m naturally inspired by other people who draw well. I also love terrible, B-rated horror movies, which makes me want to draw dumb things all the time.
Which artists do you look up to?
Jim Philips was always my hero as a kid. He’s a legend in the skate industry. In college, I pretty much idolized this dude, Jim “Barf” Callahan, who did our 2014 Shiv graphic. Everything he does is so detailed and you could stare at his work for hours picking out tiny little things you didn’t see at first glance. I tried everything to draw like him in college. Also, I’m constantly drooling over Stevie Gee and Hello Monster’s stuff.
Tell us about your all-time favorite board graphic?
You didn’t say snowboards so I’m going with Wes Humpston’s, SMA, Natas deck. It’s such a classic and the board has special meaning to me. When I was a kid I would skateboard in my driveway after school every day and one afternoon my neighbor came over and gave me his old board that he pulled out of his attic. He told me that watching me skate all the time reminded him of himself as a kid and that this was his favorite skateboard growing up. It was a Santa Monica Airlines, Natas panther deck. I had no clue who Natas was at the time and especially had no idea how much of a treasure I had just received. I still have that board today and maybe one day I will give it to some little grom I find worthy.
What new 2014 product are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about the Shiv because it was done by my buddy Barf and it looks insane. I’m also really stoked on the new Butterknife. Since I mainly deal with print and web, it’s a big deal for me to work on a board in the line. All summer I was obsessed with Hawaiian print, so I texted Paddock, our board designer/art director and told him that he needed to make a Hawaiian print board. I also thought it would be cool if the base said; “everyone get’s lei’d”. The art had to be done quickly and Paddock decided to give me a stab at it. Naturally, I went home and sketched all night. In the end it was really cool to be given an opportunity to work on something I expected Paddock or another artist to do.
Finally, for all the shred nerds – what’s your current setup?
I’ve been riding the 2014 Reverb, 390 Boss, and Libertines. I’ve been on noodly, rocker boards for the past couple years so I’m trying to become a man and ride real camber. Also, it’s nice to have some pop. I couldn’t tell you my stance or anything. I just shift my stuff around till it feels right or someone jokes on me for how weird my setup looks.