It’s a little known fact that in the early days of Vancouver Is Awesome we shared an office with Livestock, the apparel and footwear boutique you may or may not have bought Nikes from at some point in the last decade. It was actually pre-early days; the idea for V.I.A. was sparked in that office while I was working as a creative director on a number of projects. I view the support, encouragement and business knowledge that I gleaned from Livestock co-founder Gary Bone as being instrumental in forming this media property you’re now familiar with. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude, and I have always been a fan of what they.
We’re about to turn 10 years old and Livestock is celebrating an even larger milestone this year: 13 years in business. To celebrate they’ve brought together a diverse group of artists whom they’ve worked with, and who have inspired them since their inception. ‘The 13th’ is showing this Friday the 13th in Vancouver, then it will travel to Toronto and Winnipeg.
The artists were each given a blank white hockey mask as a canvas, as a nod to Livestock’s Canadian heritage and their 13th anniversary (COUGH – JASON MASK – COUGH). They brought together the likes of Geoff McFetridge, Eric Haze, Mister Cartoon and many more artists who work from the worlds of skateboarding, art, fashion, music, and sneaker culture. Some Canadian and some American, all of their bios are below.
The reception is being held at their location at 298 Alexander Street from 8-11pm, Friday the 13th, 2017. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see you there!
A Japanese artist who got his start making flyers for underground punk and hardcore music shows in the early 90s. He continues to create album covers for lesser known bands while also taking time to collaborate with various skate and fashion brands. Usugrow has an undeniably distinct style, specializing in stark black and white skulls, as well as large-scale custom calligraphy.
Raised in Calgary, and based in Los Angeles at his own Champion Studio, Geoff McFetridge is a professional illustrator and respected contemporary fine artist. Using solid, semi-muted colours, he carefully reduces everyday objects and human forms to refined basic shapes. McFetridge has gained global notoriety for perfecting a minimal style that resonates with the viewer.
Scott Tepper is an artist and designer from New Jersey, currently residing in Los Ange – les. Originally inspired by New Jersey graffiti culture, and his father’s work as Art Director for Avon Books, Tepper is now a renowned artist in his own respect. Keith Hufnagel recognized Scott’s distinctive typography and artwork in 2012, enlisting him as Creative Director for HUF. Scott now runs Ignored Prayers, his own brand steeped in dark humor and a distinct DIY aesthetic.
Eric Haze is an internationally renowned art – ist, graphic designer, and art director. A true New York City graffiti pioneer who has also exhibited work in galleries, with friends and peers such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His iconic logos, identity designs, and album covers for the likes of The Beastie Boys, Tommy Boy Records, LL Cool J and EPMD, helped to define the visual identity of hip hop’s golden era.
Kaput aka Whacky Tupaky aka Krazeebee is the founder of the Very Top Secret (VTS) graffiti crew. Kaput is a Vancouver native currently residing in Australia, where he makes elaborate, eye-catching and vividly colourful wood cutouts. Though his identity is that of an elusive graffiti artist, Kaput has had his fair share of time in the spotlight – having worked as a brand ambassador for Converse, when iconic lifestyle photographer Ari Marcopoulos shot him painting a mural in his favourite pair of sneakers.
Growing up in Monterrey, Mexico, Sosa learned the decorative beadwork of the Huichol or Wixáritari people through powerful peyote ceremonies. He now uses this precise patterning technique to create grim, yet alluring beaded decorative skulls under his brand Revolucionario Design Co. Ricardo is inspired by the equality that is implied by a human skull. Each piece takes up to 45 hours to bead, and represents the fact that every person – regardless of race or class –has a limited time on this earth.
Dan Climan is an artist from Montreal with a multitude of influences that con – tribute to his timeless artwork. He expresses himself through his expertise in contemporary art, graphic design, hand-painted signs, and tattooing. His work history includes iconic characters hung on historic Vancouver streets as well as vintage-inspired typography for restaurant signage around the world. Though Dan has worked as a freelance artist for most of his adult life, he now spends his days as a well-respected Traditional American Tattooer at Montreal’s Bait and Schlang Tattoo.
A contemporary artist with a knack for the subversive, and an undying passion for his canvas of choice: the skateboard deck. Cliver started at Powel Peralta at age 19, after responding to an ‘Artist Wanted’ advertise – ment posted in Thrasher Magazine. Sean later went on to paint decks for World Indus – tries, DGK, Supreme, and others – many of which have become very rare and collectible. He has since launched Paisley Skateboards, a company that forgoes the lucrative industry norm of heat transferred graphics, for the time-consuming technique of hand screenprinted decks.
A Canadian Pop artist, muralist, and illustrator based in Montreal, Tava draws inspiration from popular culture – mainly music, tele – vision, and sneakers. Antoine is known for his ability to capture and reinterpret classic characters in a completely renewed light. His work is easily recognizable through his use of cult figures, contemporary style, and distinct dripping paint effect.
A veteran Toronto-based graphic artist who specializes in consultation, branding, and the creation of graphic content for premier apparel brands and retail operations; Allis – ter has worked with a myriad of household names like Supreme, Nike, and Staple. A relentless collector of black markers, Lee spends late nights updating his “Black is Beautiful” series with artwork that is com – prised of various dark inks, with minute contrasts and boldly intricate details.
Originally from Norway, Remio is a graffiti artist that has travelled the world to paint as a founding member of the Very Top Secret (VTS) Crew. In the early stages of his career, Remio garnered a global fan-base through his incomparable hand style, and his iconic “R” throw-up. While the legendary artist still finds the time to paint in the streets, he has also found success showing in galleries as well as collaborating with well-known brands like HUF and RVCA.
From Alien Workshop, to Element, to being an established exhibiting painter, Don’s work is characterized by a web of bold definitive lines, dots, simplified colour pallets and animal iconography. Among Pendleton’s extensive list of achievements is his Grammy Award for Best Recording Package, thanks to his artwork for Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt album.
Most famously known for his definitive fine line Chicano tattoos, Mr. Cartoon is a born and raised Los Angeles graffiti artist who branched out into murals, logos, lowriders and album covers. Cartoon runs Soul Assassin Studios Global, a lifestyle-marketing agency, in collaboration with photographer Estevan Oriol. Beyond artwork, service to his community has been an essential part of the illustrious artist’s life; he runs monthly out – reach programs and devotes time to many other community-based initiatives.
Scott Sueme spent his early years as an active member in Vancouver’s graffiti subculture. He then attended Emily Carr to round out his painting skills, and now works as a renowned contemporary artist, graphic designer, and installation painter. Sueme has flourished thanks to various large-scale paintings typified by complex cohesive colour and texture – one of which donned the wall of our first store.
Art director and former graphic designer for Girl Skateboards, Bob founded the award-winning website Vancouver Is Awesome where he publishes hyper-local stories celebrating life in Vancouver and British Columbia. Constantly inspired by his environment’s rich landscape and his – tory, Kronbauer is currently writing a book entitled BC Was Awesome. He is also a pub – lished fine art photographer having released his debut book Beach Glass. When he isn’t working on VIA, writing books, or shooting portraits for local magazines, Bob can be found fishing somewhere along the coast near his beloved city.
Forever young, forever punk, always in black clothing, and fiercely DIY – PD is the owner and founder of Skull Skates, Cana – da’s oldest and most respected skateboard company. It can be argued that Skull Skates is single-handedly responsible for making Canadian skateboard culture what it is today. The company’s flagship store, PD’s Hot Shop, is cash only and no cell phones allowed. PD is a long-standing inspiration to many; a bonafide Canadian skateboard legend, and champion of the people, for the people.
Pro skater, artist, photographer, magazine creator and owner of Tum Yeto Distribution – Tod Swank has done it all, and he never even saw it coming. In 1989, while riding for Skull Skates, Tod reached out to Steve Rocco in hopes of fulfilling his dream of riding for World Industries. Rocco refused to let him skate, but offered to help him start his own business, what would soon become Foundation Skateboards. Swank has since helped to launch and design graphics for seminal skate companies like Pig, Zero, and Toy Machine. He is also a self-proclaimed “Astro – naut of spaceship Earth.
Alex Rhek is a Vancouver-based artist from Nova Scotia, and a man of many skills. Not only is he a professional graphic designer, DJ, and artist, but he has also been a successful entrepreneur having owned Vancouver’s Sharks & Hammers, and Sea Monstr Sushi. Rhek is most known for his simplistic con – temporary art, including the “Janky Town” series, which blends popular culture icons with the morbid reality of mortality. He currently runs his own brand named Cold World Frozen Goods.
Raised on the North-Western coast of BC, Randy was introduced to kind people in the skateboarding world through an internship in California, and has continued to work in the industry since. He has spent most of his career as an Art Director for magazines such as Concrete, Color, King and Transworld. The characters and environments of his art – work are often location based, whether past or present, including Vancouver-inspired graphic apparel for Livestock.
Cody Hudson is a Chicago based artist who is also known under his studio moniker Struggle Inc. His painting is characterized by his bold colour blocking, abstract shapes and often distinguished by his use of blue tones; his work has been shown at a number of galleries around the world most recently at the Left Field Gallery in California. A diverse artist capable in many forms; he is a found – ing member of Land and Sea Department creative group, and a partner at Longman & Eagle, a Michelin Star rated restaurant.
DJ Science aka Matt Bitts is a Pacific North – west native, and a well-rounded creative force. His passion for record producing has lead him to play at a variety of venues from packed arenas to run-down Taiwanese prisons. Beyond his DJ work, Science is a successful graphic designer whose client list includes Adidas and Nike. Bitts also has deep roots in the culinary field; he is currently the Head Chef at Vancouver bistro, Roost, and is known for his famous bottled ‘Rub ‘N Thug’ barbeque seasoning.
Working out of a quaint studio on the Sun – shine Coast of British Columbia, Ben Tour is an illustrator and painter characterized by stylized frenetic lines, swaths of colour, ink blots, and intimate angles. Tour manages to convey sincere passion and emotion through a plethora of unexpected shapes and colours. His work has been featured in publications including Juxtapoz and Playboy; he has also collaborated with major brands such as BMW, Absolut, Nike, and Burton.
Longtime art director for Chocolate Skate – boards, and former San Francisco resident, Hecox is a Colorado based artist who is heavily influenced by his immediate sur – roundings. His latest installation draws inspiration from the earthy tones of New Mexico, and was exhibited at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York. Evan is a prolific artist and illustrator with an eye for fine lines and intricacies. He extracts the minute details of his environment and renders them through prints, paintings, and mixed media art.
A close friend and colleague since the beginning, Kenta helped design a number of early Livestock projects including our original brick & mortar stores. He co-founded the pioneering Canadian streetwear brand Brknhome before moving onto designing for Reigning Champ and Herschel Supply Company. Carefully considerate with impec – cable attention to detail, his is a humble voice that speaks volumes, both as a person and a designer.