A few minutes with Todd Bratrud

Todd Bratrud is a Minnesota native but currently lives & works in Grand Forks, North Dakota. His art is some of the most revered in skateboard history - his extremely detailed imagery with playful content is identifiable across skateboarding and beyond.

Bratrud has worked with many companies from Consolidated Skateboards, Nike, Volcom, Creature Skateboards, The Hundreds, to regional skate shops (THIS & Familia), Burlesque of North America, and is co-owner of Send Help Skateboards.  

 

Being from the upper midwest and dealing with the changing of seasons, does your work/productivity change with the seasons?

i for sure work less in the spring and fall, then stay in the studio through the hot parts of summer and the cold of winter. i plan for it even, knowing there will be months of time where i won't really be outside or thinking about skateboarding at all.

Check out Todd's artwork at http://toddbratrud.bigcartel.com/

Check out Todd's artwork at http://toddbratrud.bigcartel.com/

Your graphics are everywhere in the skateboard industry, but you seem to always find time to contribute to more “direct” causes, like the LB project, Hawks Nest fundraiser, graphics for THIS - How do you balance projects that pay industry $$ and projects for the “cause”? 

i don't really know, i just try fill every moment I'm awake trying to do stuff like this. paid or not i stay busy with things that I'm into or believe in so that the gratification can in-part be the payment if there is no money available.

Besides drawing constantly, do you play hockey during the frozen months? Growing up, I always use to draw on my hockey sticks and spend way too much time on the tape-job - do you make make create your own Bratrud sticks?

i play a little, not much... just for fun with the nephews, usually on a lake and not in a rink. I've for sure painted a few sticks and made hockey related art with the nephews as well. hockey is everywhere up here!

Both your parents were artists and you grew up around art -  were there/is there any artists that you to look for inspiration?

i look to what my friends are doing most of the time, or just reflect back to the stuff that inspired me as a youth... thrasher magazine, pinball games, GI JOE package artwork, stuff like that.

                 Todd's 2014 & 2015 Plys With Purpose

                 Todd's 2014 & 2015 Plys With Purpose

Mike Davis is apart of this year’s Plys (so stoked) and Burlesque continues to pump out amazing prints and colabs - Can you talk about your involvement with the starting up of Burlesque of North America.

i wasn't super involved, just kinda of was hanging around all those BRLSQ people at the time, we were all making a magazine and it just kinda of transitioned into print making and doing work for people outside our little group. the natural progression was to do more and bigger projects and eventually needed to become something official.

Have you seen any clowns in the North Dakota cornfields?

I'm pretty sure i have…

Thanks again Todd! You can see his new board for Plys With Purpose on November 18th.

Catching up with LeBicar

LeBicar is a Montréal visual artist strongly influenced by the culture of skateboarding and music.Despite the use of different media (canvas, wood, metal, objects, etc.) and the variety of projects, we recognize each work of artist by his single pencil stroke. His visual signature stands out, among others, the use of black and white, which for him, expresses the duality, contrast, differences, which always and still inspires. Visit his website at https://lebicar.wordpress.com/

David -  Ça va?

Très bien! Merci hehe!

I first came across your work a few years ago while trolling vimeo for artists & the Montréal skate scene - I believe it was at P45 and you did a mural on a DIY hip. Did your murals evolve from walls to ramps, or was it a natural progression?

It all happened by itself. I was skating there and I made a lot of good friends within the P45 organization. I did my best to help whenever I can for every concrete pouring they did, even if it was just to bring the guys water and popsicles! So for me, it was more than natural to contribute in my own way, with my artwork, to this awesome project. The piece I did on the DIY hip was the biggest one I ever did at that moment. Since then, I had the chance to work on murals and stuff, but the DIY hip was my very first “big” piece. And each year, I keep on giving them a hand, for example by doing a t-shirt design for a fundraiser or adding new artworks at the park!

P45 - Montréal, Québec, Canada 

P45 - Montréal, Québec, Canada 

You had an exhibition “Transition” at the OTH (Off the Hook) gallery space this past summer. OTH is an interesting fusion of a downtown boutique, skate shop, exclusive Vans space, and they have an art gallery space. Can you tell us more about your work with them?

I approached OTH and Vans with my project and they were in instantly! This show was my own project and it was the first time that I had to create an exhibition having a certain space in mind. Of course, OTH gave me total liberty for my show so I did sculptures, projections, installations and painting on boards, surf and canvas. I was also allowed to paint on the walls and to appropriate myself in all the space. I was stoked (and them too) of the final result and the opening party was sick! hahaha

"Transition" Lebicar -  OTH Gallery - Montréal, Québec, Canada 

"Transition" Lebicar -  OTH Gallery - Montréal, Québec, Canada 

Favorite Montréal skater right now?

Oh shit! It’s hard. There is too many! I will go with JS Lapierre for his consistency, Alexis Lacroix for his creativity and my good friend Marco Pelletier for his style and his long arms hahaha! And I also have to mention the young tranny killer Philipe Dulude.

What are you listening to lately?

These days, I’m in a house-hip-hop mood. I’m listening a lot of Kaytranada’s new album and the last Mall Grab. I also love the BadBadNotGood collab with Ghostface and that jazzy hip-hop like MF DOOM or J Dilla’s beats. Of course, I will always love the good old Dipset’s classics!

Beyond skating, illustrating, and randomness that exists in self-employment, what is a typical day for LeBicar in Montréal?

First of all, I like to start my day with a good coffee at my friend’s coffee shop and I often have meetings in the morning, so it’s a good start! Between my activities or meetings or skate sesh, I try to walk as much as possible around the city. I get inspired a lot by this. By night, I often attend events (music shows, skate movie premiere, art exhibition, etc) as it’s important for me to support the local entrepreneurs or friends. And obviously, my perfect days are the ones including pizza, beer and friends! Cheers!

 

Thanks so much LeBicar! See you on November 18th for Plys With Purpose.