Volcom Art Loft Artists Share Their Sketchbooks


We gathered some of the artists from the Volcom Art Loft to share how sketching has played a significant part in their lives and still continues to to this day.


Do you have any memories of spending time in class sketching instead of paying attention?

KIRK “DEADBIRD” MUESSE: As far back as I can recall, I’ve been told on many occasions that my doodling was disrespectful and would get me nowhere. My teachers were half right.

PATRICK CARRIE: Definitely in 4th grade when I started drawing band logos and alternate album covers all over every inch of my binders.

JAMIE BROWNE: It’s harder for me to remember a time I was paying attention in class instead of sketching in my books.

AARON MASON: I would ditch computer class, go to Dietrich’s Coffee, and sketch what I called “Skate Ramps from Hell”. The irony is now I work behind a computer all day.


How do sketchbooks fit into your work today considering how much time is spent on computers now?

PATRICK: It’s no secret I’m a much more of an analog-lover than a digital one. I’m always surrounded by my sketchbook and like, 30 post-it notes to keep track of ideas, sketches, artwork, notes and one-liners. Maybe it’s 2 minutes with pen and paper for every 8 on a computer, give or take.

AARON: I have to make time, because if I don’t I will have a man-tantrum. Having an art job makes it easy though. A lot of the graphics used for [Volcom] t-shirts start in my books.

DEADBIRD: I just vomit into sketchbooks. Any idea, I try and get down. All ideas start there on their way to paintings or pixels.

JAMIE: Although computers are a crucial tool in the final stages of the design process and getting graphics ready to print I can’t stress enough the importance of sketchbooks in my daily life. They are where my ideas start out, scribbled at first then fleshed out, tweaked, refined or scrapped completely. Sketch books are where many of my final artworks still live and they clutter my desk at work and home. I also carry a small moleskin with me most of the time so I can sketch stuff down at the bar over a few coldies!


Are there any particular pens or pencils that are your favorites to sketching with?

AARON: Microns, X-acto blades and tears. Because I cry a lot.

JAMIE: I mostly work with pencils and Artline felt tip pens.

DEADBIRD: I like Faber Castell pens, Artline pens, Poscas, Windsor Newton ink wells and good old fashioned elbow grease.

PATRICK: The pilot precise V5 is my go-to pen. I sometimes dabble with some Micron pens if I need more control over my line work, but the V5 is pretty clutch for most of my needs. That and fresh Sharpies®.


Posted in Art

Jeff Soto Print Retrospective At The Volcom Garden


Words by Michael Sieben, curator at The Volcom Garden

I’ve been a fan of Jeff Soto’s artwork since the early 2000s, and I’ve always wanted to work with him on a project. When The Volcom Garden opened in Austin, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reach out, invite him to Texas and showcase some of his art (God willing). I knew that Jeff had designed screenprints for most of his professional career, so I pitched the idea of a print show, and, to my surprise, he was totally receptive to the idea. What initially started as a best-of concept turned into a comprehensive retrospective of every print Jeff has designed over the past 15 years, since 2002 when he graduated from art school. Not only was this Jeff’s first major exhibition in Texas, but it was the first time all of his prints had been shown in their entirety. For a curator, this is dream territory.

Check out the exclusive Volcom Garden collection, only available at The Volcom Garden an online at volcom.com!


This is a photo of Jeff signing the fine-art print to prove to you that he’s not actually an art robot sent from the future. I assure you, he’s a real man of flesh and blood. I even heard him pee. He’s legit.

I know this alienates the online audience, but without physically being in the space and looking at the prints in person there’s really not a good way to understand how detailed and amazing Jeff’s work is. I present to you this close-up image of one of hi

During the opening we also printed some hecka limited-edition Soto/Volcom/Garden split-fountain tees. Don’t even bother looking for these on eBay. They gone, man.

Jeff Soto!

I’d like to thank Jeff for coming out to Texas and sharing his print collection with us. I’d also like to thank everybody that came out to celebrate this amazing body of work with us. The show will remain up until the 18th of June, so swing by if you can make it to Austin in time. If not, there’s always the next show. We ain’t going nowhere!

See more of Jeff’s work at jeffsoto.com and follow him on Instagram @JeffSotoArt!

Keep up with happenings at The Volcom Garden on Instagram @VolcomStudio.

The Volcom Garden is located at 1209 East 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Store hours are Monday – Friday, 10am – 8pm.

Posted in Art

Mural Painting in Barcelona w/ Volcom Artist Gemma O’Brien

Volcom Artist Gemma O’Brien is a master of hand lettering, typography and large-scale murals. Since being an artist for Volcom, she has created two incredible one-of-a-kind murals. The first one on her home turf in Sydney where she painted a huge True To This piece, and secondly in California at Volcom Headquarters’ creative space: The Art Loft.

Having been on a Europe tour for the last few weeks speaking at design conferences and festivals, Gemma finished up her trip in Barcelona where she painted a large mural in the Volcom Store. We thought we would follow her around and see her process from concept to finished product.

As it turns out, a sim card and Google Maps panned out to be a girl’s best friend while trawling the streets of Barcelona for art supplies! Gemma found a great store that had everything she needed, so a quick trip there for acrylic black paint, mixing medium, paint pens, pencils, and a fist-full of varied-sized brushes has the mural kit all sorted out.

After Gemma got all her equipment, she headed to the Volcom store to check out the wall space, measure it up and work out the dimensions. After several photos and ideas running through the artist’s mind, she headed back to her studio to start on some preliminary sketches and concepts that suited the space.

The absolute mobility of Gemma and her work is an impressive feat. The makeshift hotel studio she had set up was comparable to a young college girl’s dorm room to say the least. The creative concept being developed on a tiny hotel desk, hunched over and cramped, to then be executed on a 23-foot-wide wall completely stretched out comes full circle from concept to reality. That’s an artist. That is Gemma O’Brien.

Gemma spent the night roughly mind-mapping her piece. Lots of thumbnails and sketches with a quick tapas break around 11pm. Artists don’t sleep, and well, it’s Spain! Home of near-midnight dining – a welcomed schedule for Gemma who usually prefers to work through the night.

With her final piece in mind and creative confidence stirring, Gemma hit the Volcom Store in Barcelona around 7pm to get started. Like any artist, ideas are constantly flowing and getting a piece finalized has many different considerations as the artwork metamorphosis a few times throughout the process with a new idea that pops up, the countdown clock rearing its head, and other variables come into play. But Gemma is no stranger at this game and surely doesn’t bite off more than she can chew as the mural was painted live at the event.

The artwork was drawn in layered stages, scanned into Photoshop, arranged and un-arranged, reprinted, redrawn – you name it. This is the most consuming part of the process for some. The design needs to be perfect and Gemma likes to push the idea until she is completely happy it suits the space, the brief, the vibe of the event, and challenges her as well as keeping the art fresh to the audience. She made it look easy, but it was a laborious day in a squishy hotel room at a tiny desk drinking weird coffee which accompanied the process. It must be noted, the lady worked hard as hell the entire time.

Arriving at the Volcom Barcelona store, the wall looked large and daunting after working on the small-scale version. The helpful staff moved all of the clothes off the racks and Gemma got to work scaling the artwork with her projector. This bit was fiddly. The wall was an uneven space with racking and shelves which needed to be attended to. A major concern, especially to those of us who are rattled with perfection, was that the artwork needed to look centred on the wall. After some questioning and measurements, the projection was in place and Gemma went about marking reference points. A few areas needed to be completely free-styled as there were poles and other objects in the way which obscured the projection. “All in good fun,” said Gemma with a smile.

The mural needed to be almost finished by the time guests were due to arrive at 7pm for the night’s event, while the remainder was to be painted live in front of the party before the band played. After weighing in on timing, Gemma decided to paint all of the highest points of the artwork as balancing on a ladder in a crowd of party people would be stressful to say the least! She also went over any parts that were not completely opaque or have dried a bit shakey. Perfecting her work as she went.

The party got cranking around 8pm. Mini burgers were scoffed, beers steadily swilled, and eyes were glued to Gemma’s final moments of painting. It’s really the coolest thing to see a piece of artwork like this finished live in front of a party crew.

A legendary night indeed! The who’s-who of Barcelona’s cool set, industry folks and media zombies alike all enjoyed a night of live painting and live music. All helping to celebrate a truly Volcom moment in Barcelona. True To This, always.

Thank you to Gemma O’Brien for staying true to the Stone and cranking out such an epic piece, and Lamono Magazine for hosting our event. Until next time!

Posted in Art

Volcom Featured Artist Series Presents Mike Parillo

An icon in the snowboarding universe, the legendary Mike Parillo is respected as one of the leading artistic visionaries in the action sports industry, having done essential work with major brands like Volcom and Lib Technologies for over two decades.

“The trick to painting is to get into it so much that you forget what you’re doing.” -Parillo

And yet through art, Mike found himself. His vehicle and his voice. Over the past 20 years he has built an increasingly complex body of work. His connection to Volcom goes all the way back to the formative, tribal years of the Stone. He is Volcom family. Mike grew up in Los Angeles in the 80s at the apex of the exploding skate, surf and youth culture movement. These influences were profound and put him squarely on the path he walks today.

“The artwork came from one of the early paintings in my experimental camouflage series,” Mike explains. “My idea was to make camouflage that was the opposite of camouflage. To think in a different way.” Defined by bright colors and layers of complex patterns, his latest collection will definitely not blend into the background, but instead make a bold and unexpected statement on style.

Posted in Art

Studio Diary for a Solo Show: Part 1

On July 31st, my solo show, Hiatus, will open at China Heights Gallery in Sydney. The exhibition will feature a set of new black and white illustrations and a large-scale mural. While I have been developing ideas for the show over the last 6 months, the majority of the drawings will be finalised within the next 3 weeks. Most of my studio time is spent working as a commercial artist, creating logotypes, illustrations, and type treatments for brands and advertising campaigns. So it’s both exciting and daunting to be able to dedicate my time to some personal work. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the early stages of ideation and development for this show, and the processes I go through before creating the actual work. Although the stages appear clearly structured here, in reality it can be disorganised and stressful! I’ll check in again closer to the show and give you an update of how it’s all coming together.


Gathering research, visual inspiration and ideas is an ongoing practice in the studio and while I travel. I am constantly screen grabbing imagery, illustrations, patterns, and photographs that are in some way appealing to me. Sometimes it’s specifically for a technique or approach, other times it’s more from a conceptual point of view. For this particular show (as with many of my works) I am working in black and white. Some artists whose work I love and who often feature in my collection are Jonathon Zawada, ilovedust, Luca Zamoc, BrokenFingaz, Jordan Metcalf, Japanese comic imagery, and vintage drop caps and letterforms. In addition to this I have many images or Art Nouveau lettering and decoration that I photographed while in Barcelona which will likely appear in some form in the work.


As I work predominately with letterforms, I am always collecting words or phrases that might translate well into a piece. I have a huge list stored of notes on my phone and computer: song lyrics, words combos, quotes, silly phrases or simply single words that look good. I prefer to work with shorter words/fewer letters so I can focus on integrating with illustration, and often I will make choices about which words to use in a work purely based on the visual appeal of the letterforms. A shortlist of favourites that may feature in this show are: “high noon”, “glory daze”, “june gloom”, “andromeda”, and “dynamite”. Sometimes the meaning and content of the text will play a role too. Although the significance of the text is important, I do think there is a space to explore type-based art that sacrifices meaning to allow for exploration of form, and that’s definitely a space I wanted to be open to in this show. Sometimes word selection will be driven by the shape of an illustration or another idea. For example, I was keen to see what word combinations could line up vertically and horizontally (like a crossword). After trying many combinations I had roughly scrawled Hell Yes, and realised that within a cross worked both on a visual level and a conceptual one – win win!


Before finalising the approach for this show I wanted to allow some time to freely experiment with some new hands-on techniques. I initially played with photographing liquids and paper cutting with shadows, which were then scanned into Photoshop and manipulated (see the BURN and DO example). However, I decided to abandon the liquid approach as it felt a bit too similar to some of Ed Ruscha and Jonathan Zawada’s work. I also decided to leave the paper cutting and shadow experiments for another project down the track. One early test that stuck with me was a quick line drawing of a stone sculpture I took a photo of in Rome last year. I had a list of words that were symmetrical (palindromes or words where the letter shapes made them symmetrical even if they weren’t the same characters). I took the word NOON and it seemed to integrate perfectly with this statue’s tragic pose. A happy accident. That was kind of the reference point for the rest of the pieces. Not focusing too hard on the content of the text- but just finding words or word combinations that are in some way symmetrical or integrate well with an illustration. It was at this point I realised I wanted all the works to be illustration-focused, where the type and image seem to sit together as one.


In addition to digital images that I collected for reference, I also wanted physical objects that were unique (not just pulled off the Internet) and would work as starting points for my drawings. I have a vintage scientific skull that I’ve wanted to draw for a while, but I also set off to some second hand stores to find other things that could be used for reference. At the moment I’m drawn to ideas and objects related to belief, death and time. I found an old hourglass, and some miniature daggers and letter openings from Spain. I also collected a variety of flowers and foliage to integrate.


With a set of physical objects, I then spent an evening with fishing wire and a make-shift photo backdrop to photograph the various objects to refer to down the track. Around the same time I also began taking some of the words I’ve collected and playing with loose layouts with existing fonts in Illustrator to get a sense of how they might sit together in a composition. Using the 3D tool I will make really basic dimensional versions of these words to see how they might integrate with the angles of the photos I have taken. I currently have about 6-7 Photoshop compositions that I will return to and use to determine which will become a hand-drawn illustration. For the “Hell Yes” piece, I wanted to use Art Nouveau style lettering with floral elements to imitate the idea of a beautiful, intricate crucifix and soften the “hell’ connotation. I based the letterforms on the font Ulma and integrated new floral elements and set out to start the drawing.


Using the digital layouts as my starting point, I move onto drawing in fine line markers. I start by doing some quick drawings of the objects to get a sense of how they might connect or work together with text. I often draw, scan, print and then redraw or cut them out so I can move them around like a collage on the page. Once happy with the composition, I move onto a final piece. This is my favourite part of the process because once I feel confident with the layout it can be quite therapeutic to spend some time away from the computer illustrating dots, lines and details of the works.

With only 3 weeks to go until opening night there’s still a huge amount of work to do. But, with the Hell Yes piece complete, I am happy with the direction of the show, and I’ll revisit the early steps in my creative process to produce the remaining pieces and mural.

I’ll check in again in a couple of weeks and show you how some of these early experiments have progressed. Stay tuned!





Posted in Art

Studio Diary for a Solo Show: Part 2

Three weeks have past now since my solo show at China Heights opened, and after catching up on some sleep I thought I’d follow up on my studio diary with some more behind-the-scenes insights and post-show reflection about the work.

The Drawings

The completed Hell Yes piece set the tone for the remaining drawings. I wanted to create works that were highly detailed and utilise the list of words I’d collected that lent themselves to illustrative type treatments. While there were loose connections to spirituality and religion I didn’t want each piece to be too heavily attached to these ideas, but rather let the illustration style be the primary link between the individual pieces. I was also keen to mix up the lettering styles, like contrasting a 70s psych lettering piece (Slow Burn) alongside the art nouveau forms (Hell Yes). The floral elements ended up playing a bigger role in the series than previously expected, but were, again, a linking device between the different type styles. The wreath drawing was something I had work on some months ago and ended up fitting in with the collection.

My personal favourite piece from the series was Habit vs Logic, two intricately illustrated swords with the text integrated into the body of the blade. The detailed handles for these were inspired by smaller Spanish letter openers I had picked up in my vintage-store raids earlier in the process. I like the words “Habit” and “Logic” and had originally wanted to paint these on the walls of my studio – the idea was about the battle in one’s thought process between – habit – something that comes naturally and is embedded over time and repetition and – logic – the idea of analysing something more objectively using reason rather than emotion. I like the idea of text being integrated into unique, real objects from another time or place and that these drawings could have been plans for constructing the real thing.

The Noon drawing was based solely on the symmetry of the word – I liked the shapes of this palindrome and wanted to work out a way to link the “O”s together. After playing with different combinations and lettering styles I came across a reference from 15th century illuminated initials that felt like the perfect starting point. When I switched up the layout and stacked the letterforms vertically it fell into place. The dimensionality “N” I drew was a new level of detail for me and at that point I realised this was a style I wanted to carry across into the wall mural.

The Murals

I love working large-scale for murals as the process of painting is quite different to small scale drawing – you get to use your whole body and once the initial setup with the pencils is complete I often find the painting to be quite therapeutic. For this mural I wanted to work in a lettering style that was simultaneously bold and powerful but also gracious and beautiful. Given that the initial letter shapes I drew for the Heaven mural are more traditionally associated with being small illuminated capitals on a printed page, I liked the ideas of scaling these up to large scale to give them a new context. The word Heaven worked for me both on a visual level and a conceptual one. The “A” and “V” had a nice symmetry in the centre of the word and the centre of the wall, and the style of the letterforms was like a decorative interpretation of large scale Roman letters I saw in my travels to Italy last year.

The second mural was a drawing I had worked on in the very early stages of my preparation for the show based on the scientific skull split open and orchids blossoming out of it. I liked the contrast of this piece alongside the pure lettering of the main wall and it also was a key link to the idea of Hiatus – the name of the show and where the idea started. Hiatus means a break or pause in a activity – for me this show was about a pause from more commercial work to explore ideas I’d been wanting to work on for a while and it was great to dedicate a short and intense period in the studio to my these pieces.

The murals were painted over four late nights in the gallery leading up to the opening. I used my usual technique of projecting the image, tracing outlines in pencil over the first evening then using the remaining time to paint fills in black. The Heaven mural was particularly challenging due to the scale. At almost 14 metres long, it took a fair bit of maths, measuring and patience to ensure the letterforms were projected straight and with the correct spacing.

With some help from the guys at China Heights to get the final mural elements painted in time, it was all wrapped up just two hours before the opening at 6pm! The launch night was a great success and it was both daunting and rewarding to share the work I’d laboured over with a big audience. The show continued over the weekend before the walls were repainted white and it was back to the studio for me to start my next projects! Thanks to all that came to the opening and supported the process along the way. There are still some limited edition Hell Yes totes, Hiatus Skull and Slow Burn pins available from the China Heights store.






Posted in Art

Volcom Presents “Dogs To Know” Drawings By Travis Millard At The Volcom Garden


Volcom Garden

1209 E. 6th St., Austin, TX


Opening Reception: Sept. 16th

Show runs through Oct. 1st


(512) 391-1754


On Saturday, September 16, “Dogs To Know” by Travis Millard opened at the Volcom Garden in Austin, TX. The event was half art show, half zine-release party and 100-percent doggone awesome (sorry, had to). Travis was on the scene to sign zines, books, and prints, and to share tales of dog portraiture with the attendees. In the backyard, DJ Mike Manewitz complemented the evening’s art with some mellow vintage reggae vibes while guests watched some skating go down on the mini ramp. The cold drinks made the hot Texas night seem downright pleasant as everyone enjoyed a solid opening for the Garden’s newest art show.

Thanks to all who came out to the event and helped make the night such a success. The show runs through Sunday, October 1, so if you’re in the area, come kick it with the dogs. Travis will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Austin Pets Alive animal shelter.

 –Michael Sieben, Curator at the Volcom Garden

Event photos by Camille Mayor



Master draftsman Travis Millard designed this killer canine caricature to coincide with his solo show at The Volcom Garden in Austin, TX. Whether you’re a dog lover or just a fan of badass drawings, this shirt will undoubtedly bring a smile to the grumpiest of Gusses. Printed in very limited quantities and only available online or at The Garden.


Travis Millard (@theotherfudge on Instagram) is a Los Angeles-based illustrator exploring various oddities of the imaginative landscape. Travis has created album covers for Dinosaur Jr, The Get Up Kids, The Uncluded, Major Games, and recently a series of drawings for the Inherent Vicesoundtrack. Travis is also host of the sleeper hit video series “Drawing Stories.” In his spare time he enjoys making pancakes for the Internet. See more of Travis’s work at travismillard.com

Smoking Puppy
Trouble Dog
Posted in Art

Volcom Presents “Cut From The Same Cloth,” New Work By Industry Print Shop, At The Volcom Garden


Volcom Garden

1209 E. 6th St., Austin, TX


Opening Reception: Nov. 4th

Show runs through Nov. 7th


(512) 391-1754



Industry Print Shop has created their own collective identity and their foundation in music, skateboarding and art are equally powerful and dynamically expressed throughout their aesthetic. When viewed through this raw and self-made lens, the eventual collaboration of Volcom and Industry becomes not only apparent but inevitable. This alliance births a creative force that will continue to evolve. It is the blood that we share, not the blood that is shed, that binds our vision to a singular purpose. This purpose pushes creativity and community which begs the call to action. Industry stands and answer the call to be #TrueToThis.

Formed in 2007 by Tony Diaz, Industry Print Shop has been a driving force in the Austin creative scene since its inception. From humble beginnings to a now thriving print house, this artist-led business continues to explore the medium of screen printing. In “Cut From The Same Cloth” Bart Kibbe and Brian Maclaskey join Tony Diaz as three of the core creatives and collaborative elements from this group of artists and designers. Together they combine their professional knowledge of design, printmaking and fine art to produce a body of work which underlines their creative experimentation. The result is a dynamic and expressive slice of time and space, visually capturing the freedom and problem-solving prowess of this trio. Bart, Tony and Brian have been collaborating and showing in galleries together since 2010, constantly pushing each other to get better and more technical while pushing the boundaries of what the medium can do. They continue this lineage together in “Cut From The Same Cloth.”

Posted in Art

A State Of Matter: An Exhibition Of Work Ft. Arik Roper, John Dyer Baizley, Jacob Bannon And Thomas Hooper At The Volcom Garden


Volcom Garden

1209 E. 6th St., Austin, TX


November 9 – December 2


(512) 391-1754

On Thursday, November 9, “A State of Matter” opened at the Volcom Garden in Austin, Texas featuring work by Arik Roper, John Baizley, Jacob Bannon, and Thomas Hooper. Thomas, an avid tattooer and artist, helped bring this long-awaited exhibition together and shared a few words with us about his excitement for the show:

“I have been inspired by Arik, John and Jake for years, and when the opportunity arose to have a group exhibition together, I had to make sure it came to be.


It is this thread that I wanted to explore and place in a state of physical being, placing our identities together for a short period to allow them to become a solid presence.”


Above photos by Camille Josephine

The show runs through December 2, so if you’re in the Austin area, be sure to cruise by.



Website: meditationsinatrament.com

Portrait by Sandy Carson

Thomas Hooper is a tattooer, an artist, a husband and a father. These identities shape, blend, and define his artistic sensibility across multiple creative mediums. Taking creative inspiration from historic iconography, alchemical and early scientific illustrations, traditional woodcuts and mystic cosmology, Thomas has been tattooing since 2000 and is considered a leader in the modern black-work tattoo genre.

Thomas studied Drawing at the London Institute of Art and Design and his artwork has been displayed at numerous galleries, including a recent joint exhibit with his tattoo mentor Jim MacAirt at Fleet Gallery in his hometown of Hastings in East Sussex (UK). Thomas mixes orthodox and contrary drawing and painting techniques, organic textures, computer-enhanced patterns and geometrical entities from his everyday practice on skin in his fine art creative process.

Thomas Hooper
Thomas Hooper

In 2014, Mediafriends/Tattoo Life Productions published Inward: The Art of Thomas Hooper featuring over 120 drawings and paintings as well as a collection of sketches, textures and illustrations that document his prolific artistry. Defying creative confinement, Thomas has collaborated with companies such as Fine Light Trading, Helmet Lang, and True Black to create jewelry, fabric and clothing. He has created album art and layout design for Neurosis, Converge, Tombs, Doomriders and many other musical groups. He is also the author and publisher of several highly-regarded pattern, line drawing and skull reference books. Thomas’s pictorial work may share a complementary undercurrent with his skin-based application, but it travels far from the world of tattooing to explore a very medium-orientated abstraction.




Website: arikroper.com

Arik Moonhawk Roper has carved out a name for himself as a respected visionary artist in diverse areas of the illustration field. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1991-1995, specializing in cartooning, illustration, and screen printing. He began his career as a freelance storyboard artist for various ad agencies, and as a storyboard revisionist for MTV Animation. Later, he was able to exercise more creative and personal styles while shifting into the world of music-related visual art and packaging.

Roper has since developed a name and devoted following creating record covers and merchandise artwork for a wide variety of bands including cult underground legends such as Earth, Sunno))), Sleep, Mastodon, and High on Fire, amongst others. He was a contributing artist and writer to the highly-regarded and cutting-edge Arthur Magazine and has done freelance work for Revolver Magazine, Vice Magazine, Guitar World Magazine, and screen-printed poster designs for a pantheon of concerts and events, skateboard and snowboard graphics, film posters, book covers, logo design, visual branding, music festival and stage-backdrop design, as well as animation/motion graphics.

Arik Roper
Arik Roper

Roper’s work encompasses a diverse field of design and distinct style, ranging from black and white illustration, to meticulous lettering and logo design, to rich abstract psychedelic color and landscapes that often seem to exist in their own universe. The imagery springs from the depths of a fertile imagination, invoking psychedelic visions, ancient dreams, and idyllic natural environments. With an interest in mythology, consciousness, psychology, religion and other timeless subjects, Roper mixes the light and the dark within his art to reveal imagery which is at once strangely unique, distantly familiar and always soaked with an earnestly fantastic aesthetic.




Website: aperfectmonster.com

Portrait by Russell MacEwan

John Dyer Baizley is a painter and musician based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the singer and rhythm guitarist for Baroness. He is also notable for his album cover art and T-shirts for artists including Kvelertak, Kylesa, Pig Destroyer, Darkest Hour, Daughters, Skeletonwitch, Torche, Cursed, Black Tusk, Vitamin X, Flight of the Conchords, The Red Chord, Gillian Welch, Metallica, and his own band, Baroness.

John Baizley
John Baizley




Website: jacobbannon.com

Jacob Bannon is an artist, musician, and writer living in Massachusetts. He is the vocalist, lyricist, and co-founder of the influential band Converge. He is also the co-founder of Deathwish Inc., an independent record label responsible for many acclaimed releases. Bannon is a graduate of The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, where he received the Excellence in Design accolade. He is known for his iconic artwork and packaging for countless albums in the underground music scene.

Jacob Bannon
Jacob Bannon
Posted in Art

“Locals Mostly” Art Show At Volcom Garden Ft. Mike Aho, Alberto Kroeger, Jessica Fontenot, Manik Raj Nakra And More


Volcom Garden

1209 E. 6th St., Austin, TX


Opening Reception: Dec. 9


Show Run: December 9 – January 13, 2018


(512) 391-1754


“Locals Mostly” is an art show featuring work by mostly Austin-based artists. I asked Alberto Kroeger to participate in the exhibit, assuming that he still lived in Austin, only to be told that he had moved to Boulder, CO. I really like Alberto (and his work) and didn’t want to kick him out of the show just because he doesn’t live here, so I told him he could still be included. Then my friend Kimberly Hooper suggested Sean Powell for a possible participant. Sean lives in NYC, but lived in Austin for his formative years, and I decided to add him to the lineup as well. That being said, all of the artists in this show have ties to Austin, but not all of them currently live here. However, everybody in this show is a fine human being who is making excellent work and contributing to the spiritual enrichment of the universe, regardless of where they fall asleep at night. Swing by The Volcom Garden and check this varied group show featuring mostly locals. You can also do all of your holiday shopping while you’re there, assuming that your friends and family don’t hate good art.



Instagram: @mynameismikeaho

Photo: Bryan DeLaGarza

Mike Aho is a music-maker, film-maker, art-creator and Global Creative Director for Volcom. His music has accompanied numerous skate and surf videos, his artwork has been exhibited internationally and throughout the US, and he has created music videos for noteworthy musicians such as Will Oldham, Jason Lytle, and Bill Callahan. Aho’s personal artwork, often incorporating text, addresses humankind’s complicated relationship to the modern age.

Mike Aho



Instagram: @stellaalesi

Stella Alesi began her undergraduate work at Parsons School of Design in NYC, including a year of study in Paris, and finished at the University of New Hampshire, Durham with a BFA. Her graduate work was completed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with an MFA in painting. In 2005 Stella was awarded a fellowship to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. For the past 24 years she has resided in Austin, Texas where she has been represented by the Davis Gallery and then the Wally Workman Gallery. Currently Alesi represents herself. Stella co-facilitates the in-house Blackbox Gallery, in Austin, Texas, which exhibits local artists.

Alesi’s newest body of work, created with oil, pencil, tape on paper, and a process-focused method, creates archetypical shapes which discover and explore the concepts of gender, balance, ego, and the effects of technology through a connection to the infinite.

Stella Alesi
Stella Alesi


Instagram: @jcfonte

Jessica is an Austin designer and artist best known for her sketch-like watercolor illustrations of architecture and industrial trucks. She has a fascination with the structural elements of ordinary things, mostly buildings, that create a composition of colors and shapes.

Jessica Fontenot


Instagram: @imler_bimler

Brian Imler is an illustrator/designer/person who was born in sunny California and raised in Colorado. After receiving his BFA from Western State Colorado University, Imler moved back to California and started up an apparel company with a fellow artist and friend. After years of hard work and success, the two decided to move on to bigger endeavors. Imler moved on to work for Santa Cruz Skateboards. There he honed his skills as an illustrator and designer by creating art for everything from catalogs to skateboard decks. In 2009, Imler moved to Austin to pursue his artistic career. You can find his work on t-shirts, skateboards, album covers, gig posters, gallery walls, and in his parent’s house. Currently, he is a Senior Artist at Outhouse Designs and lives in South Austin with his wife, daughter and dog child.

Brian Imler


Instagram: @pendejo71

Alberto Kroeger has been churning out dark, defiant humorous art and t-shirts for quite awhile now. Inspired by first getting an honorable mention back in the ’80s by BMX Action in their annual drawing contest (and winning it the following year), he began to flood all with his skateboarding and biking scribbles. Distributing art to many zines at the time (as well as putting out a few of his own), Alberto was able to score a few art opportunities with companies like Haro, S&M, Wilkerson Airlines, 2-HIP and Gothic Laundry. Continuing to not excel at either biking or boarding, he continues to live vicariously through his art. His main motivation for t-shirt design is making something for the individual who wants to stay just that: individual.

Alberto Kroeger


Instagram: @smallest_m

With imagery consisting of teeming tropical jungles, exotic Asiatic animals, mythical kings, and ancient architecture, the paintings and installations of Manik Raj Nakra apply a contemporary lens onto post-colonial anachronisms, Indian iconography, artifacts from early civilizations, and religious myths and folklore in order to explore themes such as egoism, lust, and self-doubt. Manik Raj Nakra is an artist living, working and eating late-night Thai food in Austin, Texas. He has exhibited extensively through Texas and recently San Francisco and has worked with brands such as Converse, Facebook, Urban Outfitters, and LINE Hotel.

Manik Raj Nakra


Instagram: @phoondaddy

Photo: Ian Kasnoff

Brian Phillips has more than 20 years experience making art and has been a full-time artist since 2010. He’s primarily self-taught: outside of high-school art classes and a couple of continuing-education courses, trial and error has been his method. With the wood and objects that he salvages for his work, he tries to see the beauty in their blemishes, mistakes, and years of use and abuse. They all have a story, good or bad. He has long been drawn to layers of paint, drips, scrapes, nail holes, and repurposed items. Folk art speaks to him in that way as well. Use whatever is available to make your art. Brian strives to make art that engages the viewer, while also hopefully bringing a smile to their face. He believes that art is about inclusion as opposed to exclusion. Share your work. Some will get it, some won’t. That’s the beautiful thing about self-expression. There’s something out there for everyone. Embrace that.

Brian Phillips
Brian Phillips


Instagram: @chaka_sean

Stephen Sean Powell is a Brooklyn-based artist who spent most of his formative and adult years in Austin, Texas. Never having attended art school, Powell began painting only recently, and found himself somehow in possession of a developed, coherent and original style. His bold, bright colors and child-like shapes often belie his subject matter, which tends towards despairing self-reflection, drug abuse, brooding violence and the parody of consumerist practices. He often incorporates found materials into his work. Twisted and distorted faces layered with words, eyes suggested only by blots of spray paint, partial heads rendered with just a few thick strokes of color, faces that jump off the canvas like bad dreams turned into cartoons: the paintings are immediate and unstudied, yet with a high level of visual sophistication.

Powell sold his first painting the day after he made it. Since then he’s been producing works at a voracious pace – nearly two hundred finished pieces since July 2015, and selling most of them on social media or by word of mouth. He’s participated in group benefit shows for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles in November 2015 and the ‘Fake Art for Posers’ benefit for the Accabonac House at the Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton in August 2016. He recently had his first solo show at Obsolete Industries in Austin, Texas in September 2016 where he sold all the works.

Before suddenly becoming an artist, Powell was primarily a punk musician, playing drums throughout the ’90s in Austin’s criminally under-appreciated Fuckemos, and today in a few Brooklyn bands such as Surfbort and Ice Balloons. He is also known throughout the tattooing community and elsewhere for the originality and profligacy of the images that cover nearly the entirety of his skin.

Sean Powell



Instagram: @oldmanjambox

Andy Rihn was born in 1975 in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in South Texas. In the last 20 years he has founded and starred in a performance art group, recorded with a US touring faux-French rock band, hosted an interview show for Volcom Ent., released a book with Monofonus Press titled The Tiger’s Last Tooth and made a lot of art work.

His installations, performances, sculptures, and drawings have shown at The Front in New Orleans, DiverseWorks in Houston, Okay Mountain, Gallery Lombardi, Common House and Arthouse in Austin. He has also had solo shows at MASS Gallery, Monofonus, and Co-Lab, as well as creating and curating shows for El Cosmico in Marfa, Highwire Arts of San Antonio, Frontera Fest, and Fusebox.

In 2011, Rihn was the recipient of a grant from The Idea Fund through The Andy Warhol Foundation, and created and directed “Texas’ Longest Hammer Choir,” a large-scale art, music and film happening. This happening turned into an multimedia installation shown in Marfa, San Antonio, and Austin. In addition to his personal work, Andy collaborated with Mike Parsons, Curtis Jinkins and Mick Santostefano on a series of exquisite corpse drawings for this particular exhibit, most of which are NSFW, so swing by the gallery if you want to see some naughty bits.

Andy Rihn

Posted in Art