Chris Damiani is a pretty sick artist with a ton of talent and future potential. He also snowboards pretty well too and has been known to steal his fashion sense from some Breckenridge locals from time to time. Last year when the new site lay out dropped there was one noticeable focal point that everyone was captivated by, the logo. He was the mastermind behind it and here’s what he has to say about art and snowboarding.
Angry Snowboarder: Sup you little hipster you. If you’re down for that interview, answer these questions and we’ll get it going.
Chris Damiani: Hang on, gotta grab my interview v-neck.
AS: When I approached you to make my logo and gave you some ideas of what I want- ed where did you draw inspiration from to create it?
CD: I looked at the words itself for a while. “Angry Snowboarder.” The word angry has so much potential behind it, combine that with a snowboarder and you get some cool imagery. I just tried to gather images of riders, both snow and skate breaking their boards or generally getting pissed off. Picture the “fall” section of a video. Or Mikey Leblanc.
AS: How heavily is your artwork influenced by snowboarding?
CD: Back in high school the only thing I would ever draw was snowboard imagery. It’s not like that anymore, but my work is definitely influenced by the culture we live in. We (snowboarders) are experimental, we take risks, we try to push the boundar- ies of what is capable. Where I’m working now, at JDK, I’m surrounded by amazing artists who create the boards we’re riding, so I’m constantly being influenced. I feel that snowboarding and skiing has a certain aesthetic to it, and that is definitely part of the mix. Where are you at right now and what projects do you have in the mix? I’m currently at JDK Design in Burlington, VT trying to get myself a full-time posi- tion. While here I’ve been working on some stuff for Forum, Giant Bicycles, and Merrell Footwear. I’ve been doing solo work for some good people out in Portland, called The Program (not Forum). Also just started up a project with Pat Morgan (Skeletor) that I’m sure you will be seeing plenty more of in the very near future.
AS: Is it true you have a chrome bag and have been known to ride fixie bikes in tight pants and fedoras?Does this give you creative inspiration from the hipster gods?
CD: I do indeed have a chrome messenger bag, and I swear by it. That shits the real deal man, no shame in sporting one at all. However I do not ride a fixie, I enjoy having breaks and gears, as Burlington is pretty fucking hilly. Tight pants yes. Don’t want that shit caught in your crank.
AS: So who are some of your influences in your design work and who do you want to work with in the future?
CD: I take a lot of influence from street art. I’m a huge fan of Banksy and Shepard Fairey. Not because they’re popular right now, but because they are the absolute masters of communication. They can take a complex idea and turn it into the simplest juxta- position that will blow your mind. Also, the grittiness of street art just feels more “real” to me then typical graphic design. It exists in our environment whether we choose to see it or not. Right now I’m pretty stoked on JDK, its a good firm. I do have a strong interest in Nemo Design, and perhaps if Draplin (Union, Coal) ever decided to let people work for him, that’d be pretty fucking rad. In the long run of things, I would like to do my own thing someday.
AS: Any up and coming artists other than yourself people should keep an eye out for?
CD: To be completely honest I’m fairly out of touch with the art world. I can’t pinpoint any specific people, but I’d say The Program out of PDX has some good things hap- pening. On a much broader scale, I’m not ashamed to say that my home town Buf- falo has an art/design scene that I see blowing up within the next few years.