When one of the most creative genius minds in snowboarding decides he wants his pro model to live around the old game of "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you would need to survive?" and in his mind he's thinking of tramp skating on the beaches of some South Pacific Paradise...how do you put that image onto a snowboard graphic?
For the 17/18 Scott Stevens Pro Model we reached out to Simon Riviere, a talented illustrator from from the UK. Simon jumped at the chance to illustrate the graphics and worked at a rapid fire pace to knock out a fresh creative graphic that blends Scott's wild concept, imagination, and personality perfectly together for this years series.
How long have you been working on illustrations?
Simon: Well I've been pretty obsessed with drawing my whole life, but I officially graduated from art school a few years ago and have been working as an illustrator since then. We were told at art school that illustration had a pretty limited scope of application, so I started off working on shitty jobs for the most fucking heinous magazines and stuff; corporate Christmas brochures etc...It kinda sucked and I was absolutely shit at it anyways, so a couple of years ago I figured I'd either try and steer my work towards a field I'm interest in or I'd quit and just draw for fun. That decision is just about working out now, getting to work more and more on things that I enjoy.
How did you get in contact to work on Scott's pro model?
Simon: I worked at a snowboard shop for years, so I messaged my mate Chris who was my boss there, and he dug out Blue Montgomery's email for me. I hit up Blue on a whim in the midst of a full on creative nadir and he got straight back to me which was insanely sick of him.
Were you familiar with Scott's riding? What did you think when you heard the board you were being asked to work on the graphics for was Scott's pro model?
Simon: Ha, yeah amusignly Scott's pretty much my favorite rider ever! My own abilities couldn't be further removed from his, but I always figured his capacity to make something incredible and creative out of whatever shit is at hand translates to anyone of any level. It's a super inspiring way of approaching snowboarding that anyone can apply to their own riding, so his video parts always make me super excited to go snowboard. It's totally unattainable, but somehow more relate-able than someone sending a quad-copter-whirlybird off a park jump. I guess I'm a full on snowboard nerd, so I'll admit I was beyond stoked to get to do a pro model for him.
How much input did you have from Scott and the brand's side and then what was the process you took to putting this into an illustration?
Simon: Pretty much the perfect amount - Blue, Eph, and Scott are a fucking formidably talented crew, so they had a load of incredible ideas to kick off with, but they were happy to let me run with it as well. For instance, I really wanted to lay it out like a skateboard with the main graphic on the base and the grip on top, which they were all cool with. We basically knocked concepts and sketches back and forth from their intiial 'stuck on a desert island' idea until we were all happy with the direction. Then I just hammered it out I guess!
How did you start with the graphic?
Simon: So when the project started, I was actually cycle touring around France with my girlfriend, but we had a couple of nights crashing with a mate in Paris which gave me a bit of time outside of a shitty little tent to get going on it. So we had to nail down the initial island/shipwreck concept pretty quickly, emailing super quick sketches back and forth over the couple of days in Paris before I hit the road again, then I could cyle home and get full stuck into it.
Although Simon is very humble, his work ethic is next level - he finished these rough sketches within an hour after the first emails.
The next day he already had these more developed concepts to move forward with.
On the left is a near completed sketch of the base before coloring. In the middle the completed base and on the right the completed topsheet design.
How many steps or how long did this process take from concept to completion?
Simon: Pretty quick if memory serves - I think maybe we we're on a pretty tight deadline. A couple of weeks total I reckon? I can get full immersed with jobs like this - I get completely obsessive and can't really leave the desk for anything until it's finished - just hammer coffee until it's done. Super unhealthy, but I guess productive in my own way.
Do you have a favorite Scott Stevens video part?
Simon: His first DOA part is a favorite; that doubel boardslide up the bridge, popping up the kinks, 270 out; that was fucked up! I also loved that Bear Mountain clip from this year; having that much fun on a little butter box is unprecedented.
You can learn more about Simon's art at http://www.simonriviere.com/