Babes Ride Out

BRO 5 Artist Series | Katie Campbell

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

Babes Ride Out Artist Series highlights the talented people in our community. Every artist donates their time and creativity to create a custom piece for the BRO5 Raffle. We are so happy to be able to support Moto F.A.M. through the proceeds of the raffle each year. Moto FAM raises funds for riders that have been hurt in a motorcycle related accident, or the family of a fallen rider. Thank you so much to Vans for contributing the skate decks for the Artist Series this year!

Meet Katie Campbell!

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ART SCHOOL | Q&A w/ KATIE CAMPBELL | BABES RIDE OUT

VANS is super excited to be heading down to this year’s Babes Ride Out West Coast event. We supplied several talented BRO artists with decks to customize, and we’re excited to chat with artist and designer Katie Campbell whose Labyrinth-inspired board is absolutely out-of-this-world. Based in Long Beach, CA, Katie’s love of music along with her printmaking background led her to a career designing gig posters, album packaging and merchandise graphics.  We’re featuring Katie’s work and talk to her about her background, how she came up with her BRO deck, and the meticulous process she used in creating it.  ENJOY! 

Photographs courtesy of the artist | Interview by Anya Violet

Introduce yourself.
I’m a Southern girl, originally from Tallahassee, FL, living, working and eating tacos in Long Beach, CA . I’m a graphic designer and illustrator working in the Entertainment & Music Industry with focus on consumer products and apparel graphics.

How did you end up where you are design and illustrating wise? 
My passion for music led me to designing gig posters, album packaging and merchandise graphics, all right before the industry transitioned to digital. My roots are in print, shaping my style of the screen-printed, illustrated aesthetic. I eventually built an online presence which allowed me to work with bigger and bigger clients.

Who were some of your early artistic influences?
I’d say some of my early artistic influences came from watching tv and movies in the 80s and 90s. I loved “behind the scenes” and “making of” videos for things like “MJ’s Thriller”, Jim Henson creature creations, and the process behind animation. This fascination with art in pop culture continued throughout my life and influenced my creative career path.

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I can’t imagine not doing anything that didn’t involve art or creativity, but if I weren’t an artist I think I would consider any job that allowed me to travel the world - working with movies, but be more of a coordinator or liaison for the art departments.

How did you first hear or get involved with Babes Ride Out?
I first heard of Babes Ride out through my girlfriend, Vivian. She rides and attended her first BRO in 2016. I was living in Florida at the time, so of course I wanted to see all of the photos and videos of the cool things she did and people she met. She told me I had to go to BRO 2017, so packed up my bags and moved to California! Turns out my girlfriend also lives in California, :) I’m super stoked to attend this year- I don’t ride yet, so I’ll be enjoying the view from the backseat, but hope to take some lessons next year.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
If someone wanted to follow in my footsteps I would first tell them to create something every chance you get, stay aware of old and new trends, whether it’s online, street art, advertisements or art openings. Never doubt yourself or let criticism effect you negatively. Always keep a library of ideas, unused work, textures, inspiration, fonts, etc. Try to keep an online presence and create relationships with other artists from around the world. Don’t let the need for money or success guide you. If you love what you do, it will come eventually and you’ll be a happier person overall. I got to where I am by coming home at night after my day job and taking on freelance work that allowed me to illustrate and have creative freedom. I’m competitive by nature, so I constantly jumped on design competitions and local art contests. This was key to exposure, development of styles, and networking – though the cash/money/hoes was a nice perk. I eventually gained an online following, built a strong portfolio and had bigger and bigger clients ask to work with me.

Best part of what you do?
I love what I do! I get to create art that has meaning for fans. Heck, I’ve been collecting concert tees since my first New Kids on the Block show! There are still days that I have to pinch myself and think, “wow, 13-year old me would nerd out knowing I was designing shirts for Madonna.”  Overall, I just want to make art that makes people happy.

How did you come up with the idea for your board? 
I get my best ideas when I’m driving. I commute from Long Beach to LA for work, so I get a lot of time to think. I was listening to one of my mix CDs (keeping it old school) and Dance Magic Dance, from the Labyrinth soundtrack, came on. I started singing “You remind me of the babe. What babe? The babe with the power?….” and it just clicked! I instantly pictured David Bowie’s character (the Goblin King) on a motorcycle with cool hand lettering of the words “the Babe with the Power”. Majority of my work consists of apparel graphics and screen printed gig posters for the music industry, so naturally I wanted to do a gig poster-like feel with the vertical space of the deck. 

What materials did you use?
I wanted the wood to show through and keep the colors minimal. I started drawing out the design in Photoshop using my tablet. I printed out the design, taped some charcoal transfer paper to the deck and then tiled the printouts on top. I traced over everything with a stylus, which was very tedious, but allowed me to get everything just right. I used black acrylic paint for larger areas/paint marker for details and gold liquitex paint markers. Then sprayed it with a gloss varnish. 

What do you love best about participating in BRO this year?
I’m stoked to be working on a Vans skate deck for this years BRO raffle. Art, badass babes and a good cause - It’s a dream job :) 

Follow Katie Campbell
Website | www.campkatie.com
Instagram | @campkatie

via Vans Tumblr