Trevor Burks

Published December 2, 2009 by Graham

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Perusing the website of designer Rob Matthews (whose zine, If Drawings Were Photographs, we posted about recently), I came across a boss illustrator named Trevor Burks, Matthews’ dear friend and the inspiration for an amusingly creepy art piece/t-shirt entitled I Miss Trevor Burks. Burks’ cleanly geometrical drawings seem to suggest the story of a generation growing up on a trajectory parallel to the increasingly complex polygons of their video game platforms. He also made an awesome mural depicting a dog licking a cat licking a gnome.

Perhaps the most intriguingly nostalgic series in Burks portfolio is Skate Myths, a set of drawings examining “personal mythologies surrounding growing up skateboarding in a small town.” Burks was kind enough to break down some of the influences behind these pieces for We Love You So:

The illustrations were based off of different environments we would skate as kids, and the characters were constructed with forms and colors from their surroundings with the idea that those were an integral part of our personalities. All of the gestures and interactions between the characters were formed from real situations too.

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Every now and then when we skated in public, a small audience would gather; generally one or two younger kids who were horribly fascinated by what we were doing (despite how well we were doing it). In one illustration that character is shown as a kid with a grass and dirt colored head holding a football as he watches an older kid with a cement colored head skate in a parking lot.

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Another thing we would do was alter our surroundings to make them more skate-friendly. It was so natural back then to put together some janky set-up to skate on. It might have been the juvenile carelessness of looking at the world of objects exclusively for their form and how we could use it to our advantage, but it was creation at its purest and we loved it. As children, our attempt to rationalize only went so far, we had to fill the rest of our time with our emotional response to the environment.

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One comment so far

  1. Morp says:

    Holy cow…I don’t personally skate (I just can’t get the balance down), but I used to hang out with my brother while he skated, and these are really eerily similar to the set-ups in my town. I even know a kid with a driveway like that with a camper next to it.

    and I love that there are frustrated and bored looking kids in them, because a lot of the time, that was my role to play :D (”hey, watch this trick!”…”aw man, I can’t do it when you guys are watching!”)

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