Adrian Knott is an Australian based artist who is responsible for the Stoked and Broke cover artwork. You may recognize his artwork from Rake Surfboards as well as various other surf companies…
Describe your art style.
A mix of all styles hand-drawn art, painting, screenprint, scans, Photoshop & Illustrator. I get bored with styles so I change to keep things fresh & move with the times.
You work with a lot of different mediums. Which is your favorite? Which took you the longest to learn?
Working for so many different clients & companies has probably been the best thing for my art. I can’t keep serving the same style up for everyone so you have to adapt & mix it up to give each company a style that suits their brand .
My first job at Rip Curl allowed me to refine my computer skills in Illustrator & Photoshop. I never had any lessons. I just got thrown in the deep end & had to learn it FAST! I ain’t no computer wizard but after working as a pixel monkey for 15 years I have learned my way around the programs. The computer is a great tool to refine your art or experiment on colors, layout etc. before sitting down & drawing the final art.
What is it really like to be a freelance artist?
It’s the best job. I think some people would go crazy working at home alone all day without interacting with anyone, but I dig it! If the waves are good, I can surf all day & work at night to meet a deadline. The thought of having to go back and work in a office all day makes me sick. Work comes and goes as everyone so you have to be smart with your money to get through the slow times, which is usually December to March. Then you get bombarded with work that is all due at the same time so you have to put in overtime to get the work out.
What characteristics uniquely define Australian surfers compared to other parts of the world?
I don’t want to stereotype anyone. All I know is that they are bloody hungry for waves.
What was your inspiration behind the Stoked and Broke poster design?
I just wanted to work my personal style into this poster and relate it to the flavour of the movie. I used bits of hand drawn sections I had scanned in for textures to overlay in Illustrator.
What does it take to gain legitimacy and stay relevant in the surf industry?
If you have the talent and dedication, people will notice your work. It is a real small industry.
You shape your own boards. How does your graphic design and illustrations transfer in the art of surfboard building?
I am just a backyard hack. Jordan and Sean do all the Rake boards. I make my own personal boards & a few for mates.
I set up a shaping bay in my shed, it’s super dodgy! Lights on one wall, a shitty wobbly shaping rack, a $50 planner, but it’s the sickest fun ever!! I been hacking all sorts of weird stuff in that shed and slowly refining my skills in both the shapes and the glassing. Jason Westman, who makes all the Rake cedar fins, is gonna help me set up a proper bay soon.
As far as graphic design and shaping, the only thing that transfers for me is that I can knock up templates on the computer & see what the board looks like before I cut the template out. I then scale the design up in illustrator and print it out and join the sheets of paper together and then cut it out to trace. Also working on colorways for the custom boards works pretty good!
What is your relationship with the surfing world? Do you see yourself staying in it your whole life or do you aim for something else?
I spend most of my time working on tees and trunks for surf companies as well as running Rake Surfboards so this keeps me pretty involved in the happenings of what is going down in the surf world. Almost everything I do at the moment is based with surfing, work, & play. Surfing rules my life. As long as I am near the coast, I am stoked.
I definitely would like to get involved in animal conservation. I think this would be a super rewarding job.
For more about Adrian and Rake Surfboards, check out http://www.rakesurfboards.com.au