Fri, Mar 27 2009 5:00 am |
You might be familiar with Leif Valin the flatlander, but what about Leif the artist? He has been sending me e-mails with drawings and other random things he made for the last three years and I’ve been saving them in a folder aptly named “Leif Artfolio.” After amassing a collection of 25 of Leif’s pieces, I figured it was time for me to share some them with the rest of the BMX community. So here are a few of my favorites from those e-mails and a few of Leif’s most recent works, as well.
“Art Pirate” Art pirates are everywhere in many forms, be forewarned they are often landlubbers.
Which came first, Leif the artist or Leif the BMX rider?
I’ll have to say the artist as a six-year-old not acting his age.
“They’ll Never Catch Me” Pretty cool fish! I painted this and gave it to Leigh Ramsdell for his wedding gift.
You’re a clever guy and pretty damn sarcastic and I see a lot of that in your work, do these ideas just come naturally to you?
My ideas come to me without the use of hallucinogens or competitive aspirations, I usually have a small pad of paper in my pocket to write down any ideas I want to do something with later. But I generally don’t go “training” for ideas like a weightlifter benching more weight than last week. They come to me when I’m riding, having a coffee, reading, driving, sleeping—stuff that awakens my right brain. (Not my republican brain—that would be my wrong brain.)
“Alcoholic” A not so glamorous look at the alcoholic lifestyle, next issue “Dealing with blackouts.”
How does it feel to see your ideas materialize in the physical form?
It’s always fun making something go from a scratch on a piece of paper to the final stage, whether it’s a bicycle trick, drawing, construction, adventure, etc… It’s a great feeling for sure. A good addiction, much like riding.
“Ashes” A solution to an empty pepper shaker.
Did you have any formal art schooling or classes?
I didn’t until recently, now I’m going to school for a graphic design degree and have had some painting and illustration classes in there as well. I enjoy those more than the program learning classes, although one helps the other. I’m glad I’m going to school even though it cuts my riding time down to a minimum, for the time being I think it’s worth it for sure. I’ve had some good teachers, and thanks to them all for helping me.
“Delta Drawing” A semi-technical piece, drawn from an example of a Campagnolo Delta brake off a bicycle given to me by Greg Higgins. The drawing is to illustrate how something works with no text/words. Thanks for the bike Greg!
What is your favorite medium to work with?
That’s hard, probably just drawing with a pencil or pen. But just like different styles of riding or different foods, one isn’t enough—a variety keeps everything interesting and helps your mind/body work better.
“Doodlebird” A product of what I often do during a lecture class.
What are five tools they would have to pry out of your artist hands?
Coffee cup, pencil, x-acto knife, ideas, MAC.
Do you think you create more during the winter months?
I definitely have more shut-in time in the winter to execute ideas. So maybe not more creative then, but more stir crazy, and more likely to not put them off when I don’t have a riding option.
“Stop The Abuse” The pins revolt.
Why do you involve elephants in so many of your sketches?
Elephants are intriguing to me on a number of levels.
Ever consider using more giraffes?
Yes. I’m sure I’ll draw some more giraffes sooner or later.
I’ve noticed that some of your work involves photographs, how often do you shoot photos?
I usually have a camera with me almost everywhere I go. Panasonic DMC-LX2 in my pocket or Canon EOS xti in my bag.
“Underground Club” A worm’s solace.
Do you listen to music when you’re working? If so, what might be playing?
Sometimes music, sometimes not, just like riding. But when there is music it could be something from Fugazi, Blonde Redhead, Mono, Jawbreaker, New Bomb Turks, Explosions in the Sky, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Dillinger 4, Dinosaur Jr., Redneck Manifesto, Adam Banton, Toys That Kill, Poison Idea, Lungfish, Minutemen, Jets To Brazil, Ivor Cutler, Flaming Lips, The Hold Steady, The Clash, and too many more.
“Owl” There is some seasonal change representation here with the abstract leaves different colors.
Where has your work been used in the BMX world?
Some bicycle graphics, some shirts, some smear campaigns.
“Ted Kaczynski’s iPod” The unibomber embraces technology for purposes of destroying technology, perhaps listening to an audio version of The Anarchists Cookbook or a favorite terrorists podcast.
Where has it been used in the real world?
Freelance design work I’ve done for logos, literature, shirt designs, and some gallery showings if that counts.
“Revenge On The Catlady”
she loved cats
gave them a place to sleep
and plenty yarn
how she loved those cats!
she knew they ate
and liked to
beat each other up
with baseball bats
but she never thought
that they knew how
transplant bone marrow
or kill a sparrow
the birds didn’t know,
she didn’t know
so she was on their
a sparrow’s fist
is not the
most feared feature
it’s the speed
combined with the
of this creature
of which i speak
that is able to kill the weak