Category: Artwork


Hello. my name is Kris, I am Astrals’ graphic designer, web designer and occasionally help out on product design such as the LE5 and LE7 lifevest. I also have a life outside this, which involves DJ’ing, photographing nature and Hippie Watching, which is an internationally appreciated form of people watching used to pass time at festivals. It can be done without the Guides I’ve written, but… why reinvent the wheel?, plus the sales of it help perpetuate the cycle of me going to festivals to charge hippies to make fun of them. This gastank ain’t gonna fill itself, SON! The below photos illustrate some of the uses people have found for the guides at festivals

The Guides in action

The Guides in action

Ephraim Hippie Watching

Ephraim Hippie Watching

ZsaZsa training the next generation of Hippie Watchers.

ZsaZsa training the next generation of Hippie Watchers.

I was asked by Bryan if I would be interested in trading a pair of the soon to be released Bakers for a humorous Jaded Review style review of them. Of course, I said yes, because who doesn’t want to trade gear for something they were going to do anyways? Now… to figure out how to somehow make the fact that I went to a party relevant to a shoe review.

I ran into my first dilemma – I have to assume most readers of this blog are not familiar with the west coast festival culture and the jenga-like towering mountain of nonsense these hippies have built their summer yurts on. I imagine it’s imilar to when you try to explain the river rat lifestyle to normals they look at you as if you politely asked them whether they would mind if you ate their dog. So, before I get into the shoe review, I feel it’s only fair to explain the environment they will be used in first.

For this unavoidably biased review I chose Photosynthesis Festival, which is one of the smaller festivals comparatively. It happens on the Northwest tip of Washingtons Olympic Penninsula on Makah Bay in the Nation of Makah. This is a Native America dry reservation with population of a few thousand.The Festival itself is a three day affair primarily centered around scaring local wildlife, small children and dogs by attempting to play techno loud enough to be heard from the moon using immense soundsystems.

This would be the third year in this location and leads to some very interesting encounters between the local Makah and hippies. It draws about 800 hippies and about 800 locals. The are itself is absolutely stunning – that is… when it’s not covered in clouds and misting. As an added bonus there is tons of smoked salmon and dungeness crabs around. To save needless typing – Everything south of this sentence is photo credit: me

Cape Flattery 5 Miles to the North of where the event was held. This is the northwest-most point in the US and where you can wrestle and tame your own winged rainbow covered spirit reptiles like in Avatar.

Cape Flattery 5 Miles to the North of where the event was held. This is the northwest-most point in the US and where you can wrestle and tame your own winged rainbow covered spirit reptiles like in Avatar.

Godrays.

Godrays.

The Gear:

I like gear. I like being appropriately ready for some crazy adventures while at festivals. Just past where the event is held there is five miles of jaw dropping tidal flats which connect up with Cape Flattery. We call this place CrabTown, which is an in-joke but knowing this will help explain a few things a bit below. These flats are covered in slippery kelp, crabs and all forms of beach detritus washed up from Japan and beyond. Even though Bryan only asked a Baker review, I brought my entire run of Astral shoes to give them all a try.

Essential Hippie Watching Gear: Left to right: Waterproof Ortlieb Vario panniers/backback, Go Ruck 1000d Cordura bag with Think Tank Camera system with 5dmkIII, 70-200 2.8II, 17-35 f2.8II and 50mm 1.4,  Watershed dry bag, and Packcubes.

Essential Hippie Watching Gear: Left to right: Waterproof Ortlieb Vario panniers/backback, Go Ruck 1000d Cordura bag with Think Tank Camera system with 5dmkIII, 70-200 2.8II, 17-35 f2.8II and 50mm 1.4, Watershed dry bag, and Packcubes.

The line of shoes Im testing this weekend. Front to back Black and Tan Porter, Green and Lime Brewer and Tuquoise Baker.

The line of shoes I tested this weekend. Front to back Black and Tan Porter, Green and Lime Brewer and Turquoise Baker.

Why am I here in the first place?

As mentioned before, I am a DJ which is another ludicrous profession where I press buttons which play other peoples music and dance around like I’m doing something of consequence. This time around I got a beach ‘showcase’ which means two friends and I all play in a three hour block. Since the three of us all have big hair we called it the Big Hair Showdown At Crabtown. This is the first place I tested the Bakers out. I can report that they are perfectly fine to DJ in, No trainwrecks or embarassing faceplants while dancing around. – see pictures below.

The Bakers 400d Cordura gives me peace of mind when walking through fields of crabs that throw their ‘come at me bro’ stance. We’ve later decided that this is not an aggressive stance; they are in fact throwing their claws  up in revelatory worship of you as an omnipotent deity.

The Bakers 400d Cordura gives me peace of mind when walking through fields of crabs that throw their claws up in their ‘Come at me, Bro’ stance. We’ve later decided that this is not an aggressive stance; they are in fact throwing their claws up in revelatory worship of you as an omnipotent deity. Either way, your feet are safe.

Flyer for The Bighair Showdown at Crabtown

The Tables have turned: the flyer for The Bighair Showdown at Crabtown

Essential Gear – Crabtown Anti-Social Club Flask for drinking whiskey on the sly in a dry reservation. shhhhh. Also Great for Childrens Birthday Parties, Funerals and parole hearings.

Essential Gear from 2011 – Crabtown Anti-Social Club Flask for drinking whiskey on the sly in a dry reservation. shhhhh. Also Great for Childrens Birthday Parties, Funerals and parole hearings.

The Baker – Performance Review

Now that I’ve regaled you with three pages of uncut nonsense… Let’s actually talk about this shoe. The Baker is a slip-on shoe with upcycled and regrooved tire tread sole, 400D Cordura upper and soft cushy midsole. It has the flushport in the back and mid-sole drain ports you are familiar with from the first two releases of Astrals’ shoe line. Since a majority of my time at a festival is spent either in a circle talking or walking somewhere else to stand in a circle to talk, comfort is important and the Bakers bring it. Of the three semi-technical shoes I brought it was the best fit for the wide range of activities I found myself participating in and also let the least sand and dirt in.These activities are explained and illustrated below

Other shoes make bold claims – but for my money the Baker is the only shoe I would trust for mission critical performance while operating a bike powered smoothie blender. p.s. Double Mountain: Hire me to write about your beer! I’m fucking killing it here.

Other shoes make bold claims – but for my money the Baker is the only shoe I would trust for mission critical performance while operating a bike powered organic smoothie blender. p.s. Double Mountain: Hire me to write about your beer! I’m fucking killing it here.

The Bakers excel at color coordinating with costumed Festival dogs. Ideal for accessorizing with a festival hottie – that is, ahrmm, if you aren’t happily married.

The Bakers excel at color coordinating with costumed Festival dogs. Ideal for accessorizing with a festival hottie – that is, ahrmm, if you aren’t happily married.

I ran across a sign advertising a workshop about “Monetizing Quantan Mechanics” which, frankly, I knew would be absolute gold; giving me a wealth of material to work off of for years. Apparently, if you buy these little holograms to put in your vehicles gastank it will not only clean the output of your car but it will also clean the input of the air going into your vehicle. These claims are backed up by revolutionary breakthroughs in the cutting edge field of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. In fact, I believe I have a better understanding of Quantum theory than this guy for for two reasons: 1) I can spell it right 2) I know that most of the explanations of Quantum theory are simply oft-abused metaphors trying to explain the mathematics to people who don’t have a mathematical background about the illogical behaviors of sub-atomic particles. Not you know… Gastanks. </minirant>

The first step in monetizing anything – Try spelling it right. This was one of at least 6 workshops – the only thing worse at this festival was the dude who was trying to play saxaphone over everyones set.

The first step in monetizing anything – Try spelling it right. This was one of at least 6 workshops – the only thing worse at this festival was the tophat dude who was trying to play saxaphone over everyones set.

End of Festival Blow out sale on Holograms for your gas tank.

End of Festival Blow out sale on Holograms for your gas tank.

Turntable Bike soundsytem next to Holograms for your Gastank ‘workshop’ – The Joys of Hippie Watching – This shit writes itself.

Turntable Bike soundsytem next to Holograms for your Gastank ‘workshop’ – The Joys of Hippie Watching – This shit writes itself.

The Bakers performed well in all aspects of this. They work great running towards Quantum Snake Oil Salesmen so you don’t miss anything… Great for standing there, and great for running away after your brain absorbed a near-fatal dose of BS. Additionally, they would be excellent for pedaling that turntable bike soundsystem around.

It’s not all bad!

Lest you think that the festivals are filled with weird scams and dudes running around with a tophats and saxaphones let’s take a peak at a few of the better moments.

 

Main Stage in the evening with dancers and glow toy spinners.

Main Stage in the evening with dancers and glow toy spinners.

I took a bunch of these pictures because I figure kayakers and nature lovers would absolutely love the radiolarian/protozoan/diatom feeling of this glass piece.

I took a bunch of these pictures because I figure kayakers and nature lovers would absolutely love the radiolarian/protozoan/diatom feeling of this glass piece.

Inside the Tribe 13 Art Gallery. More next-level glass art featuring bubbles and kelp.

Inside the Tribe 13 Art Gallery. More next-level glass art featuring bubbles and kelp.

Inside the Tribe 13 Art Gallery - A collaboration between Alex Ubatuba and his partners whos name I stupidly didn't write down.

Inside the Tribe 13 Art Gallery – A collaboration between Alex Ubatuba and his partners whos name I stupidly didn’t write down.

Resin cast Romanesco brocolli flower

Resin cast Romanesco brocolli flower

Onward! To CRABTOWN!

Wel,l we didn’t goto the official crabtown – we went to another Tidal flat just north of Neah Bay (nicknamed New Crab Town) to look for fossilized crabs. I originally intended to test out and write about the Brewers here but my friend showed up with flipflops which is no way to explore tidal flats (doubly so since the last time we went it tore up his flipflops) So I gave him my Brewers and I went mucking about in the Bakers. All in all, the Baker performed fine but for the sort of crazy climbing and exploring I do I would much have preferred to have the Stealth rubber sole for traction and the shoelaces to keep it tight, which would have been really useful in the incredibly slick kelp fields. The tire tread did a surprisingly good job but I probably wouldn’t recommend it for everyone.

The wife, Alisha, flexing her crabtown steez while showing us this starfish breaking open a mussel. Astral Brewers in the back and hand wrought chain-mail bracelet I bartered for last summer.

The wife, Alisha, flexing her crabtown steez while showing us this starfish breaking open a mussel. Astral Brewers in the back and hand wrought chain-mail bracelet I bartered for last summer.

Crab!

I, for one, welcome our new crab overlords.

Wind Carved Sandstone.

Wind Carved Sandstone.

More awesome sandstone

More awesome sandstone

Seagrass, Mussels Bladderac and Seaweed.

Seagrass, Mussels Bladderac and Seaweed.

Tidal flats with seagrass and millions of little snails.

Tidal flats with seagrass and millions of little snails.

Lastly, The Spoils

After a good festival you end up with some good pile of junk to bring home to stack on your hippie altar. Here’s ours with some descriptions.

Festival Spoils - Including: Large Bismuth crystal & Melanite Andradite Crystal traded for some zines, 'Upgrade to Warlock Status' pin, 'Everyday is overtime for a Jedi Hustler' Money-clip, random Altar junk, Seal Vertabrae, Play money to make it rain whenever I deem necessary.

Festival Spoils – Including: Large Bismuth crystal & Melanite Andradite Crystal traded for some zines, ‘Upgrade to Warlock Status’ pin, ‘Everyday is overtime for a Jedi Hustler’ Money-clip, random Altar junk, Seal Vertabrae, Play money to make it rain whenever I deem necessary.

Thank you for reading this LOOOOOOOOOOONG article all the way to the end.

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I’m stoked about the new product we launched over at Astral. It’s the latest in the series of Limited Edition jackets we make for the kayaking community (or the LE’s as they are called). This one is based on our newly redesigned for 2013 Greenjacket which is hands down the best rescue / Class V / whitewater jacket on the market and now with even more style.

This jacket represents our first, of hopefully many, collaborations with our world class team members. For this jacket we worked with Pat Keller, a known badass in the world of extreme kayaking and helped realized his vision for a custom jacket. The LE7 is a tribute to art and craft of Class V+ exploratory kayaking, where map interpretation and solid navigation skills are the foundations of a successful mission.I hand traced and redrew the topo several times which represents a special kayaking spot (it’s a secret, can’t tell) – the back represents a more head on view of a nice mountain scene with radiating sun lines. The red tailed hawk is a special bird to Pat (who’s nickname was Hawkeye growing up)  and he has some incredibly intense stories to tell about it that are unfortunately too personal to repeat without his consent.

They are going fast – 3/4 sold out on the first day of release so if you are reading this anytime past June 30th, it’s probably already sold out. Check out the photos below.

Front of the vest featuring topo line art handdrawn by yours truly.

Front of the vest featuring topo line art handdrawn by yours truly.

Side View Showing the rescue release

Side View Showing the rescue release and side pocket

Back showing line art by yours

Back showing line art and hawk by yours truly

Showing the awesome dropdown pocket

Showing the awesome dropdown pocket

Screenprinting the art on the back

Screenprinting the art on the back

 

red-tailed Hawk

red-tailed Hawk

This was the original idea (slated to be on a different model)

This was the original idea (slated to be on a different model)

I just received the second release of Astrals’ venture into the footwear realm, the Porter. This shoe is primarily for sailing and surfing. I’ve been wearing the Brewers for close to a year now and quite enjoy them for any time I’m going to be climbing around slippery rocks with my heavy bag of photography gear. As a point of personal pride the Brewers were recently awarded Gear of the Year by National Geographic. Check the site for more information (the site is also something I’ve put quite a lot of work into as of late)

I was involved in the packaging design and overall treatment. We designed a panoramic 360 degree tibetean art inspired nature scene which was to wrap around the inside of the box. See photos below

I’m about to finish painting the mountain scene on a window painting which I will also link here when its done.

Light-weight Cordura shoes built to withstand the rigors of surfing and getting chundered without loosing your shoes

Light-weight Cordura shoes built to withstand the rigors of surfing and getting chundered without losing your shoes

The open box with repeating geometric tissue paper

The open box with repeating geometric tissue paper

Its like christmas!

Its like christmas!

Inside sketch

Inside sketch

Sketch of mountain scene

Sketch of mountain scene

Small batch of 303 Flasks


hey Guys, before the holidays I put up an image of a 303 flask that I made on facebook and it was very well received – so I decided to do a run of these for all the old school gear heads I’m friends with. These will be a limited run and once they are gone who knows if or when Ill do another run.

About the Flask – This is a stainless steel flask that is powder coated with glossy black paint, the sandblasting etches away the black and gives a very nice high contrast scratch resistant etch. The design won’t fade smudge or wear over time unless you are a complete rager and drag it along the floor of the club as you are getting dragged to the curb by the bouncers.

The cost is $25 (includes shipping in the US) The artwork was meticulously redrawn in illustrator and I sandblast them myself in the shop. I can ship internationally but the total cost is $30 to most places. If you would like quantity of these please contact me.


303 flask





Feel free to ask my any questions you have either here or on facebook
kris

Salt Lake City And New Art

I work for a company called Astral Buoyancy, they make really nice lifevests for insane kayakers who throw themselves off 200 foot waterfalls in large pieces of plastic. Every year we goto this really large event called Outdoor Sport retailer. I spent some time going around snapping photos (with permission of course) of my favorite booths there and also got some photos of products I had my artistic input in

The Temple

The Temple

The Temple

OR 2011

Columbia Sportswears Future Lounge

OR 2011

Oh man… futuristic logos

OR 2011

North Faces Set up.

OR 2011

Northface interactive display

OR 2011

Keens set up. I shoulda stuck around for happy hour.

OR 2011

Ospreys super function layout

OR 2011

Sorry I forgot which booth this awesome was attached to

OR 2011

Sanita Booth

Bad Kidz

The Bad Kidz throwing down

OR 2011

How many drunk kayakers can you fit in a van? 12.

OR 2011

An embossed folder I designed

OR 2011

A life vest I designed art for. more here

A limited edition carbon fiber helmet with the same art. This will be given away at some point in the future.

OR 2011

Crazy storm out of nowhere. Utah always puts the fear of god in me.

OR 2011

Some awesome graff spotted on the streets.

OR 2011

Future retro compostion

OR 2011

OR 2011

Inside the scale model of the Mormon temple theres this crazy pool on the back of oxen. What happens in there? Soaking?

OR 2011

Full picture of the inside of the mormon temple

OR 2011

Yonton of Astral and Jeff from American Whitewater raffling off the window painting.

 

I’m a long time  Si Begg fan, even his noisy, feedback screeching “gone too far” stuff that seems to drive everyone else crazy (well my wife at least) So being asked by my good friends over at Addictech to design an ep cover for his benefit EP for Japan was a definite honor.

 

SUPPORTING JAPAN

I think it was noble of Si to contribute all proceeds from this project to the people of Japan and if you would like to support this cause please visit the page where you can purchase these pretty wicked tracks over at Addictech

 

ABOUT THE ART

For this project I played with a lot of concepts and really settled on wanting to keep a muted subdued feel while at the same time incorporating the japanese flag since the red and white works both for the ‘rising sun’ as well as first aid. I created the line work in Illustrator using a new method I’ve been exploring where I create a blend from one pattern to another and then create a pattern brush out of it, and then create a new pattern brush from that etc etc. The result is a whole new way of infinitely twisting and tweaking line art without degradation like you would normally get with raster graphics.

 

Window Art


I realize that I don’t really have a page going over all the window art I’ve done. So here it is. From the humble beginnings to wherever its at right now. You can view the folder of more images including some of the process by clicking here

The most recent at the time of writing: Dreamscapes. More about this piece here

Orcas Wave: made for a friends wedding gift. Quite possibly the best frame Ive ever touched. More on this piece

Waves: Another Wedding gift =)

Waves Detail – Ive always been a fan of the white, purple and turquoise color combo

Celtic knot work insanity. This was my first intense piece. Now resides at my friend Liz & Jeffs house

Orcas Wave Remixed: Tidal pools added – First window with sanded and stained edges

Tidal Pool Detail

One of my first attempts.

Fjords != Fnords

another early piece when i first started playing with the medium. Nice Frame though

I made this one to fill a wall in our foyer… pardon the strange photo – I only had my iphone at the time of shooting this

An earlier piece

Attempting to frost tempered glass… not the best idea.

This is Tsuki… the patron saint of Montana 94

New Painting: dreamscape – the process

I’ve been working on the art for this piece for a while now… drawing redrawing sketching tracing redrawing and then redrawing again. I decided to put the drawing to the test and try out my new Montana spraypaints. You can see the process of the piece in my little photoblog below. This piece is most likely spoken for but if you want one like it let me know.

 

The blank canvas

First Cuts

COLORS!!!! Getting a rack for all these soon.

Mask trash pile

The Finished Piece

Revisting some old friends

I recently re-licensed a couple of my fractals for elementary school math books and decided it was time to revisit the old fractal program and see if I could come up with some new designs. I also discovered a neat batch rendering window which I hadnt noticed before which really helps me to crank out variations. Feel free to contact me if you would like to license any of these images.

 

Fire Fractal

Spikey Fractal

fractal spiral

infinite jewels fractals

striped spiral fractal

It’s hard to trace where this fascination come obsession really started for me; from my early childhood I’ve been a fan of MC Escher and the way he conveys mathematical concepts through highly precise and ultimately unforgiving mediums such as lithography. As I’ve grown older and subsequently geekier I’ve come to understand more of the ideas that underlie MC Eschers work and meanwhile playing with my own process oriented art including the ever evolving window art Ive been doing, which while is nowhere near the same caliber it still really requires you to plan things out so you don’t make a royal mess of things.

Line art study for the window

Orcas – window with spraypaint – for photos detailing the process click the photo

Since I’ve been using line art for my windows, lately I’ve been really taken with woodblock cuts, particularly the late 18th century Flammarion woodblock which depicts a man poking his head through the sky to see the inner workings of the universe (as depicted by the wheel within the wheel)

the caption in french stating “A missionary of the Middle Ages tells that he had found the point where the sky and the Earth touched…”

As I have a shared love for this print with my friend/ music partner Rubin I decided I would remix / redraw this piece to paint on a window and subsequently like any true nerd would, decided to research the subject and see what else was out there. Of course there is the piece that Rubin first sent to me – Tuefels Dudelsack which is an amazingly executed, albiet twisted, woodcut of a furry owly demon playing a human head as a bagpipe. I’ve only managed to discover a few pieces of information about this woodcut (though I plan on digging deeper when time allows) The name translates in german to Devils Bagpipe, and it is a satirical cartoon depicting the devil playing a bagpipe made of Martin Luthers head.

A few other favorites include these three – Ive chosen to ommit “The sale of indulgences” woodcut because I fear I would want to write a whole post on that alone and end up sidetracked… but if you are the sort that is familiar with the Catholic church selling indulgences thereby bringing the printing press to popularity I would recommend check the link out.

So we recently went to the MC Escher exibit when it was here in Portland and what I loved most about it was the chronological ordering of his work and through the years you could see him work with various media and really refine his craft. I realized how many years he worked to get it down to the razor sharp cleanliness we’ve all come to know. There were also a number of studies which were my favorite part of his work as it shows the steps involved and thereby makes the whole thing more human and inspiring. While gaurds were looking the other way I had to sneak this photo of a study of his geometric progression study for angels and demons.

Additionally I checked out which of his pieces might translate into a nice window painting to adorn my house and at first  thought the ants & mobius strip piece would translate nicely though would be an insane amount of work as there are soooooooo many lines.

If i ever feel up for it theres always the final piece MC Escher did before parting our mortal realm – Snakes which is a three color lithograph – which was highly efficient in that it only created blocks for 1/3 of the image and rotated them to create the whole thing. If only I could do the same for my process. I plan to someday paint this onto a circular piece of glass which I will then use as a table.

Lastly while doing this research I stumbled upon this 3d representation of Snakes which is really cool and reminds me of playing with xenodream.

Snakes from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.