Interview with Mountain Bike Artist Chris Bourke
Here at MTO Bikes we scour the internet for all the best information and toys for all the bikers out there. It just so happened that we had the luck of running across the work of a fantastic artist named Chris Bourke who did some work for Mountain Cycle on a bike and needless to say we were impressed. We wanted to make sure other people had an opportunity to learn about the great work this man does and give you a quick interview. Hope you enjoy.
MTO Bikes: First off we want to say thank you for this interview. So how long have you been doing art?
Chris: Hey no problem. I have been doing art since I was a kid. I have been serious about it for the last 20 years and am 39 now.
MTO Bikes: Can you describe your style?
Chris: Not really, can you? If I had to have a stab at it I would say its heavily influenced by tattoo imagery (i still tattoo now and again!) and religion and music, these days I work mostly in lino cuts, because this seems to be where I am happiest at the moment, having said that the mountaincycle graphics were done in pen and ink.
MTO Bikes: What are some of the challenges to putting your art on a bike frame?
Chris: Just deciding what the hell I was gonna put on there, it was a hard brief because it was so open, I was pulled in loads of different directions and then you take into account the shape of the frame and the nightmare begins! You seriously would not believe how many sketches I did for that bike.
In the end i realized that putting too much on would look a mess, and the birds were taking shape nicely so that kinda decided things, I am stoked on how it looks!
MTO Bikes: I find it interesting you went with pen and ink for the mountain bike art. Was that because of the surface you were dealing with or was that more of a direction you felt pulled in?
Chris: I think the choice to use pen and ink for the bike frame was not so much to do with the surface I was working on but the way that it suited the job.
MTO Bikes: So are you considering doing more mountain bike pieces? If so for whom, and can people get private quotes?
Chris: At the present time I am thinking of doing anything that will provide me with food! Half-joking aside I’m pretty picky about what work I take on, because if I’m not into it, it becomes a nightmare, however I’m open to offers!
MTO Bikes: You say that you do some tattooing on occasion, have you considered maybe tattooing a mountain bike. You know like work with some etching into the frame or something?
Chris: Well as far as I know my tattoo machines only work on skin, but what’s interesting about your question is that I actually trained as a silversmith and one of the disciplines we covered was engraving, man! That’s an art in itself and I am definitely not up to engraving a bike frame.
So there you have it. A great artist and a great guy, you can see some more of Chris’s work at his website.