Whilst panning the BallaFornian shores for the finest in local golden humans, I have discovered a rich vein of fabulous folk! This is the first in a series of chats with Ballarat’s, and surrounding areas, best and brightest peeps…
Our inaugural BallaFornian to be grilled on the Golden Couch, first came to my attention when I was perusing the products of the Doveton Street Purveyors of fine Children’s clothes and toys, Pencilmark Lane.
My eye was drawn instantly to a height chart, which was covered with brilliantly bold, humorous and expertly crafted vector characters. When I whooped with delight, the lovely lady behind the counter informed me that it was conjured by Ballarat’s own Travis Price…
Travis Price in his office
Travis Price in a nutshell:
An avid swing tag collector Travis grew up illustrating and skateboarding, describing himself these days as “the quintessential middle-aged skate tragic.”
After working as a print and interactive designer for 10 years, Travis finally gave into the call of the wild in 2006 returning to his childhood roots and transitioning to freelance illustrator. With an insatiable appetite for the drawn image, Travis is always exploring styles and techniques creating a diverse folio of work for a very diverse clientele. Represented as a commercial illustrator by the illustrious Jacky Winter Group, Travis has worked with countless advertising agencies on everything from conceptual sketching to finished art for national brands including Telstra, Milo, Intel, Drumstick, ABC, Yellowpages and has had the opportunity to present his work, processes and techniques at numerous industry events and universities.
Combining his love of characters and t-shirts, in 2007 Travis launched kids clothing & decor label Mister Mista. This self-initiated foray has seen him go on to work for many independent and international clothing labels including Nike, Mambo & Neff. Travis’s style is described as a mix of skateboard, comic, retro vector with some textures thrown in and those early influences of Mambo and Skateboard Art can be still seen intertwined through his ever expanding folio of work.
Please describe what you do.
I think officially I’m a freelance commercial illustrator. A lot of my work is for advertising agencies that need something illustrated as part of their project. It can really vary from magazine illustrations, product posters to online banners. Another big part of my work is t-shirt designs. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great labels over the last 7 years and t-shirts have been one of the things I’ve loved since I was young.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Western Victoria in a small town called Dimboola.
How long have you been in Ballarat?
I did a stint at Uni from 1995-1998. I then moved back from Richmond to Ballarat in 2001.
Why did you move to Ballarat?
While I was at Uni here I really enjoyed it. It’s a big country town and I always felt relaxed in Ballarat compared to Melbourne. I guess it’s because of my country upbringing.
What sort of training did you do at the University of Ballarat?
I did a Graphic Design degree. I didn’t realise it at the time but that design course has been an amazing pathway into other areas, when I look at what the guys I went to uni are doing now.
You said you lived in Richmond, why did you move back to Ballarat, and what’s keeping you here?
After finishing Uni in Ballarat I had to move to Melbourne to find work. Looking back I was pretty green and just didn’t enjoy my time there. My girlfriend/now wife started working at Ballarat Uni, and I was enjoying my weekends in Ballarat. So I moved back and commuted to work via train for about 4 years. I’ve remained here because my wife still works at the Uni, and we have a young family of 3 which Ballarat is perfect for….and I still find it relaxing.
How creative were you as a youngster?
From an early age like most I can remember laying on the lounge floor drawing at night…..now I sit on the couch and draw.
Do you come from a creative family?
Mum was always pretty crafty and worked in a craft store….apart from that, the rest of my family aren’t into art/illustration.
Whose work do you really admire and why?
Wow that’s hard….there’s so many. I’d have to say Ken Taylor. He’s the king of vector art in my opinion and it’s been amazing to track his progress over the last 10 years. Also Ben Sanders has been a real inspiration. His conceptual thinking is amazing….and he lives in Ballarat!
Do you have a motto?
You make your own luck!
Would have to be Rushmore…it’s awesome!!!
Do you collect anything? If so, what?
I collect a range of things that don’t make a collection…I love the Ballarat Swap meet. Over the last few years I’ve been collecting cellotape tins.
Any advice for young illustrators (or old ones like me )?
Get busy and get better. Build your folio with self-initiated briefs if need be. The dream job doesn’t come knocking if you haven’t got the folio.
When not creating world beating art, what do you like to do?
Ha Ha that’s a big call… I enjoy walking around Ballarat.. I try to get out a few times a week with Cax One (he lives around the corner from me). It’s a great way to catch up and chat about ideas. Loving the rail trail at the moment. Perfect for the kids on their bikes.
Anything you would like to share, from new merchandise to upcoming gallery shows?
We’ve just dropped some new Jimmy Royale Tee’s. About to drop some more new tee’s with the guys at Flightpath. I should also give a shout out to Premium Screen; life is so much easier with a high quality screen printers at your doorstep.
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?
I’m currently working on my own Tee label called Mista Price. It’s a bit of a merge of our kids label Mister Mista, but the tee’s are for adults. I’m also hoping to do some more big prints…the next one will be a collab with an awesome Photographer from Melbourne…who also loves tshirts.
What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
Been listening to a lot of Tribe Called Quest lately. Mostly I have movies playing while I work to keep me company.
Favourite place to go/ thing to do in Ballarat?
I really enjoy the surrounds of Ballarat from. Lake Learmonth is cool and I like the second hand shop at Scarsdale. But hands down my favourite thing to do in Ballarat is the Swap Meet
Thanks so much Travis for taking time to chat with BallaFornia.com!