Studio Visit: Christian Morin

Meet the designer behind the recent shop deck art series, Christian Morin. We stopped by at his home & art studio to deliver some of the decks he designed and got a quick Q&A behind the series. Step inside…

– Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Christian Morin and I’m a graphic designer.


– Where are you from?
Los Angeles, born and raised.


– What got you into art/design?
The earliest influence I can think of would be Charles Schulz, who created Peanuts. He was able to comment on society, politics, and life all through the pop culture medium of comics. I don’t draw comics but mark-making definitely plays a major role in my work. The idea of communicating or wrestling with thought is always a part of what I do too. I have so many other more current visual arts influences but what really drives my practice is the continuing personal studies in and around history, aesthetics, politics, religion, and subculture. Obviously skateboarding has had a huge influence on my life and art career.


– What themes do you pursue?
I bounce around a lot but if someone were to nerd out on my work they would probably find a few common themes: A sort of modernist formalism influenced by Abstract Expressionism, an idea of making almost naively simple marks or ‘broad strokes’ influenced by David Hockney. Those are formal themes of course, but I also mess with ideas of existentialism and spirituality a lot these days.


– What brands have you done art for?
Active was actually one of the first clients I had. I did a few T graphics 10 or so years ago. Damn I sound old lol. I also worked at Girl for 7 years so most of my work has been in skateboarding. Girl was the dream job of my younger self and it allowed me to make work that was personal. I’ve since left working at Girl to pursue the struggling life of a (freelance) artist. I currently work a lot on my own stuff and with The Quiet Life and Art Center College of Design, among others.


– Favorite artist?… Skateboarder?
Some of my favorite artists are Matisse, Degas, Le Corbusier, Paul Rand, Casey Reas, Isamu Noguchi, Milton Glaser, Alex Katz, Laura Owens and on and on… Favorite skater is BA (Brian Anderson); all heart and style.


– What were your inspirations behind the designs/graphics you did for the deck series?
The white board is based on a flower print I’ve been working with for the past year. I was looking at Matisse’s cut outs and wanted to make something in that same light hearted spirit. The black board is a pattern made for a celebration or party. I guess they both have a ‘still life’ quality to them. I’ve also been interested in the tension of traditional painting as a medium and a digital representation of it, which is where those big strokes and marks from the red board come in. Working with textiles and apparel has gotten me familiar with pattern work and I wanted to transpose those ideas onto decks.


– What do you have coming up for you in the future?
Grad school. In September I’ll be going Cranbrook Academy of Art to pursue a masters in graphic design. Things are going to get weird, stay tuned.

Thanks Christian! To check out some more of his work click HERE.

Be sure to check out these decks at your local Active Ride Shop!
If you aren’t near by one, shop online HERE!