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Creative Ally Tony DeBoom lives in Boulder with his wife and three daughters. DeBoom is the recent winner of our Jack Johnson: To the Sea tour poster contest. Here’s a little peek into the mind of this adventurer, athlete, designer and dad who also owns his own clothing apparel line.
How does your interest in nature and sports inform your work as a designer?
Since I spend a large amount of time outdoors training and interacting with other athletes and businesses, both nature and sport are major influences. In my own apparel line, I always try to include a little of both in every piece I do and all of our items are made from organic materials. My business is also a member of 1% for the Planet, which supports a multitude of environmental non-profit groups.
How long have you been a designer?
Not long. I’ve always been what I call a closet doodler. The designer label came along out of necessity as I began working on the business side of my sport. I worked with Red Bull, Patagonia, multiple cycling and triathlon publications and kept promising that I could come up with the graphics for different projects — so, maybe 2 or 3 years in total.
How does your role as a father and husband affect your work?
My wife actually went to a graphic arts school in Denver and taught me the basics with photoshop and illustrator, so without her, who knows if I would have gone down this path. As for my kids, I have 3 daughters who love to sit with me and draw and color while I work. I guess I’m drawn towards creating more wholesome designs that I wouldn’t be ashamed of them seeing.
How would you describe your personal design style?
Sort of loose and casual – even though I was trained as an engineer, I don’t seem to get caught up with straight lines and perfection. I prefer things to look slightly imperfect – I think people can relate to that better.
Have any artists or art movements influenced you as a designer?
I’m a big fan of the surf movement. There are a lot of very cool things going on artistically with some of these smaller surf companies. Not the big Billabongs and Quiksilvers, but more like Ando and Friends, Critical Slide Society and the like.
What is your favorite software program?
Since I’m new and am self taught, I’m partial to what I know–the Adobe products–Illustrator, Photoshop.
Do you incorporate your own illustrations or photography into your work?
Yes. I have some shutter stock photos that I used in the beginning due to a lack of owning photos I deemed necessary, but I’ve gotten into the habit of carrying around a camera with me whenever possible, so I’m building my library of images. I also have friends who are photographers in the endurance sports industry and we work out deals to use their images. The illustrations are probably 98% mine.
Can you share one of your favorite designs with us?
This Coffees of Hawaii design is for a commemorative t-shirt that will be given out at the Hawaiian Ironman event this October. Coffees of Hawaii have been a longtime sponsor of the event and they have gained notoriety in the past for having a floating coffee bar approximately one mile from shore on the Ironman swim course.The illustration is my impression of the floating coffee bar and the activity that goes on around it.
What are some of your favorite places in the world?
Kona, Hawaii – where my wife lived when we met – it’s like another hometown for us.
Boulder, CO – I knew I wanted to live here as soon as I arrived.
Vashon Island, Washington – little piece of heaven
Anywhere in Austria – just a gorgeous country that everyone should visit.
Tony’s winning entry is now a limited-edition poster for the West Coast leg of Jack’s current world tour. For his well-deserved win, Tony got backstage VIP tickets to see Jack anywhere on tour a $1000 plane ticket could get him and a guest, a night’s accommodations for two and the chance to meet Jack and openers ALO backstage.