Travis Bela Horvath is a Calgary skater and artist. You’ve probably seen his work via his Instagram account “Fartrock” or his website or YouTube page, The TheThorVath. You also probably saw the t-shirts he designed for us in 2016 (“so stoked, my dudes”).
Read on to learn about this up-and-coming Calgary skate artist.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Calgary. I grew up in the NW.
How long have you been skating?
I’ve been skating since about grade 8. Roughly 14 years.
Who do you skate with?
I’ll skate with whoever is willing. Brian Heinrich, Ian Lemke, Jeff Raimondi, Sam Stuart, Kevin and Vlad Correa are my usual homies to go skate with.
Where are your favourite places to skate (spots/parks, etc)?
If I’m not out filming, usually I skate parks. My go-tos are: CKE, Southwood, and Millz. Spots I’ve skated regularly are the Fonda slab, downtown planters, the manny pad by Millz, the bridge DIY, and wherever someone wants to go film.
What do you do for work?
I’m currently a full-time student at ACAD studying graphic design, and I also work part time with The City of Calgary at a Recreation Centre.
How did you get into art?
I’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to go to Sunnyside elementary school which focused on the arts and promoted creative environments. A lot of my friends at the time were doodling in sketchbooks and it was a great way to spend time. I just caught the bug, similar to skating, and can’t stop.
What’s your favourite medium?
Throughout my childhood I would always play with clay and plastacine creating stop motion animation scenes. I was really influenced by Aardman animations (creators of Wallace and Gromit). Currently I enjoy pen and ink drawing, and in the past few years I’ve primarily used a tablet to create my art digitally.
How do you develop a concept? And is most of your work skate-related?
My concept development depends on the project. With my personal work, I create things that I’m inspired by, and what I love. Skateboarding is something I value, and naturally much of my art revolves around that. The stuff I post on Instagram (@fartrock) is somewhat centered around the theme of the legendary Sony VX1000 video camera. Since I started skating, I always enjoyed documenting my friends and making videos. I eventually got my own VX and I love the way that camera looks, so I make art of it. With my posts, I just think of things that rhyme or relate to the camera and culture.
What do you do with your pieces?
A lot of my work is done digitally so they just collect dust on a hard drive. Works I’ve done in physical form also collect dust in my closet.
Have you had any shows/any coming up?
I’ve never really had a show before, but I’m open to the idea. It was really outside of my comfort zone to start posting my work online, and the whole process has inspired me to create more and to also continue pushing myself. I enjoy seeing how my work is received and connecting with the skate community through illustration. If a show comes up, I’ll spread the word.
What piece are you most proud of?
It was a goal of mine to create a skateboard graphic at some point in my life. Through my VX related social media, I was approached by some people in the US to make some board graphics. I’d say, to date, that is probably what I’m most proud of. I’m hoping to do more.
What’s next for your life?
Graduate. Get a creative job. Skate. Make art.
Here’s some Calgary skateboarding history! CASE member Jeff H sent us links to these old Calgary City Council meeting minutes from 1999. They talk about Millennium Park as well as skateboarding at Eau Claire Plaza. Click here to read the agenda: Regular Council – Agenda – 1999-02-01 – Regular Council
Minutes: Regular Council – Minutes – 1999-02-01 – Regular Council
Here are some highlights:
DV8 and Snowjam were skate/snowboard/BMX events at Olympic Plaza and in front of City Hall from 2001-2003. There were great bands there too, like Sloan, Social Distortion, and Rahzel, just to name a few.
Enjoy these photos of Calgary skateboarding history.
For the second time in about a month, an iconic Calgary skater has passed away. Barry Hiebert was a true skateboarding pioneer. He and his brother John had a vert ramp at their house in Southwood in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Read more about it here.
We’ll post memorial information when it becomes available. In the meantime, please click Barry’s photo below to support a crowdfunding campaign which will ease the burden for Barry’s family.