Interview: Travis Bela Horvath

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.


Traumatized Youth Treated by Using Skatepark

You may know that an outdoor concrete skatepark was built at a private youth facility in Calgary. The facility treats traumatized youth and has been in operation for over 50 years.

The skatepark was built about two years ago but all of its benefits were not known until now. They have found that using the skatepark is allowing these traumatized youths to heal more quickly. Watch the trailer below to learn more.

There is an online fundraising auction to raise money so the film can be completed in 2018. Please bid to support this groundbreaking project.

Calgary Skater Olara Obina Fatally Shot

Olara Obina was a Calgary skateboarding legend. As a member of the Skaters team, he stood out for his talent on a skateboard.

Those who knew him remember him as much for his overwhelmingly positive attitude and smile as for his sick skating. He will be missed by many.

Unfortunately, he was fatally shot over the weekend in the neighbourhood of Ranchlands. Read more here: CBC, CTV, Calgary Sun. To date, police have not arrested any suspects.

There is a Gofundme page set up to raise funds to help his family ease the burden. His obituary is here and funeral is on  Friday, November 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Foothills Alliance Church.

Watch his part in Rob Thorpe’s Stay Down (shared with Ryan Curry and Darren Bjarneson). It starts 13:20 in.

This is an awesome tribute montage from Rob Trendiak:


BeerStorm 3

Liam Glass’ video, BeerStorm 3, is online for your viewing pleasure. Click below to watch.

Also, Liam and Rob Thorpe answered some questions about the video below.


What is Beerstorm?
[Liam] I don’t really know I probably won’t hit the mark on any of these questions. I never know what to write for this sort of stuff there’s always so much too say haha. BeerStorm is the best group of friends I could ever ask for just trying to skate everyday, drinking beers in random parking lots, losing your mind and getting super hyped when anyone lands a trick. BeerStorm is just the homies having fun and not taking things too seriously.

[Rob] Liam would have to explain the origin of the term but these days it’s a crew, a video series, a lifestyle really. Maybe an apparel brand one day? Who knows? Sky’s the limit right?


Tell me about the guys in the video.
[Liam] They’re all my best friends that I pretty much do everything with. This Steve Graham, Ryan Spate, Chad Baker, Riley Sykes were all on a mission and super motivated not to say anyone else wasn’t. We fixed a lot of spots and tried to get out filming everyday possible.
There was a lot of people I wish I could’ve filmed with more (Derrick Timoshenko, Dillz).
Rob Thorpe is the man! He will usually film and I shoot photos. I was super stoked when he started filming with us. The first skate video I ever bought was four down.

[Rob] An extremely tight knit crew. Maybe a little intimidating sometimes to the outsider, usually due to the large posse and constant beverage consumption. But no attitudes or egos, just a bunch of bozos out trying to have fun.


What’s the Calgary skateboard scene like right now?
[Liam] I think it’s super good right now and getting better with all the new parks we are getting. There’s been a lot of new young kids who kill popping up like crazy. We’ve also have the 403 east side project which basically a little skatetopia.  Everyone is friendly and gets along for the most part.

[Rob] It seems like the new batch of skateparks has just fired it up. Not that it ever slowed down but there’s a whole new crop of young kids absolutely killing it. Old guys coming out of the woodwork. Lots of local videos coming out all the time. DIY spots poping up. New street spots keep getting built. We got a vert ramp. I’d say it’s as strong as ever.


Who took the worst slam while filming?
[Liam] Oh man, there were a few. Steve Graham’s slams on 28 were fucked. That’s the gnarliest thing I’ve ever seen. He got going so fast on it that you could smell the metal of his trucks melting.
Chad Baker probably took the most slams and Ryan had that sack at the start of his part.
No serious injuries that took anyone out for too long though thankfully!

[Rob] Spate straight to the nuts. Or Chad, also to the nuts. Or Adrian, again, to the nuts. Or Steve by sheer volume, don’t think he sacked this year though.


Any strange encounters with non-skaters while filming?
[Liam] We were at this wall ride spot in the industrial area and this dude who could’ve been straight off Hastings showed up. He was super high on something, wearing a winter jacket and it was plus thirty, he could barely talked because he was so dehydrated. Lane gave him some water which seemed to semi bring him back to life. The dude was mumble rapping to himself and you couldn’t understand any of the words he was saying. He kept walking in front of the camera all hunchbacked and taking stuff out his pockets and leaving it on the back of our cars. He kept trying to touch my fisheye while talking gibberish. After like two hours of that he eventually stumbled off to who knows where. I don’t know how he could’ve gotten there on foot in the first place. Probably should’ve called 911 for him in hindsight.

[Rob] Nothing too dramatic but my favourite had to be old Jim at Masters Academy. Homie got so bent out of shape from the boys hitting the rail he called the cops. They show up and wonder what tricks we’ve gotten that day and who’s trying what.
“Oh, Chad needs a few more tries for his popshuv? No problem! Let’s see it!”
Jim looked like he was gonna blow his top!



%d bloggers like this: