Canvas Rebel Magazine Feature

Canvas Rebel Magazine Feature

We recently connected with Mark Rivard and have shared our conversation below.

Mark, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Can you talk to us about a project that’s meant a lot to you?

Starting my brand Do Rad Things. The reality is the brand was a culmination of several projects that had massively impacted not only myself, but entire communities beyond what I could have ever imagined was possible. My career started by drawing on skateboards with Sharpies. That project lead to endorsement deals and ad campaigns, which lead to public speaking gigs and art exhibitions… which lead to developing educational curriculum based on my personal story and art career, which lead to a number of opportunities to travel the world and meet kids through art and skateboarding. Seeing kids transform their frame of mind from bored to inspired is by far the most meaningful opportunity I have had in life.

One thing I love is creating marketing campaigns to support a project and involving students and communities in that process. I’ve done projects around the world that are the basis for the Do Rad Things mentality, that prop up and build the identity of the brand. Projects like The Virginia Project, a fundraising effort to bring a small low income Virginia high school skateboards and art supplies, and to put on an art exhibition at the Town Hall featuring the work of those students. Or Stage Culinary, my educational culinary platform that bring students into the kitchens of the nation’s leading restaurants. I do a speaking and art tour with the United States Air Force that has been running for over 5 years, visiting Air Force Bases and kids across the globe. It all boils down to the ideology of Do Rad Things.

Mark, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?

I was an artist as a kid, enjoyed art classes, and always leaned toward the creative worlds. Growing up I was never really told that “Artist” could be a career. I left high school and went to the mountains to become the bonafide ski bum. Had some severe ski injuries and found myself staring at my feet back in my Mother’s basement as a young man. Laid up from surgery I picked up an old skateboard and starting sketching on the bottom with a Sharpie. I immediately revived an old interest in art that had been dormant as an adult. I drew hundreds of skateboards and eventually started a small skateboard brand based off my work and was building a following as a fine artist in galleries.

Sharpie Markers contacted me in 2007 for an interview for their website. Coming from the world of Action Sports my mind immediately went to the idea of being sponsored by Sharpie as an artist. I built a relationship with the marker brand, and in 2011 I was featured in the Starts With Sharpie international ad campaign, and became one of the faces of Sharpie Markers.

This was my “15 Minutes”. I suddenly found myself with a self supporting bank account, new opportunities, but more importantly and eager audience. I was doing a lot of public speaking and media at the time and I saw a bigger role my story could play in the world around me. I had the support of Sharpie, I owned a skateboard company, and I now had my audience. I created Rivard Art Education, a platform that brings skateboards and Sharpies into schools for kids to create their own stories and art on skateboards. I knew that telling my own story was cool, but giving kids the power to tell theirs was everything! DO RAD THINGS was born… We’ve now been creating progressive educational projects globally for over 11 years and brought art supplies and skateboards to over 5,000+ kids and adults.

I also still work with brands, organizations, companies, and galleries as an artist. Everyday is different for me, but creativity and impact are the core of my professional life.

Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?

From an IG post that was a thought while dining alone on tour:

“I envied the life of Bourdain, the travel, the stories, the food, the art of it all. It had this allure on TV that couldn’t have been more attractive to a person who’s gluttony was matched only by their opportunity to fuel it. I don’t envy the outcome of Bourdain, but I feel the strain. 80 nights this year alone at a 5 star restaurant bar. The staff looking at me curiously as I dismantle their best offerings with a lack of enthusiasm, and sense of less-than-impressed boredom. Eventually a Beef Tartare simply becomes a messy plate no matter how exclusive the address.

I don’t envy Bourdain anymore. Because I live the travel life, and the storytelling from the road. Alone, without a camera crew, I Bourdain my way from city to city, state to state, gathering stories and “holy fuck” experiences. It occurred to me tonight, mid Tartare, I did that already…. Let’s build something new, something next, something next-course…. Something cementing, me.”

Resilience is learning, applying, and building something uniquely yours. Creating the life that plays in your head like a fantasy, and making it your reality.

Alright – so here’s a fun one. What do you think about NFTs?

You’re already participating. Digital real estate is your Social Media, your online presence, and if you’re reading this you’ve already bought in. Let the vultures circle the scams of carcass’ laying among the digital landscape, but at the end of the day, call it what you want, NFT, Social Media, etc… you’re already participating. Learn to make it work for you, it’s your real estate, and real estate is valuable.

Also, buy a real house as soon as you possible can.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Instagram: @RivardArt
  • Twitter: @RivardArt
  • Youtube: Do Rad Things

Image Credits
Nathan O’Malley Mark Rivard Tony Hessburg

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