Featured in Voyage Magazine’s “Rising Stars”, January 2022

Featured in Voyage Magazine’s “Rising Stars”, January 2022

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Rivard.

Mark, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was raised in the Twin Cities, spent 9 years as a ski bum in Breckenridge, Colorado immediately after high school, skipping college. I blew out my knees, and sustained severe neck injuries through ski crashes which lead to months and months of rehab and surgery and a massive indent on the couch. So I picked up an old hobby and started sketching on my old recycled skateboards.

That all lead to starting a skateboard company and developing a career as fine artist. some notable stats:

•Student Skateboard Art Packages distributed: 5,000+
•Audience impressions via Talks, Programs, Tours, Virtual Meets: 10,000+
•Media appearances include multiple commercials, TV news, talkshow, and variety engagements.
•Regularly featured on podcasts, in newsprint, magazine (online & print), magazine covers, radio, and multiple web/streaming media outlets.
•Student Skateboard Art Exhibitions: 25+
•States Activated: 33 Countries Activated: 10

Notable Endorsements & Partnerships:

•US Air Force
•ESPN/ X Games
•US Bank
•Red Bull
•Meet Minneapolis
•Walker Art Center
•Insight Brewing
•Resort Sports Network
•Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Nope… to say the least. Lottery tickets are easy, starting a business, and maintaining a creative integrity while also navigating having to support yourself on ideas you dreamed up is beyond difficult. Everyday is a puzzle of life choices that can literally sink your ship miles from the sea.

For me finding my creative voice was a long road. I tend to want to try so many mediums, and styles that it became difficult to focus in on my true creative vision early on. I would assume that’s probably a normal thought process of many artists, but it weighed on me early on as my mind jumped from one train of thought to another far too quickly for anything solid to develop. Patience took patience…

Another broad struggle was learning to shift from Right Brain to Left Brain. So much of running a business is strategy, analytics, and admin, but when the business’ heartbeat is rooted in the creative it’s a constant tug of war. Flipping the switch from updating your website to mixing a color palette on a canvas isn’t always a seamless transition.

Then there is of course, in my instance the fact there was no real roadmap. I made up my services, my brand, and reinvisioned my own way of working. One obvious example that comes to mind is pitching a skateboard art tour to the United States Air Force. If there was ever a battle between Right Brain vs. Left Brain that was a massive task.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I started out by illustrating one of a kind original skateboard graphics with Sharpies. I began my art career by showing in galleries and creating exhibitions of my own at music venues, restaurants, and shops. Eventually, this grew into canvas paintings, writing, photography, etc… In 2011 I was involved in a year-long campaign for Sharpie Markers where they created a small commercial/documentary about my life and career. This “15 Minutes of Fame” as the face of Sharpie Markers afforded me incredible opportunities through the media and speaking engagements.

Once I began speaking in schools regularly I felt very drawn to education. One thought I’ve always gone back to over the years is that being a Studio Artist is inherently isolating and somewhat selfish in ways. When I stumbled into education I felt my career found an impactful way of giving back, a larger purpose beyond the canvas. I had an inspiring story, and now I had found my audience. It worked. Now I create educational platforms and am an Educational Consultant. I run my own brand Do Rad Things, have my own skateboard distribution business, and still work as a Fine Artist and Creative Marketing Consultant. My work has been licensed by companies from Insight Brewing, to ESPN’s X Games.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Kids. At the end of the day, they control how this is all going to turn out. I believe that kids are our greatest investment.

Contact Info:

  • Email: rivardart@gmail.com
  • Website: www.DoRadThings.net
  • Instagram: @RivardArt | @DoRadThingsCo | @StageCulinary | @PostalExpressProject
  • Twitter: @RivardArt
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