I’m honored to call Mark my friend. A true and genuine artist, with a great vision and crazy mind. Plus the guy enjoys rum and whisky. Canadian perfection.”
—Anders Fridén, vocalist, In Flames
Mark Kowalchuk promptly filters inspiration. It pools around him, imagination pulls, and inked creatures move from ethereal to salient form, seemingly moments after he’s secured a pen. He lives as a creative should, simply, thriving on the work, contributing with art, mentorship and an attitude that gets things off the ground. His constructive nature has led to signature lines, a Thrasher checkout, guest graphics with Santa Cruz, and snowboard art like DCP’s iconic hammerhead Pick Your Line. But looking past the hits reveals a staggering nexus of side gigs and one-offs, enterprise and experimentation. There’s no stone Mark won’t turn over, and with the recent birth of his first child, his horizons are only expanding.
Mark grew up in Thunder Bay, ON. He was a kid in the ’80s, and he drew. “It started in grade four, that sticks out,” he remembers. “It wasn’t anything exceptional, I was just a little more into art class than the other kids, maybe my stuff was a little bit better. Then in grade seven or eight I got my first skateboard, and got heavily into the scene and all the punk and metal that was involved with it. I was like any other kid—if I was into a brand I would draw that logo in my binder, see some graphic on a board and try to copy it, draw it the best I could.”…