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Communion 002

  • by Graham Newmarch


Brendan Ratzlaff is a local graphic designer, Emily Carr graduate, talented skater, and all around great pal. 

Aside from acting as my personal skate-sensei, he serves as an inspiration in the community for his talent, success, lifestyle choices, and unflappable humility. 

Not one to sing his own praises [probably one of his finest qualities] - his professional proclivities began to surge when he was tapped to provide graphic designs for Dana Lee out of New York

Brendan's been busy as all heck lately pumping out visual materials for Vampire Weekend's latest album, including all associated touring & promotional merchandise - and is an established member of notorious indie skate mag Sneeze's design team.

His work with Vampire Weekend even gave him the opportunity to collaborate with Jonah Hill on the music video for "Sunflower" that Hill directed. 

Considering the mission of the Communion series is to highlight inspiring talents in the community of Victoria, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to do a fun feature of Brendan himself. 

When I approached Brendan about this feature, I was honored to learn that he'd be down to design a t-shirt for the shop to release in conjunction with the interview.

The resulting design has quickly become one of my favourite tees to date; is a fantastic example of Brendan's particular talents with vector based graphics, and is a beautiful ode to the science and/or science-fiction based themes that I personally love like nothing else.


/ Where are you originally from Brendan?

Ladner, BC. It's this farming and fishing suburb just south of Vancouver. Kind of your standard Canadian small town. 


/ What brought you to Victoria?

I moved here with the intention to live a healthier lifestyle and to get clean off of drugs and alcohol. That was 6 years ago, one of the best decisions I've made. 


/ What's your skate setup currently?

Quasi "Happiness" board, Indy trucks, Spitfire wheels, Bones Reds bearings. 


/ You seem to eat through a lot of boards real fast, what's up with that man?

Just skating a lot I guess...


/ Favourite skater[s] right now?

Max Palmer and Nora Vasconcellos get me stoked currently.


/ Favourite skate spot?

Vic High right now.


/ Favourite skate-padawan right now? [answer CORRECTLY Brendan!]

Haha... Shout out to anyone pushing themselves, no matter their ability level.


/ Landed that elusive tré-flip yet?

Shouldn't we be talking about graphic design? [ed: fair!]


/ '90s nostalgia in graphic design, over/under-rated?

'90s era skate graphics, specifically like Toy Machine, Blind, and Alien Workshop graphics are partially responsible for me pursuing graphic design. So even though it's pretty hype right now, that era will always be special to me. 


/ Art school [Emily Carr?], over/under-rated?

I'd say accurately rated. I'm glad I went, but it's not the only route to a career in art or design. 


/ Science-fiction or fantasy?

Sci-Fi. I'm generalizing but give me a space movie over a medieval movie any day of the week. 


/ Perrier or Pellegrino?

Happy if there are bubbles.


/ Skate or die?

Skate, then die. 



Shop our collection of Brendan's shop tees - HERE.

Photography - @noob.combo
Questions - @noob.combo
Genius - @peaceful.combo








Tagged with: Interviews

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