8BD Talks Fatherhood & Skateboarding With Bart Saric
A couple of months ago, a video of a young kid skateboarding quietly bled through some of the skateboarding forums. Most skateboarding videos on YouTube are home videos of teenagers failing hard at poppin’ driveway ollies. Then, you watch Bart Saric’s video “Born In.”
Saric has been filming his son, Odin, since birth. And month by month, year by year, you watch Odin go from strangely-coordinated lump-of-baby to (technically speaking) pro. Or, in short, this kid is gnarly.
We reached out to Bart Saric because we had to know more about he and Odin. Turns out Bart’s pretty gnarly too.
First things first – “Born In” after the jump!
Here’s Saric’s video:
Bart Saric is an artist, producer, director, writer and owner of Skater Made. He’s done artwork for Christian Hosoi, Quicksilver, and even contributed to television shows like Ren & Stimpy and Futurama. But before he was all that, he was a dogtown skateboarder and surfer. Now 30 years deep in skateboarding, he’s getting to enjoy seeing Odin take up the same love. And in a way, Saric’s “Born In” is a poem about parenthood; Odin is a natural on his skateboard, but it’s cultivated through Bart’s fathering.
Bart’s secret? “It’s a privilege to be a good parent.”
Q&A With Bart (and Odin!)
8BD: You’re a father, filmmaker, skater, and surfer. And you’re also an artist that’s worked with Christian Hosoi, Dogtown Skateboards and Quicksilver Kids line, right?
BS: Never thought I’d be a father. Always liked kids. Stoked to be a dad now.
Started skating and surfing at the same time. Individual activities with endless adventure potential. Sold. Surf when the waves are up, skate when they are down. Considering that Los Angeles is not necessarily surf city, you have to get your drive on from time to time. Skating is much more accessible if you look at the facts. Love them both equally.
My parents are creative people. I was born an only child. It was natural for me to draw at an early age. Expression became a way of life in many forms. My involvement in the westside neighborhoods with the skateboard scene opened up various opportunities down the line.
Working with Hosoi Skates and his father Ivan. Let’s say, I was fortunate enough to be able to have a relationship creating art and representing their company on board. Christian Hosoi was a big influence on me as far as skateboarding is concerned.
My dear friend Eric Dressen brought me into the creative element of Dogtown Skateboards, based on my skill set and local knowledge. The Dogtown way of life was a big influence on my teenage years. I’ve held the culture with high regard.
Quicksilver just happened from my old hair stylist, Heather Harmell. She cut some guy from Quiksilver’s hair and told him about me and my art works. More minor than exclusive. But I did get to design a couple Kelly Slater tees that I was truly grateful to create. A Jason Dill shirt too.
8BD: In addition, you did work on MTV Oddities : The Maxx, Ren & Stimpy, and Futurama. Tell us a little about going from painting murals and deck art to key art for animation.
BS: So, I’ve always been into cartoons and became a big fan of animation at an early age. Tex Avery, Tom and Jerry, early Popeye, WB, HB, etc.
Kid growing up with a television in the household, right. Anyway, i never thought of pursuing it as a profession. Never went to school to become an animator. Somehow the energies that be gravitated me toward a short stint in the world of animation.
I began working as a colorist and freelance background artist on The Maxx at Rough Draft Studios. That was a really cool project to be a part of. Gregg Vanzo translated that comic book with his stroke of genius, and opened my eyes to a different view of direction.
Rough Draft also attained the contract for the last episodes of Ren & Stimpy. I mostly worked on the color corrections and multi-layering regarding those shows.
Later on when Rough Draft moved to Glendale, they called me back to work on Matt Groenig’s new series, Futurama. I worked with some great people. Mr. Groenig is a class act. They premiered the first show at the Griffith Observatory. It was a stellar evening : )
Art is boundless, and best expressed without limit, because it is all an exploration, regardless. So I do my best to not be afraid of exploring the different mediums freely. And most importantly, becoming involved in the storytelling.
8BD: “Skinned Alive” was a movie you made in 2004 about the Godoy Brothers and the relationship between skateboarding and tattoos. As an artist and a skater, how do you feel about Odin getting a tattoo someday? Do you have any rules for him for future tattoos?
BS: It is what it is. And you make it your own. You know, I don’t really think about it now. When that day arrives, it will be all up to him (my son). All I can do is advise him to take his time and get a tattoo that means something to him. If you’re going to do it, you’ll do it. Think about it first and pick a good artist to do it.
When kids tell me they are going to get ‘Skater Made’ tattoos, I tell them why would you do that? Think about it before you do it. There are a lot of bad tattoos people give and get. If you’re going to bother, make it count. To each his own. Don’t listen to me.
8BD: You and your wife had Odin in 2003 – how did life change once you had a kid?
BS: It’s like when you think you know what being married is all about, until you eventually do. For me, it felt like a secret society I had finally become a part of. Same thing when you think you know what raising a child entails, but really have no idea until you finally get there for real. It’s all about this child. Doing the best you can for them.
It’s a privilege to be a good parent.
As if there was this life before we had our child in it. That life was great, but the one with your kid in it is better in so many ways you can’t really explain all at once.
8BD: “Born In,” is the story of Odin’s introduction to skateboarding. By two years old, he looked better on a board than I looked in college. For other fathers whose decks are disassembled in the garage, how do you get a kid started in skateboarding?
BS: Hah, too kind. Thank you.
If you are skateboarding to start with, that is probably the biggest push for your kid to try it. If they see you rolling around and having fun, it only seems natural for them to want to give it a try. Eventually finding the same feeling that daddy has been grinning about this whole time.
For me, it was all about keeping it going. I never wanted to give it up, so when Odin came along, it just kept me going.
I’m blessed to keep rolling, especially with him now; just like shooting baskets with your kid. You get to really hang out with each other. Quality time.
8BD: In “Born In,” Odin’s got moves like the old school, surf-inspired pool skaters. Bart, who are some of your favorite past and present skaters?
BS: To name a few; John Cardiel, Kevin ‘Worm’ Anderson, Neil Blender, Eric Dressen, Christian Hosoi, Julian Stranger, Jesse Martinez, Mark Gonzales, Chris Miller…the list goes on.
8BD: How about your favorite skaters, Odin?
OS: Bob Burnquist, Eric Dressen, Chris Cole, and Daddy.
8BD: Odin, what’s your favorite part of skateboarding?
OS: Skating tranny. Because you can do a lot of tricks.
8BD: What’s next for Skater Made?
BS: We are wrapping up our filming on the new “trust the way’ dvd project. It is a promotional film, as well as a team video. These will only be available in the packaging of our skateboard decks. So buy a deck to skate and support and get a free DVD that sheds some light on the brand and showcases the ripping talents of our unique team riders.
Some new shapes and boards in the works too. Then a little vacation skating, to split time from the work part.
8BD: If you could give one piece of advice for fathers, what would it be?
BS: Be open to your kids. Honesty and communication are key. I listen to Odin a lot. I’m interested to know what he thinks. I’d say just value what your child has to say, and listen to them when they speak.
* * *
A giant thanks to Bart and Odin Saric for taking the time to talk about cartoons, skateboarding and fatherhood!