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Interview: Martin Ontiveros

US artist Martin Ontiveros is a true original in the swamp of copycat rip-off merchants that social media is forcing us to snorkel through.

He created an artwork called Dirt Devil we have printed up onto a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt and art print.

See more of his work on his Instagram page @martinheadrocks

How old are you, where are you from and where are you at?

48. Too old. I’m from Southern California and I’ve been in Portland, Oregon now for the last 22 years.

You said it was a bit of a struggle to draw the motorbike, I was surprised you hadn't drawn them before. How come?

It just hasn’t come up. They’re not a regular part of my life and no one has asked me until Sideburn did. I haven’t drawn many automobiles in my career either, if it makes you feel any better.

Have you ridden motorbikes?

A bit. I lived with a guy years back, a machinist who spent a lot of his money collecting Husqvarnas. He had like 20 of them in his garage. Took me along on a desert trip and I rode some out there. So to answer your question, not a lot.

Your style looks unique to me, but who or what are your influences?

There’s far too many names to list but mostly it’s fantasy/comic artists and art from ancient cultures, particularly Mediterranean and Mesoamerican. I’ve tried to appreciate a lot but not follow too closely, so as not to crib too much of anyone’s style. Staying original is important to me. Copycats suck.

I've drunk some HUB beer in a can you designed before I knew who you were, do you have other corporate clients?

Nothing as consistent as HUB. A snowboard here and there, apparel, but usually just one-off stuff.

Who is your motorcycle hero - real or fictional?

Evel Kneivel, Ghost Rider, Wez from the Road Warrior. Remember, I said I’m 48 years old.

Please describe the process of creating the Sideburn Dirt Demon.

It was easy—I did what you told me to do, haha! I used your suggestion and creatured it up. Studied some stock images of riders—most of my characters already wear leathers of some sort (it’s a Hellraiser/Cenobite thing) so that part was easy. Mostly I just wanted to get the bike down simply but accurately enough to pass.

Finish this sentence: I don't own a motorcycle, but if I did...

I’d get down and dirty on it.

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