Behind the Graphic: Jonathan Rodriguez on 2007 Salomon Octopus

29 Apr, 2009

Behind each snowboard graphic is someone’s ideas. A graphic can be born from a long car ride with friends, a silly design they walk by, in a dream they have…the list goes on. Each year there are thousands of graphics created, around an image, idea, story. Behind the Graphic is a series of interviews that I’ll be collecting over time with various artists/designers from companies who have designed graphics

Jonathan Rodriguez design for the Salomon Octopus won for the International Salomon Artwork Contest in 2007.

Shay: What snowboard is your artwork featured on?
Jonathan: Something I did for Salomon it’s call “Salomon Octopus”.

Shay: You won the Salomon Snowboards Art Contest in 2007. Did you come up with the idea specifically for Salomon or did you design it beforehand?
Jonathan: The challenge was to come up with something totally original for the brand, something showing the artist personal skills, so I try that and the idea really came after reading the brief. I chose the monster theme to be the vehicle of the following message: “You and your Salomon snowboard are a monster of powerful speed and adrenaline”, haha you know, something like that.

Then, I thought about a very “Old school comic” art direction, focusing more on the line value and keeping a limited color palette and it came up pretty cool. For the bottom face of the board I created a lettering work, you are actually supposed to read “Salomon” there.

Shay: What was the process like for making your work into a board graphic?
Jonathan: Well, I really don’t have a “mysterious artistic” process, I actually graduated as a designer, so most of times there’s a lot of investigation involved and I am also normally using a lot of typography, probably because of that.

Shay: Describe yourself as an artist?
Jonathan: Hard, hard question, I love drawing, I love typography and I like to mix them, like a I was a kid, also sharing memories and personal interpretations I have from comic books, TV, music and my life. As an illustrator, I just try to give something to people, because I believe on social art and feeling good or having fun with everyday-life-objects.

Shay: What are your tools for creating art? What about this specific design, what did you use?
Jonathan: For this piece it was only pencils, markers, ink and colors in Photoshop. But because of my previous experience in agencies and some different freelance work I had in the past, I am always open to learn and try different tools. Actually I recently “announced” an Art Direction and Graphic Design project, it’s call IndieColors and I hope this is going to be something big within some year of hard and good work.

Shay: What was your inspiration for this graphic?
Jonathan: Comics, creatures, typography.

Shay: How was the contest experience for you, would you like to continue doing board graphics?
Jonathan: The contest was great, because it made me more confident and now I am really looking forward to design boards or anything for the extreme sports industry, I find it as a very cool and positive thing to do.

Shay: What are you working on now?
Jonathan: Now I am doing my Masters in Media Art and Design at the Bauhaus University in Germany and I am also doing personal works for, but as I said before I’d love create graphics for anything related to snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing… cool stuff!

Shay: Thanks Jonathan for doing this interview!

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

Related Posts


  1. Anonymous
    April 29, 2009

    That is one of the better snowboard graphics I’ve ever seen. Good job Jon!

  2. Huckleberry Hart
    May 01, 2009

    I dig this series Shay. Keep on keepin’.