Todd Francis x Stance
Artist, illustrator and acclaimed pigeon aficionado Todd Francis has been consistently producing some of the most legendary artwork in the world of skateboard graphics for the last four decades. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, Todd began his career up in Northern California designing boards for San Francisco’s highly respected Deluxe stable of brands. Cutting his teeth with various pro models for the Real and Stereo imprints, Todd’s work really came into its own with the inception of the legendary Antihero Skateboards in the mid-90s, where he continues pumping out pigeons and the like to this day. Known for his lethal combination of armor-piercing wit and intricate technical detail, Todd’s unique visions can also be seen in collaborations with Vans, Huf, Penthouse and Activision. A longtime friend of Stance, we couldn’t be happier to have Todd finally join the ranks of our Punks & Poets family as an official full-fledged member.
We sat down with Todd to ask him a few questions about how he came up and whats ahead.
At what age did you find know art was something you had a passion for? Just like everyone else out there, I spent my early childhood drawing a whole bunch. Unlike almost everyone else, I wasn't any good at anything else, so I just kept my head down and continued drawing.
Where did the inspiration for art come from at a young age? Ooh boy, that's a long list. The Three Stooges, early punk, Mad magazine, National Geographic, Benny Hill, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Black Sabbath, political cartoonists, Mel Brooks, old Marvel comics like X-Men and Daredevil, Ridley Scott, and Godzilla.
How did you end up connecting your art to the skateboarding community? Growing up in Venice, we all practiced drawing the Dogtown logo on our notebooks, and my neighborhood friends and I looked at the old VCJ illustrations for Powell as being impossibly technical and amazing. It was a world we grew up admiring, but never even imagined participating in. After graduating college in Santa Barbara with an art degree, I eventually lucked into an entry level job in the Deluxe art department, and I knew it was a dream come true.
What are some of your favorite board graphics you’ve done? That's a tough one. Off the top of my head, I'd include the Stranger K9 and the original Antihero Pigeon graphic, but also more recently the Brian Anderson Ostentation, the entire Eat Shit And Die pro set, the recent Space Junk pro set and the Plastics pro set too. I've been at this for awhile, so you're asking me to pick from a long list of candidates...
What do you have coming up in 2023? I just finished a huge project with Activision, so now I'm cranking away on a lot more work with Antihero, a couple art shows planned in SF and Paris, some more fun projects with Vans, and of course working on some top secret collections with Stance that are sure to get armpits sweaty. Does that sound important? I'm really trying to sound super important here.
Where can the Stance community find out more about you? A great place to start is Instagram, where they call me @toddfrancisart. I'm pretty active on there with current projects, works in progress, photos of pasta, and early morning bodysurfing clips. Or you can just call me directly with any goofy questions you might have.