Travis Price is an award winning Commercial Illustrator based in Australia working primarily in Vector. Price was heavily influenced by skateboard and t-shirt graphics of the late 80’s and these early influences can be seen through is ever expanding folio of work. The last decade has seen Price work with some of the world’s leading apparel brands including Rebel8, Nike, Converse, Neff, and Johnny Cupcakes…
Damo: What’s your first memory of the Screaming Hand? Where does it take you back to?
Travis Price: I remember the first time seeing the Screaming Hand back in the late 80’s at a skate shop in Warrnambool. I was hassling my folks to buy me my first real skate deck… A Santa Cruz Jeff Kendall Graffiti (artist: Jim Phillips)
I was always amazed that for a static image the hand had a sense of momentum and urgency. But aside from that it was just so iconic… a mouth on a hand… it was genius.
The exciting thing back then.. at that age everything was new and only skaters wore skate brands. For my generation the hand is quite nostalgic. It brings back memories of skating and stealing timber to build ramps with mates… and smoking! Shit, back then the legal age to buy a pack of smokes was 16. So every second kid was bum sucking smokes! Ha Ha
Damo: In your opinion, what do you think the Screaming Hand has contributed towards the scene over it’s life? What do you think the future may hold for such an iconic image?
Travis Price: For my era it was there at the start… the transition from little banana boards to larger ply decks. If you saw someone rocking a Screaming Hand tee or sticker, you knew they were into skating. There was amazing skate graphics produced in that era but the hand seemed like the unofficial mascot! Hands are so gestural, it had a sense of surrealism to it but it also seemed like a flip on the iconic clenched fist of defiance. I think that’s why it subconsciously connected with the skate scene. Now it’s a part of pop culture and connects with the next generation.. it’s timeless!
Damo: How does it feel to be selected to be involved in the project?
Travis Price: Seems crazy to be part of the Australian show. I used to draw the hand all the time back as a teen…kind of feels like Jim Phillips taught me how to draw Ha Ha. I’ve still got one of my old decks from back then with the Screaming Hand sticker on it. The cool thing about the show is there’s a lot of guys who have a similar nostalgic connection to the Hand from skateboarding back in the day. It’s pretty amazing to think that the hand influenced all these artists in some way through their journey.
Damo: Why did you choose to represent the image in this way?
Travis Price: So it’s 30 years since I was that 10 year old and I must admit I’m not as smoothed skinned or agile as I used to be. I wanted my Screaming Hand to reflect that. It’s missing a few teeth but screaming just as hard as it always has. But above that it was important to me to acknowledge and celebrate Jim Phillips as the original creator through a custom typographical treatment from the veiny entrails of the hand.