„It all started with Halldór sending me a message asking if I was up for designing a jacket with him, which I of course said 'hell yeah' to.“ says Davíð Tausen Tryggvason aka MeatSoda. Davíð is an icelandic/faroese artist who, in collaboration with our rider Halldór Helgason, stands behind this year's "Snow shark" design. It can be found on Halldór's coach jacket, as well as on our hoodies, tees and hats. Wanna learn more about the creation of this design and MeatSoda himself? Then dive deep into our latest interview!
Hello Davíð, first of all, can you please introduce yourself briefly?
Sure thing! My name is Davíð Tausen Tryggvason, I'm an icelandic/faroese-hybrid human male entering his mid-thirties. I'd like to think if I was a caveman I'd be leaving my handprints in some cave and drawing stories of great hunts I've experienced, but I'd probably be the guy carving out busty ladies and scary skulls whilst living hermit-style outside the village trying to invent sunglasses or something useless for cavemen.
Is there any story behind 'MeatSoda' pseudonym?
I've always been a fan of artist names. You'll see it a lot in metal bands, some old school illustration artists, some old punk- and skate/surf-scene artists had weird names. I had a bunch of cool POG's and stickers with weird drawings, that had some random name on it, so it just felt more natural to me than writing my own name on this stuff. So I just stuck two words together and voila! MeatSoda in the house.
How would you describe your art in a few words?
Probably some souring goulash of old school punk, skate art and 80's/90's cartoons poured over a bronze shaka sign.
Have you always been that child who sketches all the time in school, or how and when did you get into drawing?
Can't really recall how I got into drawing, but it's always been something I was... drawn to. There was so much exposure to cool artwork as a kid, that I feel like it was inevitable. Comic books, cartoons, album covers, posters, T-shirts, stickers and video games. Later, I got into punk, rock, metal, 80's horror movies, and skate art. I stopped maturing mentally soon there after, obviously.
When did you reach to the point that you realized : „Okey, I really want to make living out of this"?
A friend of mine contacted me, asking if I'd be willing to animate an intro for a music video that he was editing. That really got me going. It felt great just drawing things that get stuck to cool stuff others are doing. Song was great, video was great. It's awesome having something that others want to have attached to their own work, something they're probably super passionate about themselves. Can't really think of a greater honor! More work keeps coming and I keep getting to do cool stuff, so why not keep throwing things at the wall to see if something sticks?
Who or what inspires you the most in your work?
It can be anything, really.. Music, a movie, some random artwork that speaks to me. My friends have been a huge inspiration with their personal projects and their constant support through out the years. I really don't think I'd be doing any of this, if it wasn't for the S-tier talented friends I've accumulated, with absolutely no contribution on my part, over the last three decades. Ay, look at me, I'm a lucky guy over here!
You've been working with various brands, music bands etc. When you look back, which project or collaboration are you the most satisfied with, or brings you the most joy, even after a longer period of time?
Good question! I mean the Snow Shark design really felt like a point of growth, those are usually the ones I remember the most. I did a drawing of a zombified satanic crusader that I really like. I did this mural in a garage gym for a guy, that's by far the biggest thing I've done in terms of actual size and that felt like such a huge challenge but it came out great. I've done some projects recently that stand out as well, like I did the logo and an animation sequence for the snowboard film 'We are losers 2' and there's two other projects coming up next year that I'm really proud of, as well.
Now let's get to your coop with Halldór Helgason. The 'Snow Shark' design ended up on Halldór's coach jacket as well as on other Horsefeathers hoodies, tees and beanies. How did this rad design come to life?
It all started with Halldór sending me a message asking if I was up for designing a jacket with him, which I of course said 'hell yeah' to. We've known each other for a long time, so he'd been following my MeatSoda stuff from the start and I'd already drawn once for him and another mutual friend of ours. Halldór had this old favourite jacket, which was a black coach jacket with a cool all white graphic on the back. So we tried to come up with something cool in a similar vein. We landed pretty quickly on the snow shark idea after some 2-3 sketches and things moved surprisingly fast after that, since we all really connected with the design. Can't remember if it was in an old skate part Halldór was in, or if he showed me the song but I've always linked the song 'Fast as a Shark' by Accept to Halldór, so it obviously had to go on there too. Too fitting! I was so stoked getting to design a jacket, but when the guys said they wanted to throw the snow shark design on even more stuff ...man, felt great!
What are you currently working on and what are your visions for the future?
I've got some irons in the fire, some unfinished and some finished stuff coming out in the next months/year that I don't wanna spoil. I've also been thinking about trying to get into tattooing, so hopefully there'll be some more growth and opportunities in the near future around that department, but until then I'm learning more about motion graphics and drawing skulls and stuff for people!
What's the message that you would like to pass onto beginnig/aspiring artists?
I'd say don't get fixated on the way things look right now, they can always be improved. I'd get stuck on something, like my next sketch had to become something jaw dropping before I even know what it is and I'd even get so disappointed by the first sketches sometimes, that I'd just drop the pen and not draw for a few days. Don't be afraid to check out what other people are doing and to ask people you're inspired by for tips. My favorite thing about things like scenes in art, local or international, is the amount of inspiring people you can find. You're never gonna find more like-minded people than through commonality in art, hobby or whatever drives you. We create with feelings and experience, and when two people align in taste of whatever thing you like, it can sometimes be like meeting a long lost sibling. Keep on trucking, y'all!