I can remember the weekend like it was yesterday. So many great things happened that weekend - I met Sweet Chili, Steve Martinez, who happened to have a broken tooth (I come from a family of dentists) and needed some emergency pain management, to meeting his guiding parter Kevin Morlock who my wife was enthralled by since she recently saw him on TV, to spending some quality time getting to know Austin Adducci while enjoying some sudsy adult beverages. It was the weekend of the Chicagoland Outdoor Show up in Huntley a handful of years back. We even found the dog we would soon adopt that weekend.
It was as I was doing the normal rounds of the show, for me, looking for random types of jerky when I stumbled on a small booth in the corner, a small stock of hats and some prints. The print that caught my eye was a set of red trout, with the outline of the state of Wisconsin. The next, a red and blue sunburst behind a trout, only this time it's on a hat. I walked over and introduced myself, "Hey, I'm Jonathan, nice to meet you" he replied. This was his first show, just getting his start. We talked for a while, exchanged business cards, and a friendship was born. Fast forward to today and he's one of my best fishing buddies. He's a family man, with an awesome wife who fishes, two great kids and if you've bought a Yeti in the last couple years, he's had a hand in getting it to your door.
I've been able to watch him grow from a guy running his first table at an outdoor show, to becoming a signature artist for Korkers. It's been pretty awesome, opening Fly Fish Journal and seeing his work, or seeing an interview he did with a blog.
A little while back I swung through the Madison area and stopped by his studio to hang out with he and the fam. To watch him work, printing and cutting, drawing and painting, it's neat to watch something take shape and then see it come to life on a t-shirt or hat, or inside a frame on the wall of my office.
Go check out his website and learn a bit more about how he works and the steps it takes to create some of his original work.
BADAXE DESIGNS - Jonathan Marquardt