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14 Questions with Bob Thomson

Bob_Thompson_Profile

Meet Bob Thomson. As Creative Director, Bob drives the artistic vision behind the art and style of Felt’s bicycles. From the flashiest beach cruisers to the bold Belgian style of cyclocross, Bob and his team of designers create the graphics for each part of a bike. Every detail–from frames to bar tape–is part of the Felt creative vision, encapsulated in the finished product you see on the road, trail, race or boardwalk.

How did you arrive at Felt?
I hated my career in the action sports clothing industry and had just purchased my third Felt (true story, an F frame set). I was checking out the Felt website, as any bike geek would do, and saw an old post for a graphic design position (they weren’t looking too hard). I hassled them until I was hired.

Can you explain what you do in 50 words or fewer?
I make bike stickers and I also make sure that everyone uses the correct red.

What’s your favorite bike to ride?
The F FRD. It’s the finest riding bike I have ever thrown a leg over, seriously. I want to make out with our engineers every time I ride it.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on a ride?
I can think of two. I saw a helicopter crash-land across the street from me, and one morning in 2003 while riding down PCH, I noticed a thick and perfectly straight smoke trail in the sky, from one horizon to the other. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was looking at the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

What was the last thing that inspired you and where do you look to for inspiration?
Recent bike-related inspiration would be the Tour of California. Seeing the pros, the carnival atmosphere, checking out all the bikes of the spectators. There’s great energy at the big bike races.

Tradeshows in the snow, shoe, and athletic industries are great resources for inspiration. Those industries work on a timeline that is so far out that they are usually good indicators for trends & colors.

My every day creative inspiration comes from following interesting folks of all walks on the Internets, and listening to music.

Bob Thomson Creative LifestyleWhat superpower would you have and why?
Magic powers. Enough said.

Name three people who recently inspired you:
Of course, that would be my wife and kids, everyone says that, but it’s true. No one wants to read that crap, though, am I right?

Mick Egan is an Australian chap, great designer, great artist, and a great big strong man. I am constantly in awe of his natural/effortless design skills, and mastery of Aussie slang.

Eli Atkins is a Creative Director at Giro, I met him before I was in the bike industry, through music. He drives and pushes me everyday, mostly through threats and insults.

AJ Nesselrod is an amazing Illustrator, but most importantly an incredibly warm hearted person, which is how he has inspired me most recently.

All three of those fellas have taught me a lot about my craft, and about being a human man.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My wife and kids. That’s the only thing I require.

What has been your favorite Felt bike to work on and why?
Probably the Bradley Wiggins National Champ DA we designed for him about five years ago when he was on Garmin….the one with a big Union Jack spread across the frame.

I was a mod in my teen years, still dig the mod culture, still love all of that music, and I knew Brad was a bit of a mod himself. So I cranked The Jam and had at it. I watched with great pride as he rode that bike at World’s, live on my computer, here at work.

Of course his chain popped off, and in a hissy fit only pro bike riders seem to muster up, he hucked the bike into the barriers, right in front of my tearing eyeballs.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee.

Paved or Dirt?
I love bikes of all varieties, but I am most comfortable on the pavement.

High-tech or low-tech?
I have the obligatory smart phone, and work on a computer all day, but that’s as far as it goes. What does that make me, medium-tech?

What’s in your garage?
I wish I knew. Everything that didn’t fit into my house? It’s a bit of a nightmare actually.

Advice for success?
Do what you love. If that doesn’t work out – do what you are good at. Experience is everything, so go get some.

6 Comments

  • kelly williamson Says

    This is great! Well done guys.

  • Robert Prow Says

    Thats awesome Bob! Great Brad Wiggins story. Always glad to see the mod flame still burning bright.

  • Bob Says

    For everyone who only knows Bob for his success’s at FELT, please take a moment and research Bob’s past life in Big Drill Car. It was a life changing band, for me, and countless others. Thankyou Bob…. for everything.

  • JM Says

    He is also one of the finest bass players to inhabit our planet. His work with Big Drill Car continues to inspire and amaze me on a regular basis.

  • Maryann Says

    You are a fine human Bob Thomson. I have a huge crush on you…

  • Bill Card Says

    This was a fun read. How about a full black-out Z1 / Z2 (like the 2012 F1), a full monster green in the same bike, and a bright red one with white accents, like the 2012 F85? Back to the future? Thanks.

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