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February 18, 2004

{     Interview : Crownfarmer     }    

Since the year 2000, Bob Kronbauer has been pulling the reigns at a suave little company he calls Crownfarmer, successfully cultivating a clothing brand known for being one of the most fresh labels any hip young thing could wear. Having a very tongue-in-cheek take on design, Bob makes clothing with simple uplifting messages and triple-take vibes, where no matter what 'season' you buy from, it always feels like Spring.

Recently, somewhere between working at the Girl Skateboards Art Dump, pimping his Crownfarmer swag, editing, taking photos, and riding in vans with his famous skate buddies, Bob managed to find some time to answer a few questions we threw at him. The guy has a lot stashed up his sleeves and has some giant ideas, so read on....

&Shane: Let's start with the biggie: what is Crownfarmer?
Bob Kronbauer: I like to think of it mostly as a creative outlet, but it's a business too.

How has the Crownfarmer idea evolved since it began?
It started off as an online zine a few years back. Nothing for sale, just a bunch of words and images that I gathered from different artist and writer friends for people to click through. We didn't really plan on making products in the beginning, but in time it only made sense to. The first round of shirts that we released were produced with the intention of raising some money to put out a book and turning Crownfarmer from an online zine into something more tangible. The first book is in the works right now but it's hard to find time to put any time into it with all of the other stuff I do. I work full time at Girl Skateboards in the Art Dump and Crownfarmer is the side project that I do when I get home.

;strong>What was creating and putting out your first Crownfarmer shirt like?

Who's who around Crownfarmer?
It's pretty much just me running the show right now. Design, production, shipping... you name it, I do it. But we have a project coming up that's pairing up a bunch of artists to collaborate on designs together. That'll be happening within the next few months and it'll be similar to the 14 Crownfarmers thing where we'll be releasing a new one on the first day of each month.

What are you wanting to do with Crownfarmer in the future?
Like I said, pull a book together. And just keep going with the clothing stuff.

Looking back, what do you think of the 14 Crownfarmers project?
It was a real kick start, for sure. It came together really well and without all of my friends who donated their designs Crownfarmer wouldn't be where it's at right now.

What is Ruby, and how did that partnership come about?
Ruby is the girl's line of clothing that Girl Skateboards puts out. Us selling that stuff on Crownfarmer is like a test run for selling other brands that we like off of our site. So far so good.

Any hints on who or what we might find on Crownfarmer in the future?
The collaborative tees that I mentioned as well as some top secret surprises. We won't be releasing the names of the artists involved until the first of every month so you'll have to wait and see.

How do you think your friends would describe you?
I'd like to think that they'd describe me as loyal. I have a fairly small circle of close friends.

Any other projects you're involved in right now?
The Art Dump might be doing some international shows in the next year or so. I'm crossing my fingers for those.

What is the Art Dump, and what do you do there?
It's the art department at Girl Skateboards. I edit and I contribute board graphics and t-shirt designs and stuff to the various companies that operate under our roof.

Do you collaborate a lot with others? How?
Lately I've been thinking about the art of letter writing and the process behind it. You write somebody, they write you back, it goes on and on and as it gets deeper it inspires the both of you and leads to places you never knew it would. That's a real collaboration if you ask me.

Why did you choose the path you are now traveling? Or did the path choose you?
I don't believe in destiny, if that's what you're asking. If you want to achieve something and you work hard at it, it'll happen. If you just sit around and expect things to happen for you, you're gonna be sitting around for a long fuckin' time.

Care to tell us about your photography?
Taking photos is one of the most rewarding things that I do. I like it more than eating.

What things most influence your work and your photography?
That's a tough question. Just my everyday life, I suppose.

What would you say are your most vital possessions?
My skateboard, my bicycle, my new camera and my eyes.

Want to get into your strengths and weaknesses?
If you get on my bad side I can be a real asshole.

What motivates you to put forth your greatest efforts?
There's a lot of different things that motivate me on a day to day but when people say that I can't do something, that really gets me going.

What is the one thing that has prepared you most for what you are doing now?
The most? I'd have to say help from my friends.

What accomplishments in your life have given you the most satisfaction?
When my Dad finally told me he was proud of me. I think about that one a lot. Thanks, Dad.

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bob k, you're just scared of being bored.

Posted by: h at February 19, 2004 5:54 AM
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