Exclusive Interview with Honorroller
Disclaimer: This article is not intended as investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.
Christopher Chan, also known as Honorroller, was born in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine and a 2nd BFA in Graphic Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Honorroller has worked with top companies such as Gucci, Nike, MTV, Champion, Timberland and Converse.
Honorroller is a multidisciplinary artist with a unique style. He is a wood sculptor and graphic designer that explores social constructs, branding and pop culture. A quick scroll through his personal website shows his extensive resume, professionalism and distinct style.
Honorroller recently tokenized his artwork in the form of NFT (non-fungible tokens) through a drop with Nifty Gateway. The drop was called “Champion Edition” and was presented by IV Gallery. His drop SOLD OUT and he also auctioned an NFT paired with a physical “Jordan” wood sculpture. The following video shows his creative process while creating “Jordan”.
Honorroller’s work is embedded in the roots of hip-hop, footwear, sports, fashion and music. He is a true pioneer when it comes to blending fine art in the form of wood sculpting with modern culture.
What is the story behind your name, Honorroller?
“I have a very common government name: Christopher Chan, so I chose a moniker. I’m a huge fan of the Simpsons. There’s an episode where the boys have a soap-box derby race, and the name of the car Bart & Martin (cool kid & nerd) use to defeat Nelson (the bully) is called “Honor Roller”. The idea is that when you combine something stylish & smart, you can overcome anything. I spell it as one word, ‘Honorroller’ for SEO purposes.”
Can you tell us how you got into woodworking?
“Over 10 years ago, I got into woodworking because “intro to shop” was a required class at art school. At the time, I studied graphic design, with an emphasis in Motion Graphics (computer animation) and had no aspirations of ever working outside of digital. Begrudgingly, I really enjoyed it and found it quite rewarding to actually hold the thing you designed. As I took more and more classes in school, I found that I really excelled at sculpture. For one of my last student projects, I challenged myself to make a stop motion piece. I didn’t have much time, and being that all I knew at the time was wood — I decided to build the puppets out of wood. I also had no idea how long it would take for me to build a cast of 16 puppets, so by the time the project was due all I had was 16 puppets and zero animation.
My teacher was actually quite cool about it and encouraged me to keep going with them. I ended up showing a new set of puppets at my first group art show and sold two of the five I had on display. I’d never sold anything before and this was probably the most attention I’d ever gotten art wise — so i stuck with it!”
What has been your favorite art project of all time?
“My favorite project of all time… I hate saying this, cause it’s typical to say that of your most recent work — but actually I recently put together a short film of all my stop motion vignettes and am currently trying to enter it into film festivals for this year and next. It’s a full circle moment for me. It took 10 years for me to put this together: combining sculpture, music I composed myself and stop motion — the initial reason I got into sculpture. I’m excited I get to share a bit more of my world with the audience.”
How was your experience with nifty gateway? Do you have any other plans or projects planned in the NFT space?
“My experience with Nifty Gateway was incredible. Shout out to Vincent and Eliot from IV Gallery for having me involved. Definitely more to come in the NFT space — stay tuned. I think, as an emerging artist or as a collector — this is a great place to start. I wish it had existed when I was younger, I would’ve definitely placed bets on my favorite artists 15–20 years ago. I think the format makes it really accessible and easy to support and grow your art collection. It’s intimidating — even today — to walk in a gallery and ask to look at the price list and go about buying a piece of art. I think this amount of transparency levels the playing field and is an incredible way to invest in and follow your favorite artist’s career.”
We can tell you love basketball. Your wooden Michael Jordan sculpture was a huge success on Nifty Gateway. If you could collab with any current basketball player who would it be? Also who is your favorite team?
“Current basketball player I’d love to collaborate with would most be James Harden. I did a self initiated project for him while I was an summer design intern at Nike (in 2012) and although I doubt he ever saw it, the project did land me my first full time job after art school. Favorite team? I have two — but let me explain why: growing up in Toronto, prior to the Raptors (1995) entering the league, my adopted team was the Houston Rockets (my favorite player of all time being Hakeem Olajuwon). I root for both teams equally. Although, I’m really excited about the Nets this year as I also live in Brooklyn and with the addition of Harden :)”
Do you have a message to your NFT collectors? And what would you personally want to tell the crypto art and NFT community?
“Message to NFT collectors: thank you so much for supporting me. I cannot thank you enough — it has put the battery in my back to produce more work and I am excited to be part of this new movement. I think I said this in an earlier question, but I’ll add on:
As an emerging artist or new collector — this is a great place to start. I wish it had existed when I was younger, I would’ve definitely placed bets on my favorite artists 15–20 years ago. I think the format makes it really accessible and easy to support and grow your art collection. It’s intimidating — even today — to walk in a gallery and ask to look at the price list and go about buying a piece of art. I think this amount of transparency levels the playing field and is an incredible way to invest in and follow your favorite artist’s career. Also price-wise, it’s very accessible.
Also, as someone who studied animation — I couldn’t imagine a more perfect platform. It’s very inspiring and exciting to discover artists on this platform!”