Soccer and art have been coming together in many ways in recent years. Former FC Dallas star Brek Shea showed off his talents in the studio recently. Howler Magazine raised the bar for graphic design. Now it's your turn.
Major League Soccer is preparing for its first-ever Jersey Week, which will see the unveiling of 12 clubs' new jerseys, beginning February 25. It's based on the theme that jerseys are works of art in their own right, and the league recently partnered with an international soccer-art collective called the Futbol Artist Network (FAN), to create a series of club-inspired art as part of a project called #TrueColors. The project asked FAN artists to use the club’s colors, marks, and jersey as inspiration for their pieces.
MLSsoccer.com caught up with FAN founder Trevor Slavick to learn more about the network and the #TrueColors series.
Title: The Cauldron
Arist: Daniel Nyari
MLSsoccer.com: First of all, what exactly is FAN?
Slavick: FAN is a group of independent artists from all over the world who are creating art inspired by the beautiful game. It’s a place for artists to share their love of the sport and to share their work. And right now we have about 50 artists in the network. The artists are from all over the world, Japan, Ireland, Europe, Africa, South America, Central America and the US.
MLSsoccer.com: Where did the idea for FAN come from?
Slavick: The idea for FAN came from traveling to different World Cups. I would go to places like Germany and find amazing street artists selling soccer art. But because I was traveling for three weeks, I couldn’t carry it with me. When I would get home, I would wish I had bought the work because I could never find the artist again. But now, thanks to the internet, you can find phenomenal artists from around the world creating different art for soccer. FAN is a way of bringing the artists together in one place, so they are easy to find. I don’t want people to have to search like I did.
MLSsoccer.com: How did you pick the 19 artists for the #TrueColors series?
Slavick: First, I put out a call to action to artists in the network, asking for artists that are MLS fans. I didn’t tell them why, because I only wanted true MLS fans to be a part of this project. I had more than enough responses and ended up having to turn artists away. After that, I matched artists up with teams based on what city they were from and what MLS teams they followed. In the end I was able to match every artist with a team that they followed and were passionate about portraying through art.
Title: We Are the Rose City
Arist: Ty Palmer
MLSsoccer.com: What’s something you learned from the #TrueColors project?
Slavick: I learned how popular MLS is becoming outside of the US. I was really surprised by the response I got from artists wanting to participate in the project who live outside of the US. At first I was going to only have artists from the US and Canada, but once I saw the response, I decided to open it up. I think it’s cool to see the MLS through the eyes of artists from around the world.
MLSsoccer.com: How does this all play into MLS's “Jersey Week?”
Slavick: “Jersey Week” is FAN’s first big collaboration, so when the artists found out we had been asked to participate they were thrilled. It really helped reaffirm that FAN is the right direction and the future they want to be a part of.
For more info on FAN and to purchase prints, go to FutbolArtistNetwork.com.
WIN YOUR FAVORITE JERSEY
As part of the #TrueColors project, we’re holding a one-of-a kind contest that gives you the opportunity to express yourself, and your passion for your club, through art.
There’s a sweet prize at the end for the winner, too. One person will be randomly selected to win the official 2013 jersey of his/her choice courtesy of MLSGear.com, and the winning tweet will be featured on MLSsoccer.com.
It’s simple to participate. Between Feb. 14-19, send a tweet that includes the following four elements:
- The link to an original photo of your artwork, available on public domain (ex: Instagram, Photobucket, Flickr, etc.)
- A brief description of how your artwork is connected to your favorite MLS Club
- The hashtags: #TrueColors and the @handle of your club
- Lastly, make sure your account is following @MLS
The winner will be notified on Twitter by direct message from @MLS on Feb. 22, and announced online thereafter.
Official contest rules: http://www.mlssoccer.com/fans/social-media-giveaway-rules