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Doodles and dinosaurs

by duane watson / photo by rob ong Corbin Portillo is a product of his environment. At an early age, the Hamilton, Ontario native’s parents exposed him to, then encouraged, his two greatest passions, art and basketball. His mother taught painting classes and never discouraged the 7-year-old from doodling on the back of tithing cards during service at Living Hope Church. His father, on the other hand, put a basketball in his hands at the age of 8, and let him stay up past bedtime so they could root on Damon Stoudamire and a fledgling Toronto franchise. Portillo, in his own words, "grew up in the Raptors family." The 27-year-old credits a computer graphic course in middle school for setting him on his path. “That’s when I pretty much knew that’s what I wanted to do,” the designer says. “Hands on art didn’t feel secure as a job. But when it translated to a computer, you knew advertising and opportunities existed and that there would be a career behind it.” Seemingly able to reconcile the balance between art and commerce at an early age with a narrow focus, he had a similar approach with creative influences, citing only Sam Flores, a California based painter as the inspiration behind his style. “I keep my inspirations pretty small so I am open with ideas, I don’t like to pigeon hole myself,” Portillo says. Yet the graphic designer/artist admittedly recognizes that he has become “the basketball guy.” After TSN x BarDown shared some of his work, Portillo received a steady stream

Sole Shift Issue 3: The Olympics Issue  

There’s no greater pride for an athlete to represent their country at the highest level of competition, which is unquestionably the Olympics...