Meet the Monster Truck Designer Making Some of Our Favorite Art

Launched this month, Trail Threads offers some wild and funky designs rooted in the outdoors lifestyle.

Trail Threads at Wayfinder Co-op
Jason Becker has a pop-up shop near downtown Denver to showcase Trail Threads apparel

Sometimes it’s not about the latest tech or greatest innovation. Sometimes we wear gear that just looks cool. And right now, we’re blown away by the work coming from Jason Becker — founder of the outdoor design brand Trail Threads.

Full disclosure: Trail Threads is our neighbor. The brand’s headquarters (and Becker himself) are feet from GearJunkie’s Denver office. But that proximity has allowed our editors to enjoy some amazing posters and wear some eye-catching apparel — all of it with an outdoor adventure theme.

Trail Threads: Outdoor Art, Apparel & Monster Trucks

Brutus monster truck designed by Jason Becker

Seeing some of his pieces, you’d be surprised to learn Becker makes a living in the world of motorsports. Among other things, Becker designs crew firesuits, posters, and even vehicle wraps for monster trucks.

Monster Truck design by Jason Becker
One of Becker’s designs involved sculpting and 3D modeling a scale-model monster truck

“I’ve always said I’m sort of a Jekyll-and-Hyde contradiction to my own self,” he laughed. “Yeah, I care for nature, wildlife, and love public lands, but I also still like the world of side-by-sides and ATVs.”

While it may seem irreconcilable at first, Becker said that contrast actually fuels some of his designs. Most notably, the flagship Trail Threads image: A cab-over camper on a bison.

Jason Becker perfecting the iconic Trail Threads logo

“I was trying to think of a way to convey in a quirky sense what trail thread meant to me,” he said. “You take a piece of you everywhere you go, but you also take a piece of that place you end up. It’s OK to be different things at the same time.”

In fact, most of Trail Threads designs do that. Becker takes pieces of iconic outdoor imagery and juxtaposes them in outlandish and striking ways — a cyclist racing a penny-farthing, an absurdly overpacked Volkswagen bus, and a cairn of wildlife, to name a few.

Designs for Adventure

Though work demands he toil in Photoshop and Illustrator for hours on end, Becker is an adventurer at heart. As a former high school art teacher, he spent many summers bike touring the world between terms.

Trail Threads t-shirt
Trail Threads first-run designs

First, he bike-packed from his Wichita, Kansas, home to New Mexico. The next year, he pedaled from Kansas to North Carolina. Subsequent years saw him bike all corners of the globe: from Lhasa, Tibet, to Kathmandu, Nepal (more than 600 miles); Cairo, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa (7,000 miles); and Cartagena, Colombia, to Ushuaia, Argentina (8,300 miles).

Now, Becker said, the idea is to get Trail Threads to a point where he can fill orders for branded posters, hats, and apparel from the road. And with his last tour in 2015, he’s eager to get the brand off the ground.

“It’s time for another adventure,” he said. “This ship’s gotta come in, man!”

We are stoked to see the genesis of his brand. If these designs look like your kind of art, check out Trail Threads online. Or, if you’re near Denver, pay him (and us) a visit.

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By
Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.
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