Actor, Cosplayer, and Entrepreneur Tarik Ellinger is always looking for inspiration whether it is for his next skateboard, his next role, or his next Cosplay. In 2023 he launched his company Devin Skateboards to rave reviews. Not one to rest on his laurels Tarik, he constantly working to further his career. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him about his company and his career.
You are an Actor, Cosplayer, and Entrepreneur. Tell us about your company Devin Skateboards. What is your inspiration behind the company?
It all started back in 5th grade when I would skateboard with one of my closest lifelong friends Callahan Bryant and Albert Malipun. We always dreamt of having our own skateboard company as we grew older, and eventually we got to the age where we realized this is something we can actually do. Our logo, OLLIE, was actually drawn in my 5th grade yearbook and we converted it to be our mascot. Going deep into creative process during a difficult time in our world, 2020, we saw all the concerns, corruption, and division in our society and wanted to find ways to bring that to life in our work.
What do you think makes a great skateboard?
The great thing about skateboarding is that it is all individuals’ preferences. To me, a great skateboard is one that consists of a solid build, unique artwork, and a story. You need a board that is both lightweight and sturdy, that allows you to do tricks easily and can take some wear and tear. The artwork is the soul of the board and is often the biggest attractor to customers. It’s important to have something unique in a world where a lot of skateboard artwork has gotten dull. Lastly, a story behind the company and artwork allows the rider to appreciate the work that goes into creating these decks.
How do you come up with ideas for your boards?
Lots of brainstorming. Whether it’s solo, or with friends, I am always passing on ideas and looking around for potential inspiration when it comes to creating DEVIN’s next drop.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Farren
How did you get started doing Cosplay?
Halloween has always been a big deal to my family. We love everything about it. The movies, the decorations, and of course the costumes. So, growing up my mom always made sure I had the coolest costume. Then as I got older, I started attending conventions like San Diego Comic-Con, and I knew that the cosplay community there was HUGE. It made me feel like I could have Halloween throughout the whole year by dressing up as some of my favorite fictional characters and heroes.
What is your favorite Cosplay so far?
My favorite and go-to cosplay is Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It helps that I have a passing resemblance to the actor Hayden Christensen who portrayed Anakin in the movies, so it was a given that I would need to cosplay my childhood hero when I got older.
You go to a lot of red-carpet events. What has been your favorite event so far?
Out of recent events, the Angel of the Light Halloween event has to be my favorite. I came in without knowing a single thing, and the way this show immersed you into this experience was unlike anything I have experienced before. It was thrilling, terrifying, and a ton of fun at the same time.
How important do you think networking is to a budding career?
Networking is VITAL when it comes to a budding career. There is this saying, “You are only one connection away from anyone in the world”. The message that it’s trying to say, is how somebody you know can always lead to someone else and so on. It’s crucial to make these connections because there are people out there that have gone through all the hard work or business mistakes that can help you avoid poor decisions in whatever path you are choosing to follow.
Are there any upcoming projects you can share with our readers?
No release date as of right now but stay tuned to DevinSkateboards.com for new drops coming soon, as well as my YouTube channel Tarik Ellinger, where I plan on releasing a video talking about my experience getting on stage with Travis Scott at his Circus Maximus Concert!