Last Updated: 17 October 2013
Daveart: Design Superstar
Henrik Lundqvist, Dominik Hasek, Stefan Liv, and many, many more have worn masks created by Daveart through the years. Behind these designs is David Gunnarsson, professional airbrush artist with hockey masks for NHL goaltenders as a specialty.
David's career has been staked out in his head since he was sixteen. That was when he started the company Daveart and committed all his leisure time to developing his own style. And once he had mastered the technique, it wasn't long before jobs started pouring in.
"To start with, I was painting motorcycle tanks, cellphones, cartoons, all sorts of things. Once I'd left college I already had so much work that I could make a living doing it", David tells us.
Right in the center of the Swedish village of Vrigstad, David has now built a unique airbrush studio where he does around 150 masks each year for NHL goaltenders. The challenge is to be able to paint extremely detailed designs on small curved surfaces and create depth and 3D effects to make the design come to life.
Lundqvist extra committed
"I owe Bosse Ahl a big thank-you", says David. "He was the first goaltender I painted a mask for. Soon after that he made a big name for himself in the national team and the phone started to ring".
And what about the NHL stars? Well, that story started when goalie Johan Hedberg from Leksand in Sweden went to the AHL and Manitoba Moose. He then asked David to paint a moose on his mask in order to create a link to his new team and his homeland.
Johan was later traded to Pittsburgh Penguins, but used his old mask for the first few games. The Swedish goaltender was a success from the start in the Penguins and the mask was seen everywhere – it also gave him his nickname, "The Moose".
"Then after Henrik Lundqvist made his breakthrough in New York Rangers in 2006 there was a flood of orders coming in", David remembers. "I'd made a mask for him with the Statue of Liberty on it".
Henrik Lundqvist is one customer that is a little more committed to his masks. He and David have just started with a series of masks that are a tribute to Swedish legends. The first had portraits of Ingmar Bergman, Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, and David has just sent a new mask with a sporting heroes theme.
Not phased by anything
"Nothing phases me when it comes to designs really", David continues. "I can do photographic portraits, cute cartoon characters or horror motifs. What makes me unique is probably my breadth in combination with my ideas".
The Daveart website states that "goalies are special people and deserve nothing but the absolute best". So the final question for David is what is so special about goalies?
"When I think about it perhaps I'm rather like a goalie. Many of them are artists with special ideas and fancies. I can really relate to that".