We're kicking off a series of posts to highlight the awesome people who are part of our Movement Creative community, doing and learning parkour in and around New York City. Most of all, we want to show that those who do parkour are NOT a uniform group, but an eclectic mix of people of different backgrounds, ages, interests and training styles. Our first post is about our student Ivan Alkhovskiy - an artist and traceur who uses his creativity in many different ways.
OCCUPATION: Illustrator, Animator, Graphic Designer & Web Developer
PASSIONS: parkour, wood carving, soccer
PERSONAL SITE: ForestElk.com
When and why did you first decide to try parkour?
To me parkour was always this unreachable thing I adored watching from the computer screen and thinking how cool it would be to know how to make those crazy tricks. So it happened back in December 2013 when my wife grabbed me and brought me to the trampoline class in one of those gymnastic gyms. There, in the gym, I realized that these amazing gymnasts are here, in New York City and it would be very stupid of me not to take advantage and learn parkour myself.
What inspires you to continue doing parkour on a regular basis?
Well, it is all about the people I meet at parkour sessions. Being honest, I wouldn't come to one of those rainy or freezing, dark Tuesdays if I didn’t know there are these cool guys and girls outside ready to practice movement. When it comes to any sports, I'm usually not that kind of a dedicated guy. However, when I know there is a team of awesome people on the street who I can join, I can't resist!
In terms of parkour, what are your favorite things to work on?
I love add-on games, working on vaults, going over and under rails, climbing the city walls or rocks in Central Park - these are my favorite things.
You’re an artist and a traceur. You created a series of ILLUSTRATIONS that showcases parkour movements. Tell us a little more about that project: what WAS YOUR goal and WHAT inspired you?
It started during one of those training sessions at Tompkins Square Park. I was jumping over bars and was unfortunate enough to hit my knee twice within one minute. I was hurt and decided to stop training for the day. While I was sitting on the train heading home, I was so mad at those stupid bars and my awkwardness, that I started to scribble a caricature in my notebook. When I stepped out of the train, the pain was gone but it left me with an image in my sketch pad. As it usually happens, the final image turned out to be something different from the initial idea but it was still good and recognizable to anyone who has ever trained at Tompkins. That is basically when I decided that it might be a good idea to illustrate parkour training in different New York City parks. So, that is the project - to illustrate parkour in different areas of the city.
How has parkour influenced your life? HAS IT helped you discover ANYTHING about yourself or the world?
As I mentioned before, people I meet in parkour classes are amazing. I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet so many bright individuals with so many different backgrounds and interests without these sessions. And when it comes to my art, parkour is an interesting source of all kinds of movements that I use in works that are not even related to sports but that have a desperate need for unusual motion. This kind of motion makes an image more attractive and more interesting for a viewer.