Joe Iurato's Little Climbers
When you were in art school is this what you thought your art would be like?
Oh, no no no no. There are no art classes that are going to teach you graffiti and street art. But I did study graphic design for a little while. I went to work for Movado watches doing billboards while I was in school. I couldn't deal with sitting there taking someone else's creative direction the whole time. I just can't do it if it doesn't feel right. Or maybe you just have to climb that ladder but I wasn't prepared to do that at the time. I was studying graphic design, and I went through 3 1/2 years. After the magazine I contemplated going back to get my degree and teaching art but that didn't happen.
How'd you start climbing?
I'm from Jersey. And I came from being a skater, doing some partying. And my wife, then girlfriend, and I were looking for something else. So we went indoors. We went to the New Jersey Rock Gym and toproped our first day. One of the route setters there was Matt Stark and we fell to talking that first night and by the weekend I was with him in the Gunks bouldering and embarrassing myself. No exciting stories. I went to the gym once, then went outside with Matt, and have never stopped. I started making climbing videos under the name "IndeVisual" back in the day. Just short videos of me and my friends and our travels. I started traveling to festivals with these things. That's how I wound up with Urban Climber. The publisher saw one of my videos and was like, Hey you ever write before? And I was like, No but I can try.
You got into climbing in your mid-twenties. It seems like most people get into the sport in high school or college. Do you have any advice for people just getting into the after those times?
Yeah. As far as I am concerned, I came into climbing at the right time. But, I don't want to speak for all teenagers. But you know, you go through phases as a teenager, something strikes you, you try it have fun and you move on. Life gets in the way, work, the whole nine yards, and a lot of time you don't hold onto those things that really were important. Being a little bit older, when you find something that really strikes you, you know it is there to stay. You have a lot of your life in order. And I think you're in a better frame of mind when you're older. I was climbing everyday at age twenty-six and I was the oldest in our crew. I was climbing with seventeen-year-olds but it didn't really matter. I had so much pysche and I still do. If you really like climbing at a latter point in life, and you really fall in love with it, I think it's a good indication that it will stay in your life.