A Proper Pope

Saturday, February 28, 2009 / Posted by PageOne /

Interviewed by Skateboarder Magazine Web Editor, Matt Bauer

Some artist’s skills seem to be evident at first born while others may take years to develop. For example, I learned the hard way when my older brother decided to pick up a pen and use me as his 8-month-old canvas and later on evolve into a skilled artist. Have you always possessed this talent and can you share an early childhood story?

I have drawn most of my life. I do remember in kindergarten drawing a rabbit and sitting at a table with my teacher and mom, my teacher talking to my mom about how I love to draw , etc. I have an uncle who was a really great painter, I used to sit next to him and he’d teach me how to use oil paints, thinners, etc. I was pretty young, elementary school , like 3rd , maybe 4th grade.

Growing up did you have anyone specific who you looked up to for inspiration?

Skateboarders. Guys like Blender, Gonz, GSD. These dudes were creative skateboarders who made art and skated differently than everyone else. I was also really into Jason Jessee, Ricky Windsor and Grosso. Younger guys closer to my age too like Cardiel, Brian Ferdinand, Wade, and Max just because they ripped (still do) and were total individuals. These dudes all know how to “ride” their skateboards. On the strictly art front I could compile a decent list too….

How did you get into skateboarding and when did you begin to think it was possible to make a career out of it?

I learned to ride when my dad made me my first board at age5. I started riding ramps and curbs and stuff in the early eighties. That was like….26 years ago or something like that. Crazy.

Over the 20+ years you’ve been involved in skateboarding it’s an understatement to say you’ve become a successful entrepreneur. What kind of obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?

Obstacles like having to re-learn (every time I’m feeling smart) that I have a lot to learn. I’ve had to learn how to listen, and how to be patient. Those are three big ones.

What advice would you give someone trying to follow in your footsteps launching their own company?

Be cool, don’t burn bridges. Spend only what you’re prepared to loose. Be persistent, and refer to the answer I gave about what obstacles I had to overcome.

How would you describe your studio? Any special tricks you do to create an environment that simulates creativity?

A mess. I need visuals, stuff I’m into hanging about, music, and I need that mess. I like not having to hold back to stay tidy. Make yourself a space where you can let it rip. It’s comfortable in there.

Do you prefer to jam out to vinyl, tapes, cds, or the radio when you work? Care to share your current obsessions?

CD’s, a few cassettes, and a bit of public radio. I listen to a lot of old Jazz, Devo, Big Audio Dynamite, Blondie, X ray Specs, Sabbath, James Brown, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Seu Jorge, English Beat, I’ll stop there, I could keep going and going.

Are you working on any exciting projects that you can talk about?

Yeah, I’m working on stuff at Fallen. I have an artist series of boards I’m working on for Stereo that should be out early Summer. I have some pieces in a show in Phoenix at Pravus Gallery called “The Panelists” February 09. From there I’m showing at Hibbleton in Fullerton, CA with Andy Jenkins, Chris Pastras, and Mike Myers in March. In August I’ll be at Shepards gallery Subliminal in Los Angeles with Michael Sieben, Andy Jenkins, Chris Pastras, and Mike Myers. I’m really excited about the Subliminal show, it should be a great collection of work from everyone. I have a couple more collaborative projects, one with some T’s and the other is within my ongoing collaboration at Hoven.

How would you like to see your art progress to in the next 5 years?

I really just want to keep painting and showing in quality shows at great spots. I’d like to go a bit bigger in scale with my paintings. I’ve done really big stuff in the past and am ready to do some large pieces again.

If you were limited to only 5 tools of the trade in your line up which would they be and why?

A # 12 round Black Pearl “Silver Edition” brush, a 2.5” disposable horse hair brush, Black FW acrylic ink, various cans/colors of acrylic oops paints, and a 8 3/8” X 32 ¼” board with 55mm wheels on some bones swissers bolted onto some Ace “44” trucks. All for the same reason, they work for me. They’re comfortable and each in their own way feel good.

What is the most “unusual” piece you’ve ever created and what was it for?

Probably painting live, unusual due to the situation, not subject matter or medium. It’s always a bit odd, uncomfortable at times and kinda weird. Like you’re the entertainment or something….sorta jacked.

What drove you into the role of Brand Manager for Fallen? How do you juggle work and family time and still manage to do your art?

I needed a solid place to work where there are people I relate to and also want to make really good stuff for Skateboarding. Black Box/Fallen has that. I have to hustle to and from work so I can hang out with my wife and kids. Then after my kids go to sleep I get into the studio and paint. Before bed I catch up on emails to my site etc. There isn’t enough time in a day.

Where can we see your artwork next? Any shows you’d like to promo?

I guess I played this one out in the “Special Projects” answer. I think that the show at Subliminal in August will be worth seeing for sure. Hibbleton in March will be fun too. Oh yeah, I have a 50 or so paged black and white/color combo book that is being put out by Bluepress in Santa Cruz full of paintings drawings, etc. Should be out in summer. I guess the best way to keep up on this stuff is to just check my website and or blog every so often. You can sign up for my mailing list on my site.





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