Skateboarding and art used to be one in the same. They were breathed in the same breath. If it wasn't for the graphics on old Powell Peralta, G&S, SMA and Vision boards I would have never learned how to draw. I spent hours and hours trying to recreate the designs I saw in Thrasher magazine. Some of my favorite designs were Neil Blender, Mike Vallely, Steve Rocco, Mark Gonzales, Joe Lopes and Ray Barbee, but I digress.
I used to have a pink Mark Gonzales shirt when I was in middle school and I got in a fight in the halls after school because some one yelled out nice pink shirt FAG! Now I would kill to own that shirt and we all know pink was the new black about five years ago so I was on some next level even then, but I digress. I once had to go to court for skating on a knocked down street sign and running from the cops. They chased us into a field by some train tracks where there was a mural of Flavor Flav back when he meant something. We were written tickets and had a court date set. My parents were so angry, so annoyed they had to take me to court and I was scared but proud to be going against a judge for the cause. I wore my white Santa Cruz speed wheels shirt to court, the police officer didn't show up and the case was dismissed.
My Mom took me out for ice cream after that to celebrate, go young me! We skated picnic tables, parking lots, schools and churches. We even skated the steps of a nunnery doing sick 50/50 stalls on their steps. We were then kicked out after an hour by the actual nuns. I never had any money (some things never change) and my list of daily priorities were skating, eating, sleeping in that order. Every time we went out it felt the same way as when I draw now and that is a feeling I can't put into words. Alas over time the spirit has been lost and has now been adopted by corporations and the sport is now exploited and mostly devoid of any substance. We have all read it before. It used to be special to see skateboarding in movies such as Police Academy 2 or even Thrashin' which I saw in the theater, go young me! Now it is just another sport and I don't hate that I just don't think that the connection between art and skateboarding is what it used to be. That could be the artists, that could be the ads, that could be the kids, but I digress. I made this for a skateboard show at Henry and after talking about designing a board for so long and the connection I have with the memories of skating I could not sell this but I'm proud to say mine was the first one some one tried to buy. One day I will throw some wheels and trucks on this and push around on it to get coffee or to run to the store but it will never be the same. So here is to skateboarding, my first love.