July 17, 2014

Skate Culture Conference, Drew University

Drew University has kindly sent us information on a forthcoming conference on skateboard culture that they are hosting in Ireland in January 2015 and presently making a call for papers for:

Drew University Transatlantic Connections Conference invite proposals for papers which consider the cultural, social, spatial and political dynamics of skateboarding. Submissions from diverse fields of study, including cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, geography, architecture, urban studies, and history, are encouraged.

We will also be screening the Irish Skate Movie “Hill Street” with thanks to Wildcard Distributors.

Interested contributors should send abstracts of 200 words to drewtransatlantic@gmail.com Final date for submissions is November 1 2014.

Here is the link to the aforementioned Hill Street Documentary, which "looks at the evolution of skateboarding culture in Dublin since the late 1980s up until today."

Back to the conference, this looks like a rather interesting opportunity for those who wish to either contribute to the conversation around skate culture, or who wish to simply listen in to the conversation around it. Presumably the conference organizers may publish the proceedings of this conference and, if so, Skate Culture will certainly keep you apprised of that.

July 15, 2014

Iconic Jimmy'z Skateboarder Ads

Skate related ads have always been a source of immense interest to me. I remember when I picked up my first skate magazines back in the 1980's; the creativity of the various advertisements in those magazines particularly caught my attention and imagination. Aside from showing interesting, innovative (and just plain fun) art and design concepts, they also often featured some of the big names of skating -- and while skate parks and empty concrete swimming pools did not feature in my own locale at that time, I was able to feel a connection to the southern, West Coast skate culture through these things, taken though they were from my north-eastern vantage point, defined more by colorful maples and the spires of universities than the towering palm trees of Venice beach.

While skateboarding had a wider history and expression for sure, for me it was something distinctly "Californian" -- and justly so, I think. Perhaps that is why some of my favourite skate related ads came from Jimmy'z which often featured big name skaters in sunny, outdoor, Californian settings, often employing striking skate photography. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Skateboarding legend Natas Kaupas beautifully framed by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, riding the grail of grails for many a skateboard collector, his uber-rare, yellow SMA panther, designed by fellow Dogtowner, Kevin Ancell. If all those ingredients weren't enough, this spectacular photograph was taken by one of the legends in skate photography, MoFo (Mörizen Föche).

More Natas

Dave Duncan photographed in an empty backyard pool

Eric Dressen on a half-pipe

Christian Hosoi in classic 80's pink canvas hightops -- look like Converse to me.

July 12, 2014

Jimbo Phillips Stickers

Jimbo Phillips carries on the Phillips family tradition of surf and skate art with these stickers that he offers on his official webstore. I particularly like the Barf Brain and Surf Freak and the latter in particular I'd love to have both in my skate sticker collection, as well as on my own board to honour not only the Phillips family style and its contribution to skate art, but to also honour the surfing roots of skateboarding.

This kind of art is not only not a thing of the past, it's very much a part of the present, so make sure to lend it your support.

July 07, 2014

Interview with Jim Phillips, Legendary Santa Cruz Artist

Designboom has published an interview with legendary skate and surf artist, Jim Phillips, who is responsible for some of the most iconic skate graphics in all of skate history.

Here's a short excerpt from the interview:

DB: what do you know now that you wish you knew when you were 21?

JP: when I turned 21 I was attending art school and naively studying fine art. in later years I had wished that I studied commercial art so that I could actually make a living. it was very difficult to learn advertising and commercial art on my own. after art school I went back to working at the surfboard manufacturing trade that I learned as a teenager, and was applying my art to surfboards. from that work I was offered a job in an in-house art studio for a motorcycle company, and I received advertising training on the job from the art director there and the demands of the work. after that company abruptly went belly-up I started my freelance art service doing the art for which I am known such as the skateboard work. but in hindsight my fine art training was invaluable and became a key to my success in commercial art.

July 03, 2014

Skate Stickers from Santa Cruz

Stickers have a for a very long while now been a significant part of the skate scene. While vintage stickers are of course an item of interest unto themselves as collectibles, there is still a place for these items today and in that regard newly printed stickers are the best option (unless, of course, you don't mind using relatively rare 1980's stickers on your board).

To that end, Skate Culture is pleased to announce this new offering from NHS/Santa Cruz whereby you can easily order a pack of their stickers for only a few dollars. You could always get stickers from them, but I wrote in a suggestion to them that it would be useful if people were able to simply add stickers to their shopping cart like everything else on their site. I was pleased that they took my suggestion to heart.