The friends, the lifestyle and the beliefs of a Skateboarder are unique, its something you have to live to understand. The tattered shoes, the countless wounds all spark memories, the past, present and future are all embraced. Its roots began in surfing in the 1960’s the look, the lifestyle all say one things and one thing alone; “I’m an individual and I will prevail”
My artistic craving started to lean towards the legendary surf and skate illustrators of the 1970’s to 1990’s. The Skateboarding, Surfing and rock & roll art of the 3 decades was by three illustrators, Jim Phillips, Vernon Courtlandt Johnston and Mark Gonzalez. Within this essay I will be looking at the History of Skateboarding through the 50’s to the 80’s.
Skateboard graphics can be humorous, controversial, political, abstract, thought provoking and even collectable. The challenge for the illustrator is to create a strong piece of artwork within a defined space, making a rich collaboration between skater and artist that will speak to individuality within every culture.
The skateboarding, surfing and rock & roll art of the last 40 years was trail blazed by the legendary illustrator Jim Philips and the rest of the world has been playing catch-up ever since. Jim's skateboard art revolution started in the 1970’s and was rendered in pen and ink; pens were dipped in bottles of India ink and followed by white ink touch ups. However after the 1990’s many of the illustrations were generally done in preparation to be coloured on a computer. Jim has an eye grabbing comic style full of bold colours, clean brushwork and surrealist imagery. His has a large portfolio that bombards the viewer with colourful skateboard decks, logos, ad art, ad layouts, photos and stickers to illustrate the history of skateboarding from the urethane revolution up to the present. Any skater that grew up in the 70s, 80s and 90s had Jim’s designs plastered on every wall of their bedroom as well as the decks of their...
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