My current project I am working on is fixing and repainting old skateboard decks. I first find old, ruined decks that I can take and fix up, such as removing grip tape and stickers from the board, cleaning it, and then letting the dry for a few days if it is waterlogged. I then sand off the previous paint, getting a finer and finer grain each time until the board is a nice, smooth and lovely blank slate of wood. Once this is done, I apply the primer and sand it again once it is dry. Next step is to begin creating and designing what will go on the board. Finally, I apply the design by whatever means that suits the design (e.g. a stencil for a Black & White photo design or using markers for a freehand drawing design). After letting it dry, it is good to go. I am beginning with old skateboard decks primarily because they are low cost and not special in any way, instead of sanding off a new $120 Pro Deck each time.
I began this project for 4 reasons: 1) For a long time I have been wanting to be able to get my art and designs out of my books and onto something else, 2) One of my favorite artists Mark Gonzales is the lead artist for Krooked Skateboards, and looking at all the decks he has made is like looking at an amazing art gallery, 3) A potential career path I want to follow is becoming a skateboard designer, whether for my own company or a company that needs some new designs or as a guest artist and 4) There is something about riding a board you have had a part in creating or have customized that makes skating so much better. This project is a great way to improve my skills in Art & Design. For the art, I need to create pieces that are appealing and interesting. Design comes into play with board layout, making sure everything works as intended and elements aren’t causing unintended conflict. The end-goal for this project is to be able to gain skills, knowledge, experience and understanding on what goes into creating and applying artwork to physical objects such as skateboards, not just keeping it on the canvas or paper. While I don’t intend to sell them as of now, when I move into higher quality boards I may begin to sell them if there is interest found. If not, that doesn’t matter as I will just ride them, because in the end I am using this to learn and gain experience.