Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week she features three artists whose work offers fresh, fun, and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the previous part in the series, featuring Mot Mot, Ben Clark, and Donny Miller.
Donny Miller is inspired by …
He taught me everything about graphic design. He was the first art director I worked under. He’s very shrewd and astute about graphic design, to the point where you could have something already printed and he would suggest changes—not because he’s trying to be difficult, but because he understands that once a graphic goes out, it is set in stone in a way. Yogi is one of the very few people whose opinion I trust and really take into consideration. He changed skateboard advertising, and in doing so changed culture. He brought a high-end sensibility to advertising in all of action sports, a term I hate to use. He is a big reason I have a critical eye and mind.
The amount of work that went into making this copier gold is huge. It’s not spray paint. It’s a special process designed specifically for plastics. One way I read this piece is it being a play on how we put copies (copycats), across all artistic mediums, on a pedestal for copying other artists. Side note: The next artist to reinterpret Andy Warhol’s Soup Can is getting punched in the face.
Emerica is a conceptual piece of art that happens to be a skateboard shoe company. The use of the campaign’s green and gold is interesting considering Yogi is colorblind. What’s more interesting is how on point all his color choices are. Many people were scared that green wouldn’t work, because it’s one of those DO NOT USE colors in advertising. It worked. It was so different than anything in the magazines at the time. It made people upset like good art should.
Yogi Proctor is inspired by …
Eric is a funny guy. He is also the longtime art director for Almost Skateboards. Almost is a funny company—it defers professionalism for personality, and favors eccentricity over accolades. Intentionally Almost: just as the name implies. Paradoxically, this irreverence puts Wollam in the unique position to thrive as a smart-alec designer. Wollam has the unique ability to express his odd-ball sense of humor through the insider cliques of skateboarding with a precise graphic wit.
The subtlety of this graphic is its genius. If you know the codes and cliques of the skateboarding subculture, you’ll know that “mall grab” is a somewhat derogatory term. It describes a particular way of holding a skateboard—the wrong way—like you just bought the board at the mall. For the safety of your ego, please don’t turn up to the skate-spot holding “mall-grab.” But look! Is that Batman “Mall Grabbing” his new board?” This graphic joke saves the day with an insiders accuracy, and appeals to insiders accordingly.
Cigarette butts for brows, crushed beer cans for eyes, and a banana peel smile. Dress up this trash face with a top hat and bow tie, and have a ball. This is Eric Wollams kind of party. And you are cordially invited, graphically, to get trash face too. Its a great graphic. Enjoy the party.
Eric Wollam is inspired by …
Marc is incredible in every medium. From airbrush to oil paints, there is nothing he can’t do. Not to mention his unbelievable illustration skills. But, best of all is his sense of humor that shows in all his work.
His illustrations he’s done for skateboards are amazingly detailed. The story he tells are usually sarcastic and darkly humorous about pop culture. I also love the fact that he’s created a style in which he renders each character. You can always tell he did the graphic by his style of illustration.
He always challenges himself with different mediums, which is very inspiring. He can paint with acrylics, oil paint or airbrush. No matter what he chooses to use it always comes out an undeniable Marc Mckee piece with his signature look.
Tune in next time to see who inspires Marc McKee.