VICE: Dear Thom,
I need an angle for this article on you. I feel like I have to mention the whole “skateboarders that do art” thing (Ed Templeton, Mike Mills, Phil Frost, Neil Blender, Ryan McGinness, Mark Gonzales, Thomas Campbell, Chris Johanson, Lori D, etc.) but that “their bones got too brittle so now they’re artists” thing is done to death.
: Besides, Mark Gonzales and Ed Templeton are still pro and kill it, so don’t say their bones are brittle.
What about how none of these guys can really draw or paint that well? Skating is all about bailing and trying new tricks and fucking up and trying again—-the art seems to reflect that.
Yeah, that’s way better. None of us are particularly known for how well we draw hands or fruit bowls. Growing up following dudes like Blender and Gonzales really showed me you can teach yourself to do whatever you want to do and nobody can tell you what’s right or wrong. I know tons of kids who went through art school and are scared to death to show their work. I, on the other hand, took the first painting I ever did down to my friend’s ice cream shop and said, “Yo, hang this up,” and she did. Then I would wheat-paste stuff on the street or paint shit or put stickers up.
Yeah, I’ll mention that. I also want to get into how you always draw and paint rock bands.
I like doing these little portraits of all the serious-looking rock dudes in their little rock uniforms. They’re soldiers. Like: Axl Rose, Andrew WK (when he was on the cover of VICE), and, of course, Journey. I love Journey because they got all the hot roller-rink joints that bring me back. I got the live record with “Any Way You Want It” and it’s epic. So much balls, yet so tender.
Send me the article when it’s done.