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An Illustrator Twists Skateboards Through 3D Kickflips

A Dutch illustrator treats his long-time passion for skateboarding as a lightning rod for design inspiration.

by Diana Shi
14 January 2017, 5:05am

Beeld: Rutger Paulusse

A malleable board and a sharp mind for innovation make for two critical tools to kickflip skateboarding from a down-time hobby to a launchpad for art. Enthusiastic about the creatively-minded sport since his youth, Dutch illustrator Rutger Paulusse creates dreamy, cotton candy-colored digital designs that pay homage to the tricks and athletic nature of skateboarding.

“When I was young I started skateboarding and it’s just one of those things that once you love it, it will always have a special place in your heart,” shares the artist. 

His flowing renderings of bendable boards draped over railing and quarter-pipes reflect the complexity of even the most effortless skateboarding trick. Each flexible rendering mimics the sinuous motion of a suspended skater as he completes a detailed trick. Other times, they mimic the surface upon which the tricks are performed.

As a young skateboarder, Paulusse put his energy into devising gusty tricks in his small village in Amsterdam. Later, he would move to New York, to pursue a career in graphic design, where the skateboarding bug would find him and take him to cruise the crowded city streets.

The 33-year-old artist talks a bit about developing his aesthtics in the series, Skateboarding. “I always loved the shapes of the obstacles in skateparks and of the skateboards. That, combined with the interesting textures of wood and metal, formed the inspiration for the series. I started just doing one, but I really got the hang of it and kept finding inspiration while looking at pictures and videos on the internet of skateboarding.”

“The creativity of skateboarders is amazing these days, the tricks are really advanced and technical and it’s really nice to see how skateboarding developed,” praises Paulusse. “Although I don’t really skateboard anymore, working on this project was really fun and brought back good memories and it was really cool to be able to combine this old passion for skateboarding with my current passion for illustration.”

To see more digital design work from Rutger Paulusse, visit his website, here, and his Behance page, here.

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