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April 1, 2008

{     Interview : Don Pendleton     }    

Don Pendleton

The name Don Pendleton will always be synonymous for me with an unabashed love for skateboarding. While he was the first sponsored skater I ever met (Steve Steadham represent!) and he also worked at the first real skateshop I ever went to that wasn’t a handful of decks in the back of a shoe store or t-shirt shop, it actually goes a little bit deeper than that. Truth be told, Don Pendleton was in the first skate mag I ever bought (Transworld, June ‘88). This stands out on a personal level for me because in a sea of strictly California coverage, Don had a letter he wrote to the magazine published and it happened to be addressed from a small town only about twenty minutes away from where I lived. Upon reading this, I immediately felt a sense of camaraderie and relief that both myself and my small posse of fellow 5th graders weren’t alone in our shared passion for what could only be seen as a social liability and instant misfit-status while growing up in rural West Virginia (it should be noted that this was to be the only mention of our home state in any skate publication for the next 5 years).

From my humble tic-tac and boneless one beginnings on, Don Pendleton would become a kind of a Where’s Waldo figure for me, popping up at various points throughout the years. While first on the come up as a sponsored amateur, a broken ankle forced Don to choose a different route and make lemonade with his equally-as-strong artistic talents. With fellow WV-skate legend John Drake joining Alien Workshop in the early 90s, Don also boarded the mothership and would go on to design the majority of AWS graphics for the better part of the next decade before continuing on to work with Element and his new t-shirt company Darkroom. While not in the role he initially set out for, that tweaked ankle has allowed Don Pendleton to become one of the most highly-regarded and sought-after artists in the skate world and beyond. Soon to be the first subject of 411 video magazine’s new skate artist documentary series, I caught up with Don to ask him about humpback whale tre flips, growing up in the middle of nowhere, and what motivates him in today’s upside-down world of skateboarding. Its good to see Don still involved with skateboarding and doing so quite well. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Read on »

November 29, 2007

{     Interview : Jim Groman     }    

Jim Groman / Madballs

When I was a kid there was a period of time where I spent every cent I earned collecting those disgusting chunks of foam called Madballs, and while they really did nothing but look cool and bounce inccorrectly, I loved 'em like no other! My faves being Hornhead, Occulus Orbus and Dust Brain, I now realize years later just how influential the creators of those toys were on my own tastes and illustration style.

Brought to my attention by those corndogs at Mishka, illustrator Saxton Moore recently interviewed Jim Groman, the illustrator of both some old-school Madballs and the soon-to-come new series! Mr. Moore, aka SACKS10, has graciously gave us the go-ahead to republish the back-and-forth here on CrownDozen.com. Check out what Madballs have been up to and what's coming soon below!

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November 15, 2007

{     Interview : Mr. Pinks     }    

Pinky

England is famous for many things, such as The Beatles, crumpets, Shakespeare, the Royal Family, Stilton cheese, fish & chips, and much more. However, even though you may find one of the Princes cute, read some occasional Hamlet, listen to the Spice Girls when you're driving by yourself (they're making a comeback, we heard) or love eating fish out of newsprint, the fact remains that if you haven't seen the work of Mr. Pinks then you need to be adding him to your UK list. Pinky's work is like taking a trip back to a time when "Help!" was the jam and Posh was in diapers. Paper cuts all hand done with no stenciling, psychedelic images of owls, apples and his famous skull are just a few of the images that will leave you wanting more. Lucky for you, Schmancy in Seattle is showing original work by Mr. Pinky this month beginning this past Friday, November 9th, so no trips overseas are yet needed. Kristen at Schmancy had a little talk with Mr. Pinks about his art, his process, his buddy Justin Timberlake, and what's coming next...

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August 17, 2007

{     Interview : Dear Earthling     }    

Dear Earthling

Jeremiah Hammer, aka Dear Earthling, has been one of my favorite customers, supporters and just a cool dude to chat it up with since I opened up Schmancy in 2004. It has honestly been a pleasure to see artists in the Seattle area blow up and to feel like I got to be apart of that process. Jeremiah is no exception. He is a very passionate artist, motivated and yet still very humble. It’s impossible not to like the guy and I continue to be on the sidelines cheering for him. The layers in his work are breathtaking and will definitely make a lasting impression on even the most uneducated art/toy viewer. It was a great pleasure to take a little time with him to conduct this interview and learn just a little more about the man behind Dear Earthling.

Check out his show going up at Schmancy this Friday, August the 17th!

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July 12, 2007

{     Interview : Parskid     }    

Parskid

Parskid might be a man of few words but his work speaks loudly. From the Pacific Northwest, Parskid brings beauty to the damned and all their friends. With many products under his belt, shows always in the works and collaborations continuing, I am suprised he has any time left to "vandalise" the city. I am always pleased to see Parskids work in a gallery or on a street in my local hood. I am sure he will leave a strong impression on you as well.

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June 15, 2007

{     Interview : Shawn Wolfe     }    

Shawn Wolfe

Kristen Rask of Schmancy Toys in Seattle dropped this interview with the super-and-multi-talented Shawn Wolfe to me recently, and since I'm a last-minute kinda guy I'm putting it up today to coincide with his new show, "Stay Puft," that is going up at Schmancy this evening. I like run-on sentences, I like Kristen, I dig Schmancy, and I love Mr. Wolfe's striking and subtly intense work.

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May 8, 2007

{     Interview : Snaggs     }    

Since grade school, I have always been a fan of felt. There were always loads of colors to play with and felt boards were just plain fun. While working in a day care amid my "what do I do with my life" period, my love for felt was again sparked and still the flame lives on.

The artist Snaggs has changed my view of felt's potential in ways you can only understand by looking at her work. A Seattle-based artist, Snaggs makes the best dang felted art I have ever seen, as well as stunning retro pillows and other home goods. From hilarious renditions of Sloth from The Goonies to cute girls with umbrellas, Snaggs never ceases to impress those that enjoy the art movement as well as those that enjoy the craft movement. With Snaggs, there is no line between the two, she beautifully implements them together. Anyone can love Snaggs and everyone does. You should too.

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April 12, 2007

{     Interview : Arbito     }    

If I were to walk into the mind of Arbito, what might I find? I think it would be full of rainbows, breasts, cotton candy (hopefully), bright colors, good design, perhaps some grass of the smoking kind and some psychedelic tunes drifting along in the background. I would surely laugh, definitely feel stimulated and most likely have some flashbacks of the 60's. Wait, I wasn't around in the 60's... but every time I see Arbito's work I sure wish I had been.

A Seattle-based artist, Arbito is putting new work up at Seattle's Schmancy this Friday the 13th and it's a show you do not want to miss. His skill level is beyond comprehension, his style never ceases to hypnotize, and you never know what kind of work you'll be seeing - painting, sculpture, plush - whatever the dude is into lately.

Gearing up for the show, Arbito was trying to find even a minute to ingest food and water, but still managed to squeeze in a some time with Schmancy's own Kristen Rask in order to answer a few questions for CrownDozen.com. Hopefully it will give you a sense of his amazing work and encourage you to go check out more in person!

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March 17, 2007

{     Interview : Kenneth Lavallee     }    

Kenneth Lavallee lives in the cold, cold north - Winnipeg, Manitoba to be exact. He draws amazing and creepy images that I love, and not nearly enough people know who he is. His work has been featured on posters, in magazines, on album covers and recently in the new book "Beasts!" from Fantagraphics Press, next to artists such as Jeff Soto, Glenn Barr and Tim Biskup. The dudes at Oddica.com interviewed him last year and we're reprinting it here for no other reason than we think he's rad and Oddica is too.

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February 17, 2007

{     Interview : Jeremy Fish     }    

Late last year I touched base with Jeremy Fish to do an interview while he was in Philly for the "Little Creatures" show. I get to the Lineage Gallery and Josh, the owner says, "the dude is upstairs." I climb to the second floor loft and say, "what's up Mr. Fish? How's it going?" He responds, "not so good." After a brief conversation with him I find out that the issue was hanging the nine decks he made, which were seemingly unmountable due to a wall that Ben Franklin built. Relocation was looking like the only option. Clearly, Jeremy was about to flip out. I tell Jeremy that I know a little something about concrete walls and could help. He looks at me skeptical through the corner of his eye and says, "yeah, I really am about to flip out and I can't do anything until I get this done." After a minute of small talk Jeremy gets up and is muttering, "this drill bit sucks. I need a new bit." I ask Josh, "do you have a hardware store around?" He points me two blocks away and hands me 20 bucks and says, "get what you need." I race to the hardware store to buy concrete anchors and hammer drill bits. Less than 10 minutes later Jeremy and I are hammer drilling the shit out of this plaster/concrete/brick wall. After 30 minutes of serious labor we are all high fiving each other and talking about how the decks will never pull out. From there Jeremy and I go bullshit in the loft and put some shit on tape. At the end of the evening I was rewarded for my last minute labor, paid in full with vinyl toys. On that note, take a few minutes to read all the things you might not know about Jeremy Fish.

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November 28, 2006

{     Interview : MAD     }    

Toy designer Jeremy Madl A.K.A. MAD is one of the rising stars of the designer toy world. With countless collaberations, customs and shows under his belt, the MAD*L is already a well established brand within the designer toy world.

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November 16, 2006

{     Interview : Camille Rose Garcia     }    

I have been noticing the work of Camille Rose Garcia for the last few years now and appreciate it as amazing art, but it wasn't until I sat down with her over a few cups of coffee in New York City that I was able to fully appreciate all the meaning behind it. Camille is not only the most down to earth person you will ever meet but she is also the most globally aware. She is very much about her causes while still maintaining this child-like optimism. Camille has done everything from snowboard graphics to children's book illustration and various other projects in between, but don't expect to see much commercial work coming out of her anytime soon as she has found her true calling thru her paintings and hand-made toys. I can honestly say the world would be better off if it would adopt the same ideals and core values as Camille Rose Garcia. Take a read and hear what she had to say.

Read on »


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Interview : Parskid

Interview : Parskid

Interview : Shawn Wolfe

Interview : Arbito

Interview : Jeremy Fish

Interview : Camille Rose Garcia

Interview : Gary Baseman

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Interview : Ugly Dolls

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Interview : Nate Williams

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Interview : Junko Mizuno


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