Andy HOWELL - USA
Born February 1st 1970
Lives and works in La Jolla, California – USA
Andy Howell was one of the most talented pro skaters of his generation. By 1987 his incredible style and his unbounded creativity made him a leader in the skateboard art world. Like most creative people, Andy puts forth an incredible amount of energy and passion into everything that he does. It is impossible to count the number of drawings, ads and skateboard graphics Andy has completed. Andy, as an entrepreneur, has been behind many great brands such as The New Deal, Sophisto, and Girly Things just to name a few. Whether riding, designing, or starting a new company Andy has always been viewed as the heart and soul of Board Culture and remains an anchor for the skateboarding world.
How did you discover your love and talent for art?
My art came from a folk art place, a mix of skateboarding, music, graffiti, traditional art education, making things with my hands, graphics, etc. For many years I considered myself a DIY kid who just likes to get into trouble, just make whatever came to my mind.
So I did, and it became a skateboarding career, skate companies, graphics, art shows, collabs, travel, fame, all that. And I have always been inspired to keep going, to explore the boundaries of possibility, to stretch them, break them. I got into sculpture, started to collaborate with photographers, other artists from different disciplines. Product collaborations with action sports companies, toy companies, anything and everything I came across that inspired me. And through all of these experiences I emerged as a contemporary artist, in the traditional sense. I continue to push myself into other areas, industrial design, product design, brand incubation; all of these are to me forms of conceptual art that find relevance in society. There are millions of open flowing pipes of experience; I just choose different ones to plug into as it suits me.
Who influences your art?
Anyone who pushed the envelope, anyone who sees the world as a platform of limitless potential.
How does the board sports culture influence your art?
The experience of skateboarding is a creative endeavour in itself, creating new tricks, approaching a new obstacle, all of these are the same as painting on a new surface, or doing graffiti, or playing the trumpet. All are vehicles for creativity...
How do you feel about wood as a medium?
Skateboard graphics are an interesting delivery mechanism for art; because it becomes functional and continues to change the harder someone skates. It parallels train bombing, it is a piece of art that eventually gets covered over (with stickers or scraped off for a skateboard, or written over for a piece on a train) and it is always moving, so the people who catch the art itself have to be fast to see it, and even more in tune to understand it.
As a rider and artist, how important are board graphics to you?
I love to customize my boards. I have painted 2 other surfboards, and just got two more lily white ones that are craving for my customization…