Friday, June 10, 2011

Santa Cruz Skateboards 2

(continued) After a couple of months, I seemed to understand the system enough to feel pretty comfortable. I had so much clerical and document style work, that I felt like I was up to some 'hard goods' as we called them. The atmosphere in the art department was really lax. Again, coming from kitchen work, where you were busy or busy looking busy, it was unsettling at first.

Also, the owner, Rich Novak, had a long standing bet with any employee. If someone could knock him out with one punch, he'd pay them $1,000 cash. If they couldn't, he could then hit the person back wherever he wanted. Needless to say, I didn't take him up on it.

Most times, we spent coming up with concepts/roughs and researching ideas we'd then present to the Art Director, Mojo. When a design was selected for either a board, wheel or t-shirt, we then set out to make it happen.

80% of the work was made 'camera ready' on the computer. Scanning in your roughs, and tracing them in Illustrator or PhotoShop. Skateboard art, for about the first two years I was there, was created using 'ruby lith'. This process employed you to cut out each color manually, with an xacto knife, and have each layer photographed and made into a silkscreen. It was a painstaking process, that took me a while to get the hang of. Ironically, once I got pretty good, we switched to doing all board graphics on the computer.

I spent about 4 yers at NHS/SC Skate, and ended up creating dozens of boards, wheels, shirts, jackets etc. Toward the end, I started to dabble in the new HTML web applications, as the company was interested in moving their retail onto the web. It was incredible experience, and looking back, was really my surrogate art school.

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