A R T B L E N D E R // DON PENDLETON on Pendleton doesn’t need much of an introduction to anyone who’s bought a skateboard over the past decade. His slightly menacing characters are unmistakable and instantly distinguishable. After a stint at being a sponsored skateboarder for Steadham Designs, Acme, Gouge Clothing and San Diego Trucks, Don worked towards a degree in Graphic Design from Huntington, West Virginia’s Marshall University, but claims: “My high school art program was better.” He was able to get on with the Dayton, Ohio-based Alien Workshop in 1998, and played a major role in board graphic production and Alien’s overall identity for seven years. His style progressed quickly, producing numerous graphics every couple months that
clockwise from top left:
“One Way Or Another” fundraiser, handpainted decks Juice Design mural, San Francisco Designarium “Natas” deck Alien “Pappalardo Evil Eye Series” deck Alien “Drydek 5 Owl Series” deck Mountain Dew “Green Label Art” Paul Rodriguez can IPATH “Totem” tee The Berrics “Primary Fish” tee 22
featured the angled, abstracted characters with sharp teeth and knowing eyes from Don’s fragmented but cohesive world. His influence borrows from both the natural and supernatural, along with aspects of classic modern art (cubism, constructivism and futurism). As for Don’s work post-Alien, he did a stint as an artist for Element from 2005 to 2009 while maintaining a well-insulated life from the skateboard industry’s drama by residing in Ohio. During that time Bob Kronbauer released Little Giants – a documentary about Don’s life and influential work, with insight provided from a number of industry notables. Freelancing full-time more recently, Don has worked with brands such as Zero, Heroin, DVS, and Etnies, along with other action-sport
“Don’s been consistently producing things that I love looking at. Often times I’ll look at somebody else’s work and just know it’s been inspired by him; I imagine that kinda sucks for him in a lot of ways, but I also imagine that it is an honour nonetheless.” –Bob Kronbauer // Managing Editor, Vancouver Is Awesome / Club Mumble
related outfits such as Nike 6.0, Gravis, K2, Oakley and Mountain Dew, of which he says: “There’s this stigma about working for bigger companies. But honestly, that’s the most freedom I’d had since AWS.” Skateboarding has just started to catch a glimpse of Don Pendleton’s vision of life. In the near future, hopefully someone will brave the night terror that’s lurking around the bend and implement a skate brand that gives a full view of Don’s world. But until that day, we’ll just have to beware of those slightly dangerous owls and winged demons. —Randy Laybourne elephont.com
visit concreteskateboarding.com to download art blender wallpapers for your computer and iphone.
“Castle” by Don Pendleton created for Concrete Skateboarding.