Just Breathe. Magazine — #02 — State Of Now — At This Moment, 2012
STATE OF NOW — Mercedes Helnwein Sergej Vutuc Jay Howell
Adrian Rubi-Dentzel Matt Pattinson aka Culprit Rip Zinger Clark Goolsby Scott Bourne Matthew Dent Erosie
Every moment is now. The best moment is always now. No past, no future. Just now. The flash is all there is. You are always living in a State Of Now. Eternally. Moving in the forward direction. Never leaving the now. Being in the now! — We assembled a group of awesomeness. People from around the world. Everyone shared with us their unique vision of the Now. THE NEW NOW — JB. 2012
Scott Bourne Writer, poet, a man with a clear voice and presence. Paris Rip Zinger Photographer, world traveller, rad human being, giving life a smile. Tokyo
Sergej Vutuc Photographer, skateboarder, musician, magician. Heilbronn Adrian Rubi-Dentzel Carpenter, the most well-adjusted character with a crystal vision. Paris
The JB. Team of
Clark Goolsby Artist, sculptor, synaesthete, soft spot for bold colors. NYC
Mercedes Helnwein Artist, writer, drawing people in mysterious, unpredictable scenes. LA Matt Pattinson aka Culprit Illustrator, predicting the future of robots, Edinburgh
Matthew Dent Illustrator, midfielder of the SoHo Warriors FC. London
Jay Howell Illustrator, cartoonist, master of Street Dog, total summer dude. LA
Creative Direction and Design
Layout and Image Processing
Thank you so much…
My son Henri for the power, curiosity and confidence.
All Interviews by
commitment, light and inspiration, and for being the
most awesome friend. Bastian for caring and showing
interview with S. Vutuc by Jenne
new perspectives. Jeremy Leslie (magCulture) for the
and Barnabas. Simone Rubi talked to
support and pushing the indie magazine world big time.
The Whitest Boy Alive for taking me on a great
Oppelner Str. 15
Just Breathe. Magazine is about all the things we like! We slow down when everything is going fast.
You co-create my/our NOW. Simone Rubi for the
Stay in the Loop twitter.com/JB_Magazine
Germany tour in May 2012! Megabomb! Iliana for Editing
being the best flatmate ever. My sister Lena for being
Dave Rimmer, Kevin Cote, David Fenske
so powerful. Stuart (GiveUpArt) and Shaun Bloodworth for inspiration and the continuous support.
Illustration Hanka Lux (portraits), Nick Deakin (p.09)
Sergej, Sabrina, Karsten, Paul, Danielle, Laetitia, Oli, Lewis, Hardwax, Tobias, the city of Paris, Sheffield
crew… and all close friends and family!
Danielle Rubi-Dentzel (cover & p.18-19), All content © JB. 2012
Jenne Grabowski (p.09), all other photos
Skateboarding, you're the best! Hi to all my Berlin
All artworks courtesy of the artist
courtesy of the featured artist
skate folks, especially my Kreuzberg crew!
Not Moving Doesn‘t mean you don‘t move
"Every @theSWFC session at the moment I seem to be getting space jammed.... There's some alien on mars banging in goals..." â€”Matt Dent, forward player of the Soho Warriors Football Club
A Long Ahead
THE CONCEPT OF DEATH AND DYING IS A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO CLARK GOOLSBY. HE BALANCES THE FEAR OF DYING BY ENVISIONING A LONG LIFE AHEAD, ACCOMPANIED BY LOTS OF BOLD COLORS AND GOOD MUSIC
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"The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation."—Hermann Hesse
Where are you right now? You're not at your NY studio at the moment, but how does a regular Goolsby day look like? Well, today I'm on a bit of a vacation... I was in LA for a few days, and now I'm in San Diego with my wife's family. So to answer your question I haven't done much of anything. But a normal day is a little busier. I actually work as a graphic designer during the day and usually do art on nights and weekends. I thought art is already engaging you full-time. I wish, but right now it doesn't quite pay the bills... but it's OK now, because my day job allows me to put a little more money into my projects. I have a lot of friends who are trying to do it full-time, and they have a lot of ideas that they can't execute because of lack of funds. What kind of graphic work are you doing? I work for a company that does a little of everything, but mainly we focus on packaging and branding. Art is definitely a nice escape from that world. So your studies were meant to train you as a graphic designer rather than a fine artist? No, I actually trained as a fine artist. But it’s kind of weird, I think I was really late to the idea that I could actually be a fine artist. I kind of got into design accidentally, and it wasn't for a few years out of school that I realized that I could be an artist. I would never have been able to make Dead Man if I didn't have the extra income coming in. It's kind of sad, but art actually can cost a lot of money to make. But yeah, hopefully I could do it full–time some day. Describe your studio a bit. How does it feel that it is so far away now, actually not existing in your reality? I have a pretty good little space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Unfortunately it's in a basement, so there aren't any windows. I have my own room, but there are three other artists I share the basement with. It's tough being on vacation, because it's good to relax, but I am always eager to get back in there. A little nervous and full of new ideas, curious about working on them? Yeah, totally. I'm always thinking of the next thing, and I'm eager to get the thing I'm working on finished so I can start the next project. Are you working on paintings at the moment or is there another project like Dead Man? Right now I have a few paintings I am finishing, and then I have a few collage pieces in mind, and I have a couple of big sculptures in mind after that... I've been collecting all the materials for the sculptures, and I’m starting to do some planning on them, but haven't actually started making them yet. How do you collect and store these materials? Do you have tons of different things in drawers and boxes? Yes, I used to have years worth of collage materials in boxes in my studio, but they were all destroyed when the basement flooded (major bummer). So, I'm recollecting a lot of that stuff. And for the sculptures, I have a lot of
wood, felt, string, rope, plastic etc. that's accumulating in piles on the floor of my studio Talking about the collage works... What is the self-conscious part about it and what is the emotional, intuitive, the unconscious part? I think actually with the collages it is pretty intuitive. When I started that work I had a few conceptual ideas in mind, but I The Dead Man took about a year to really don't pre-plan those works (sketches/studies etc.). I complete. Foam, am now thinking about the work in a different way than wood and lots of colored ropes when I started, but I think I might be the only one that would know the difference. I think it's essential to have ideas when approaching a new work. It gives you something to check against. Is there a piece of work in particular that you are very content with? That's a tough question because I think I always am thinking of the next thing. So a lot of times when I look back at work that's a few years old, I kind of hate it. But, I would have to say that I really am happy with a couple of the sculptures from my last show. Dead Man was such an undertaking, and it was a great sense of accomplishment for me when I finished it. Also, At Rest was another piece I just really loved when it was finished. It was actually a really simple idea, but for some reason it was really strong, and really resonated with people. At the show almost everybody said it was their favorite piece. And I kept thinking "What about the giant fucking sculpture I spent a year making." But sometimes it's the simple ideas that really work out well.
w w w. c l a r k g o o l s b y. c o m
What's the idea behind using thread and rope? And do their colors signify anything? All the work in this show kind of played with the idea of death vs. optimism. A lot of the color was on the fun, optimistic side. Almost like the Day of the Dead in Latino culture. They use a lot of color in patterns in association with symbols for death. And to me there's an acceptance there that is really different than the culture I grew up in. I think with Dead Man the idea was to add a lightness to the idea of this overwhelmingly large dead person. And not to sound too cheesy, but there was also a little bit of a "soul leaving body" idea to it as well. Apparatus II
acrylic, airbrush, collage and pencil on linen 30 x 24 inches
I also thought about the Dia De Los Muertos when I saw your work. Does the concept of death or dying inspire you because of the potential of rebirth and live-life-to-the-fullest notion it suggests? Hmm... that's tough. I have to say I'm really worried that this time on earth is all we get. I think that's a big component of this work... balancing the fear of dying with living our lives. I really hope that there is reincarnation or afterlife or something more, but I guess we'll all find out some day. Do you feel as though you must force yourself to contemplate how you could die in order to make soulful work? I don't feel like I have to force myself. I think I'm a bit of a worrier. When I lived in LA I used to get on the freeway, and I would be thinking to myself "Man this could be the day that I get in a terrible wreck." I mean I’m not a pessimist, it's just weird to think that any of us could go anytime. I think we all envision a long life ahead of us, but it's just not true for all of us.
I HAVE TO SAY I'M REALLY WORRIED THAT
THIS TIME ON EARTH IS ALL WE GET — I THINK THAT'S A BIG COMPONENT OF MY WORK
What was your process for the Dead Man sculpture? Well, it was a long one. It overall took me a year to complete it. The head, hands and feet were all carved from laminated stacks of foam. The rest of it was mainly made out of wood (popular, OSB etc.). I also used illustrator a bit to help develop a scale schematic to make sure it all stayed in proportion. You got help from a carpenter? No, I made it all myself (although I roped my wife into to helping me sand some of it). Back to colors. And death. You are drawn to very brilliant and bold colors. These colors are very much alive. Is there a connection to your affinity to bold colors and the theme of death in your work? Yeah, I think so... It's a funny thing though. I sometimes worry that because my work is so colorful that it's not taken as seriously as darker more monochromatic work. What do you think is the relationship between music and color? Strong for me. I actually think I have synesthesia. I see colors when I listen to music. A lot of time they are just floating in the background, and I don't really think about them. But sometimes, I will think wait a minute, why am I thinking about these colors right now, and then I will be like, oh yeah, it's because this song is playing. So, what was the music you mostly listened to while working on Dead Man? Ohhh... that's impossible. I listen to soooo much music. Over the course of a year I couldn't name all the stuff. I probably buy about 5-10 albums a month. I have an obsessive thing with a new song I love where I will just listen to it over and over for days. Many songs, many colors... I love music so much... it pains me I'm not a more musically talented person.
Music is apparently a big inspiration. What else keeps you going? Well, again, not to seem cheesy, but, a little of everything. I am kind of a cultural sponge. I read a ton, and watch TV & movies. I love seeing other art... This may sound crazy, but I actually just saw A Clockwork Orange for the first time, and it completely blew me away. I read the book in high school, and had seen bits and pieces, but had never sat down and watched it all the way through. It was so great, and I was really inspired by his choices in that film. But, how do you stay focused? When do you take time off? Like, recreation. You know I love making art so much, I don't really see it as work. Last year I had a week off for work in the winter, and I went to the studio everyday. It was snowing outside, and my studio was warm and quiet, except for music of course. It was a great week. I wish I could have more of those. But, all that being said, I do try and take real vacations here and there. I actually just got back from the south of France a few weeks ago. Do you feel concerned about the political and economic situation in America? Is this something you would reflect in your work? Yeah, it's a concern for sure. I'm not sure I would put it into my work though. My brother actually just got back from Iraq, so that situation is at the forefront of things I'm concerned about. How do you feel about the country you live in, that you grew up in, which is involved in so many conflicts in the world? Ah... another tough question. At the end of the day I love America, I grew up here and have had a great life so far, I couldn't say there was a lot for me personally to complain about. And I think America does a lot of good in the world with support etc. But our current conflicts are definitely very confusing. It's hard to know what the goal is, and if anything is being accomplished. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in your life? Whoa, I haven't had a kid like you so I can't use that answer... So, I guess I will have to say my wife, Marci. I think she has been so understanding with me in my art-making practice. And in a lot of ways I am really unfair to her. I'm always asking her opinion, and when I'm discouraged, she is always there for me. She is just really a good person inside and out. She'd love to hear that! Haha, I just won some points…
Frames Of Now — A picture story By Jenne
STATE OF NOW lettering by Nick Deakin from Sheffield. This dude is amazing! — Red: Tommy Guerrero (of Powell Bones Brigade fame) on my birthday in Paris, checking the Glass Slipper Me, 5-0 grinding the little "Papa & Ich" bowl in Kreuzberg, Berlin Barnabas, pulling up a nice Feeble Andrès: 'New For U' – the track that I was playing the most while on tour as the support DJ of my friends, The Whitest Boy Alive. Tune of 2012! — Henri (with his doggy love). He is radiating so much magic, pure sweetness and curiosity. Showing me how to stay in the NOW. Power! — Perfect Liberty. I was in the search of it, and all of a sudden, I found it in Paris, 2011. One of the happiest moments ever — Berlin, October 2011. Skate jam, Hasenheide Berlin. Valle, Frontside Nosetap in the wall
Yellow: The sun is sending messages, receiving them at the favourite lake spot Hanging with my awesome doggy friend — Baru Every second is NOW Before it's gone, it's all ONE Beautiful alley near Ihlow in Brandenburg where my son and I experienced some magic Reflecting things and searching for a new NOW Absorbing things and seeing a new NOW Little dude surfing the double-decker N-O-W letters, reminding me that every moment is all there is. And Ari Marcopoulos and Sergej Vutuc (books) showing their NOW — All pictures © by Jenne Grabowski, shot with either a fancy phone or an old analogue Minolta cam with b/w films
r i p z i n g e r. c o m
GERMANS? THEY DRINK LOADS OF BEER! AND THEY TAKE ALL THEIR CLOTHES OFF IN THE SAUNA
In The Moment. Rip is always there,
right there. Like the shot of Ray Barbee (right). I was in the same room, standing next to Ray and Rip in La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, summer of 2011, after a nice skate session. Good memories!
"Searching for powder." / "Today's heaven" / "Back to wonderland, Asahidake…" / "Another great day!" —Messages from Rip, living a snowy, Japanese winter dream in early 2012
in the woods, or street skating. Or even like picking up a shell lying around on the beach. It is a move guided by instinct. About being in the zone, just like when you're bombing a hill. It is not a thinking process. Using the word “radar” in this context is a pretty good match. Just like a deep breath which opens your mind and eyes. No thoughts. Feelings adjust my radar.
Three things you still have to do today… Facebook, Instagram, Twitter... no, just kidding! Ahem, not quite sure. No daily schedule or anything like that. It all comes out pretty spontaneous. Brushing my teeth, do some stretching, staying healthy and having fun.
What do you remember most about Europe? Please break the tour down into five special moments… 1. Spending time with E-Million Teamrider Norbert Szombati in Cologne. Skating, bombing the streets, swimming at a crazy pool and going to a fucked up party the night I arrived. 2. Of course, touring with the Arrow and Beast crew to Lyon, Marseille, Annacy. Skating and smoking and making trouble. 3. The train-tour with Tomek, a Polish guy. Krakow, Prague, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmo, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. 4. Spending time in Barcelona; only a few hours skating and a lot of partying. 5. Hanging out with Federico, Chris Roberts, Jesus Fernandes and Gino in Milan. The list could go on forever… Surprising things you learned about Germans… They take all their clothes off in the sauna – fully naked! They drink loads of beer. Or, the expression; Du hast einen Stock im Arsch! ("You have a stick up your ass!") You travel a lot. What do you like most about it? I hate being around in one place. Don’t want to be cooking and talking all night. I more prefer exploring, enjoying all kinds of adventures rather than saving them up. Moving around and having fun is my priority. I know what I want, and what I must do to achieve my ambitions. Whenever I recognize that something special is happening, I am down on it like 120 percent. With so many new impressions all the time, how can you be focused? I believe in fate. I believe in me and my life. Everything comes spontaneously since that is how nature has arranged it. I stay focused on flow and momentum. I want to get the most out of every moment, and out of the things that surround me. How do you adjust your ‘radar’ when cruising around with the cam? This is pretty similar to what I've said before. What I can say about my street photography is that it is more like snowboarding
Discovering new locations... Which three places on tour were the best? Malmo has my favorite skate scene, and skateboarding philosophy. My good friend Pontus Alv and his friends keep on making D.I.Y skate spots, which definitely is my favorite shape to skate. Barcelona. You cannot even buy milk without falling in love five times on the way to the store. Fuckin' beautiful girls everywhere. Whenever I got lost and had to call a friend, he would just ask: FRIEND: What do you see? RIP: There is a red brick bank on the corner. FRIEND: OK, follow the smooth street with the marble benches, take a right at the bank to ledge spot, then go straight and take a left at the set of four stairs. RIP: Skate spots everywhere. Thanks, God! Pretty much to be able to map yourself by skate spots in a city. Innsbruck. From the beginning of this trip I wanted to go to a place called Landhausplatz. Jonathan Hay from Confusion Magazine showed me a picture of this place and it instantly became a dream to get there. Finally, after 104 days of touring through Europe, I was able to go there before being on the Absinthe Film tour (Snowboard filmmakers meeting in Innsbruck, editor). Whenever I go to a new spot or a park I will first of all be pushing around and take some pictures, finding lines, and paying respect. Only then will I drop my camera and phone at a safe place and then start skating this spot. But in this place, because I dreamed too much, as soon as I got here, I dropped everything and started to skate. Too much hype made me careless and excited. The first thing that caught my eye was a sweet bank for a Backside Ollie. I started to push hard and then my wheels got caught in raised border for blind pedestrians. I slammed bad. Broke my collarbone. The place was board heaven, but I got broke there! The Rip Zinger way to capture "the" moment? The key is not to try capturing things. If I am working for ads or commercials, I’m aiming for highlights for best results. But in a Rip Zinger way, it's more private. Which is it:: b/w or color films? For my first photo book "West Americanized Tour" it was all color films. After publishing this book, I was looking for a way to improve my skills and expression. I was thinking of going to school. Being someone's assistant. But both sounded like wasting time and money. I learned how to speak English and took pictures by doing it… just how I learned to skate. So I ended up buying the best street camera instead of the best lecture. I bought a Leica M6, the most expensive thing I ever bought! This camera taught me a lot, and it increased my understanding of photography. I am not sure if it's my favorite style, but I do know more now. Using good toys gives me a more simple perspective to it. I started shooting with the same films as before, the same settings, and I was wondering why the images appeared so in-
tense to me. It's like a knife, too sharp to swing. To adjust this tool to fit my way, I reduced colors and focused on compositions or elements I could capture in black and white. That was pretty much the first time I put a b & w film in my camera. Until then, I thought black and white was for grandfathers. Now, I like both. They're different ways of expression. Maybe this way... 28 millimeter Ricoh/GR1s plus color, 35 millimeter Leica/M6 plus color and black and white, 55 millimeter plus black and white. 55 millimeter Nikon FM2n plus black and white. That’s pretty much how I feel it. Any plans where you are going next? Who could you meet? I like riding in snowy mountains. I am in the mountains almost every winter. Niseko Hokkaido is the place to be for me during the winter. Shred and be free in nature. I've met amazing, positive people there and still do. My teacher in snowboarding is Terje Haakonsen, a good friend of mine. We have been riding in Niseko the last two seasons. I have the wish to visit him in Norway and shred over there. After winter, I may go back to Europe to get more ideas. Like, where you guys live, Europe was an unknown place for me. There are so many places I want to visit and do things to enrich my world and have a wider and deeper understanding of what’s going on. With that many things going on, how do you stay in the now? I think that is something I learned from Europeans. The experiences there showed me how laid back and relaxed Europeans enjoy every moment. In comparison to America, where I think that they believe all American citizens have the right to dream or living in freedom. Even if you were born and raised in a slum, you still dream to be a hip hop star, have gold, money and bitches, being a celebrity, but forgetting about your real self. But in one way, even this dream is regulated by images from MTV or any other media. I mean most of the freedom they believe in is false hope, I guess. So people in the EU do understand their class or what they can do with their lives. So they are more focused on what's in their hands. Instead of dreaming about tomorrow, they enjoy today. I think European people are pro at enjoying the now. That’s what inspires me and it is something that I want to apply to my life.In the past, I had to direct my life by making certain decisions. All of us dream! But life is short, and no one can do everything they dream about. So I had to decide which things I could probably do best, and do it now. The thing that only I can do now, the thing that I only can do NOW. I believe that when you are fully focused on one thing, everything else falls into place. This is what happened when I wanted to go to Europe. A desire became a commitment. It's an amazing feeling to explore who you are for ten years and then suddenly focus on one thing. Now I can visualize it all in one line: past, present, future. Once you find yourself, it all makes sense. I want to keep doing what I'm doing. I want to tell people that life is beautiful. Once you find a mission, your world becomes a treasure chest.
A JAPANESE WORLD EXPLORER. HAVING HIS HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE — TANAKA TOMONORI SHOOTS PHOTOS, CONNECTS PEOPLE AND TELLS US HIS VERY OWN STORY
Strange Girls Inhabiting A world in my head
WELL CONCEIVED CONCEPTS ARE NOT HER APPROACH. SHE HAS VAGUE IDEAS AND NEVER KNOWS WHERE IT WILL DIRECT. IDEAS DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. MERCEDES HELNWEIN TURNS THE SLIGHT CHAOS INTO IMAGES FULL OF MYSTERY. THEY SUGGEST QUESTIONS, BUT ALSO BEAR A LOT OF ANSWERS
Queen Of Spades is part
of a newer series of her work. It was part of her show 'Temptation To Be Good' in Berlin at Pool Gallery in 2011
"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."—Oscar Wilde
How was your day today? I'm traveling from Ireland to Los Angeles today on three hours of sleep. Right now I'm half way through the journey on a plane from New York to L.A.
THINGS HAPPEN, AND I CAN'T AFFORD TO BE ON AUTO—PILOT. I LIKE THAT KIND OF INTERACTION — WRESTLING WITH THE IDEA IN MY HEAD AND THE MATERIALS THAT I'M USING
What does your studio or workspace look like today? It is impatiently waiting for me to return. It’s dark and filled with hot, stale L.A. air. I can't wait to see it again. I miss it when I'm away too long. Nowhere else do I have so many things under my complete control. Do you have a routine when drawing, writing or working with models? If so, how does this routine look like and what are you doing to break it sometimes? Working with models: When I say "models" I don't mean professional models. Most of the people I use are friends, or friends of friends or people I don't know at all, but saw on the street, and asked to be in a shoot. I'm not good at working out all the details of a shoot beforehand. Mostly, I have a vague idea, or a single detail that I want to build around. Once I start lighting the scene and shooting, there is no knowing where it will go. A lot of the time, the initial idea that everything is hinged on is completely abandoned and something unforseen happens. Lord knows I've tried to eliminate the "unknown" from shoots, and fully prepare myself like a nerd, with diagrams, notes, intricate ideas, etc. But I never get far that way. Drawing: My favorite time to start working in the studio is right after lunch. There is something hypnotic and completely addictive to working on a pastel for me. I listen to audiobooks a lot while working, which transports me into a different place entirely. I can be quite dazed and out of it after a few hours of work. I have to get used to people and my environment again. And then there are always times when I can't stand the audiobook anymore and I switch to Howlin' Wolf or Tom Waits or the White Stripes while I work. Writing: This is the trickiest of them all. I find it one of the most gratifying, ecstatic activities, and at the same time, one of the hardest, requiring the most blood, sweat and tears. I like to write in the mornings mainly. I prefer doing it somewhere other than at home, but I mainly do it at home, because I can't be bothered to make a whole ordeal out of it, drive somewhere, park, etc. I can be very lazy when it comes to the little things. You once told, as a child you always carried a certain item with you like a crayon or a book. Are you still doing that? And what is it now? Yeah, as a kid I used to carry paper and pencils with me everywhere. As a teenager, I always, always carried a book with me. I wouldn't go anywhere without a book. Nowadays I always carry a notebook with me. I collect anything and everything in there that I hear, see or otherwise feel had better be recorded. Apart from being an inspiration, a work tool or simply a "companion," what do these items mean to you? It feels safe to have a notebook with me at all times, as though most disasters can be avoided with it. Can you describe a picture for us? What's the relation of the characters to the objects in this picture? Or characters to places, places to objects? And what is the emotional state that the characters are in? QUEEN OF SPADES (page 14) This is oil pastel on paper. It is my first of a new
series involving scenes with full backgrounds and characters interacting as compared to the large scale, straight-on faces in oil pastel. "Queen of Spades" is just a fascinating image to me. The girl in the center of it almost seems to be a saint of some sort. But maybe a saint with a dirty secret. And all the kids around her are kind of looking up at her in apprehension. I don't know. It feels ominous. Compared to your earlier work, in your recent paintings there are more direct and reachable women. Closer up and confident. Is this a connection to your personal view of yourself? Are you able to access your vision with more confidence? I don't feel my work is necessarily autobiographical, but aspects of it could be. There is a world in my head, largely inhabited by these strange girls that I like to interpret. I guess it's a specific kind of girl that interests me and that appears again and again throughout my work. In a way, I could say all the girls I've ever drawn and painted are the same girl, many different versions of her. Who are the women in your recent portraits? I think the women are all Southern belles. But that's just my opinion. The direction in your more recent work like the huge portraits for the “Temptation to Be Good” shown at pool gallery, Berlin, contains more colour, a different focus on details, a new perspective. What has changed personally and what is important for that transition that brought you where you are now? Well, I have been doing pencil drawings for so many years that I finally began to feel frustrated with the limitations. I mean, it took a long time for me to get there, because I'm madly in love with pencil drawings. The point just came where I thoroughly conSouthern Belles is how Mercedes is calling her girls quered it. There were no more surprises. I could draw in my in the portraits. Some suggest sleep, and I had done everything I could think of on that a thousand questions but also bear a lot of answers level. Boredom is basically what happened. Going into oil pastel brought me back to a place where every new piece I work on is like the battle that it ought to be. Things happen, and I can't afford to be on auto-pilot. I like that kind of interaction, wrestling with the idea in my head and the materials that I'm using, to try and represent it in the physical world. I wonder what you are setting out to accomplish for other women with your work? What are you hoping for and what is your intent? Well, I'm not a feminist really, probably because I never had the need to be. I grew up with the self-confidence and automatic opinion that it doesn't matter if someone is male or female, either way you can do whatever you want. I never wanted to be a great "female artist," I wanted to be a great artist. I know a lot of guy artists, some of whom would look at a girl doing art as cute or admirable, but somehow not as serious as a guy doing it. That made me roll my eyes, and I decided I did not want the special branding of being a woman artist. I never wanted to marry someone for money. Or use my feminine attributes as a semi-automatic weapon. I just didn't grow up, thinking like that. When I was about twenty and first got to L.A., I had a friend who really knew how to be a full-on woman and do that. I mean, she would get anything she wanted from a guy just by turning into sugar for him, and then she'd turn it off again and be normal. I was fascinated by someone being able to do that. It had never crossed my mind to think like that and believe I needed to use feminine powers to get anything. I just wanted to do art. I still think like that, and I can only hope that my work inspires other artists, be they women or men or boys or girls. Arists are artists. Do you sometimes also paint pictures of the stories you are writing? I have in the past, and probably will in the future. Generally this feels a little bit too much like straight-up illustration work, which I've never loved doing, but there is always a time and place where I'm into that. Usually, when I'm a writer I'm a writer, and when I do art, I do art. I tend to keep these things naturally very separate.
Mercedes Helnwein â€” "Three Nurses" 2011
A Touch Of
SO STOKED WHEN I FIRST MET ADRIAN AND SAW THE 'GLASS SLIPPER' IN REAL. OUR GREAT FRIEND AND JB. WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT SIMONE TALKED WITH ADRIAN RUBI-DENTZEL, A REAL CRAFTSMAN WITH A CRYSTAL VISION
THE GLASS SLIPPER
is something you want. Imagine riding the slipper at night and illuminating the world. This is a new goal to accomplish
"Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions…"— Dreams, Fleetwood Mac
First off, let's hear about your background. Tell us about your family history and how you first got involved in design and where you work currently. Okay, I'll try to keep it succinct. I never studied design or craftsmanship in a formal setting, but I grew up with it all around me. I come from a long line of carousel makers. My grandfather carved carousel animals in his basement and I would sit on the workbench and watch. My uncles and father are all builders of some sorts. My dad designs and builds recording studios, and my uncles are an architect, a furniture maker, and a carousel maker. I've worked with all of them. Four years ago I did an internship at a workshop in Paris called Ufacto. Before that, I had been working with fiberglass and resin quite a bit on my surfboards, and I had shaped and glassed a board the year before. My then fiancée and I had the opportunity to live in our friend's empty apartment in Paris for three months. To justify going to Paris for that long I started looking for an internship or something. I asked my friend Erwan Bouroullec, who I met at the Pacific Design Center in LA some years ago, if he knew anyone in Paris who had an interesting furniture workshop where I could intern or work for a few months. He suggested Ufacto. I did the internship and The new ride — did good enough work to get a job offer, and that's cruising down the streets in your city. Whether essentially what brought me to Paris. Ufacto is an during the day or at night, amazing workshop that produces limited editions, clear plexiglass with prototypes, and models for some of the best desigLEDs is pure radness ners in Europe. David Toppani, the master craftsman and founder of Ufacto, is one of the most talented craftsmen I have ever encountered. His mind is always open to new ideas of how to construct something. I strive to be like that. What first got you interested in skating and surfing? Growing up in Santa Barbara made me do it. It was a given. I got my first skateboard when I was 6, a Tommy Guerrero with a flaming dagger. And my first surfboard when I was 7, a used Al Merrick, gradient neon green to neon yellow. When did you first realize that "the creative path" was the career for you? When I was very young, five or six, I decided I wanted to be an inventor. That is my first memory of wanting a certain job. The first thing I made was an "earthquake detector" out of clay. How did the Glass Slipper come about? It was the end result of a process that started with me meeting Yongki Chang at my wife Danielle's art opening a few years ago at Mollusk Surfshop in SF. Yongki runs Solitary Arts with Geoff McFetridge. We talked a lot about different ideas that could be possible through the work I was doing at Ufacto. One day I saw a piece of clear plexiglass about the size of a skateboard in the studio and the idea came instantaneously: I had to put Solitary Arts' Moonlight risers inside a clear skateboard deck. You are originally from California and currently live in Paris. How has living so far from where you come from influenced your work? I think it allows me to be more free in my approach to design, art, and craft. Europeans generally feel a very heavy tradition behind what they do. As an American, and especially as a Californian, I can give myself the freedom to disregard all of that.
The idea came right away: I had to put
Solitary Arts' Moonlight risers
inside a clear skateboard deck
What is your creative process and what is the hardest part of the process? I do most of my creating in my head. I'm not an excellent drawer, so my ideas usually go directly from my mind to construction. The hardest part is having new ideas because it's the thing I have the industrial materials, like polycarbonate, acrylic plexiglas, and least amount of control over. plywood have inescapable charms. What are your favorite materials and tools? Right now I've been working a lot with solid wood and leather. They are two natural materials that have a lot of dynamic properties in terms of their strength, softness, and ease of sculpting. It's hard to pick a favorite tool; like picking a favorite child, or food. I recently got a Japanese saw that is pretty fantastic. It's called the Silky Woodboy. What is your connection and interest in materials like wood, polycarbonate, acrylic, and beeswax? I prefer natural materials. I should clarify, as "natural" is a term that gets thrown around a lot. I like materials that aren't part of an industrial production line. When I can, I like to source materials locally. But there are also times when
What projects are you most excited about NOW? I recently talked with Chris Vorhees, an extremely talented builder and sculptor from Indiana, about doing a collaborative show in Paris next fall. I'm really stoking on that right now. Who and what is most inspiring to you? Native American design and craft. I love how essentially functional all of their creations were, while at the same time being drenched in philosophical and spiritual meaning. Anyone out there that you'd like to work with? Anyone with an open mind to an artistic take on craft and building. Also anyone who wants to help me take the Glass Slipper to the next level. Polycarbonate injection molding. Is music an important thing while you work? If so, give us your current top 5? Music is essential. A lot of my work involves repetitive tasks like sanding and polishing, so music and aural entertainment gets me through. I'm including podcasts here. Dangerous Minds Radio Hour podcast. They always dj their mu-
sical selection in the traditional sense. Whoever is presenting the episode tells good stories about the music, and it's usually an interesting mix of obscure stuff. Susumu Yokota. I've been getting into more new agey stuff, and Susumu always has an amazing vability to make an ambient song that is seemingly constructed entirely of hooks. WTF podcast. Marc Maron interviews comics about their craft. This podcast is now super famous. Marc Maron is a truly gifted interviewer. Don't expect laughs. Beach Boys, Sunflower. Need I explain? Tall Tales & The Silver Lining, Nice To Meet You Again. Well-crafted folk rock from Ventura, CA. I really like this band, and this album is great from start to finish, which is rare these days. It sounds like the best things about where I'm from. This issue is called, "State of Now." What do you do to stay inspired? To stay in the NOW? Alan Watts said that our experience of time and consciousness is like driving a car while only being able to look in the rear view mirror. I guess that's kind of a heavy way to see it, but I believe it. The important thing seems to be to accept, that we never know what will happen next, even if we guess correctly most of the time. Everyday I try to remind myself that there are possibilities that I haven't thought of, and ideas I haven't had yet.
More Than one LIFE IS ALL ABOUT PROCESSING. EXPLORING AND MOVING FORWARD. LOOKING FOR THE OTHER SIDE. CONSTANTLY. LIKE SERGEJ VUTUC — THE WIZARD. TRYING THINGS, BEING THERE, CATCHING THE MOMENT OF COMMON BIZARRENESS
rabbit in his hat
ou had your first show in a real museum, the Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren. What color material did you use for the wallride session? That was just some chalk. You know street kids love chalk.
Looked like a lot of fun skating this thing. It was way more than just skating the wall, it was some kind of process. The choice of music in the clip sounds really experimental. Did you know right away what kind of style the clip might have? The chalk was only used for the aspects of visualization. During the last two years I‘ve been doing more and more sound projects. So, when I entered the showroom there, I was instantly inspired by the acoustic feature that came with it. While skating with Vincent, it suddenly became a journey, a state of trance. Skate-sounds are very important, well let's say they are omnipresent. Tell us aboout your relationship to Vincent Gootzen? When Vincent exhibited at my Basementizid Gallery in Heilbronn, we found many mutualities. Moving his stuff from his place into my cellar
"Yeah, do or change what you don't like or need… 'cause nobody would make something for you."
Sergej is a special soul with his own vision and I love that I get to occasionally see the world through his eyes, photos or a simple hand gesture. He's a bit of a Gypsy magician, with more than one rabbit in his hat — Scott Bourne
was quite interesting since we could experience the energy we were surrounded by really good. Further more we had some nightly excursions, of course. That is how we connected. That sort of process is really interesting to me. Let's call it exploration. Vincent uses the word a lot, and I adapted it. First of all, there has to be the idea, which then is free to evolve in any form. All steps in between rest upon different influences which can trigger new occasions. You touched upon that sound subject earlier, what‘s up with that? The only deal we had was that Flo will film, Vincent will skate and I would paint the quarter over and over with chalk. Then the guitar showed up. One led to the other. The outcome was, at least for me, a perfect picture without any words. Who is that Helmut guy anyway? (—Name of an experimental sound/'grind-core' project of Sergej) Helmut is a character from the Jim Jarmush movie Night on earth. Somehow he became our synonym for being a foreigner. Helmut is your alter ego and the museum in Düren was your taxi? The whole fucking life is a taxi. How is your connection to music in general. My entire life I've been influenced by music. At the age of nine I was already into Heavy Metal, by the age of 14 I first connected to punk music. Then I supported a theater piece, some modern dance connected to skateboarding. You know how sounds change if you roll over bricks, concrete, using soft wheels or whatever. It turned out to be another exploration in relation to the reaction of neighbours or pedestrians and what influences the interaction with all the given factors.
Was punk music just a logical consequence or was it there before you started skating? At that time punk was really essential, even though skateboarding was already in my life. But the whole input and exchange thing with punk music got me hooked. Making music, the labels, the magazines, concerts and all that stuff. What happened during this time? Skating was there but needed something in addition. Somehow there was too much coolness involved, too much testosterone. I often went skating with guys and then took off going to a concert or band rehearsal. I have never been the guy who talked a lot. That was still in Zagreb, actually I started skating in Bosnia. At some point I had to sell my Frankie Hill 'Bulldog' board for drums. Damn, that sucked big time.
Oh, swapping skateboarding for music? I didn‘t have any money for skateboards. There was no distribution at that time anyway. If you were lucky you could get some stuff from the older guys who went to Austria or Italy. T-Bones wheels were big and lasted long. The gear was just too expensive at that time. One skateboard used to have several owners, can you imagine? When and how did that change? At the time I went to the army, I was desperate for skateboarding.
You had to go to the army? I think I belonged to one of the last generation that had to go. Every time I went out, I went skating. I remember one relationship broke up because of me skating all the time. It was only music and skateboarding. I once even won a contest Moments from a round at Fontane, a small pool we had. First price was a crate of beer. I really trip in U.S.A. during late summer of 2011. needed that outlet at that time and that outlet can not be achieved any Deep explorations other way. on the paths of the American dream
I am quite aware of that… Yeah, that really brought me back to skateboarding, it gave me the direct link to it. I mean it has been around since my childhood. Music will always be something mental, no matter how hard you play. How is skating mental and physical at the same time? Imagine all the slams, what the different surfaces do to you and then there will be these moments when you reach a piece of mind. I guess this is why we all keep on doing it and also why skateboarding plays such an important role in my way of defining art. What do you think of skateboarding culture in our community? Even though the broad community has a general interest in skateboarding, especially according to commercials and advertising, they still don‘t know what skateboarding is
"Photography is a response that has to do with the momentary recognition of things. Suddenly you're alive. You look one moment and there's everything, next moment it's gone."—Joel Meyerowitz
really like. Since forever, skateboarding has joined my life. It has formed my way of expression, the way I experience things and they, the media, will never understand that: the feeling of skateboarding. Like the whole energy drink wave and things alike? Nissan for example, the Spiegel-article (German news magazine) about Skateistan, Nike. That all belongs to the big show. Don‘t you think that it is a nice side effect, getting at least a little attention and movement to places like Afghanistan? Well, for me it's just a commercial deal. Taking someone elses agony to make money. That‘s all. You mean, because of the german government giving props to itself as well as pro-skaters putting obstacles with their own names there? You know, I witnessed a lot of human aid and luckily just a bit of war. So, it's just an image campaign? Of course, every war is also a campaign. Oh, but I didn‘t know the part about the obstacles by the pro-skaters there… Where can you be found in this big mess of skateboarding culture? Skateboarding is so individual, just like art is. I don‘t position myself at all. Maybe this is why we compliment each other so well. Just look inside you and feel. There is a certain level of social interaction according to being a skateboarder, being in a place, reacting to the environment, in a city with people, their reaction to it… There is a reason in this which makes me want to work with it a lot more. In another chat, you had a good point with this expression: parallel-worlds. This is something what I am trying since years to convert in my photography. The surrounding, maybe a skate trick, life. Skateboarding is just a tiny part of our lifes. The agitating noise it makes. It is nothing more or less than our own issue, or maybe the issue of somebody looking outside the window, curious who is making that sound, passing his house. Maybe someone, who you want to have a skate session with. The exciting part of life: the other side. And it is always about the other side. This is what I enjoy the most about your pictures. It is not primarily a typical skate pic. Skatboarding is just one part of the whole scene. You know, I get older too. What does skateboarding mean to nine year-olds, what to a 30 year-old? The perception changes, this is for sure. Your show last year at Michael Janssen Gallery in Berlin was your first bigger show in a well established gallery. Where exactly is your place in this art context? Maybe it is just something in between…
The exciting part of life: The other side. And it is always about the other side
How did you get the chance to exhibit at his gallery? It was the book, Something in Between. It arranged everything. Who linked you there? My publisher recommended me. So I stopped by. Everything was really mellow and suddenly we were talking about an exhibition.
And it opened some doors for you in a way? During the final stage and all the confusion that came with it, Scott Bourne came up to me and said: 'All the time you push the world and now the world pushes you and you say no'. It took me until the exhibition in Düren (at the Leopold Hoesch Museum) that I finally realized what he was trying to tell me. The musical work, the 'drawing/painting' session by using black chalk and skateboards, the photography. Then the magazine for the opening… It all made sense. So many different layers of my work that all need attention, and they keep on following me. Can it be a little overwhelming from time to time? I never really thought that much about art school. I don‘t have arty parents either. All I have is my heart and soul and it just happens to be called art. I do my thing. You can find yourself in different explorations, so many new ways, so many different outlets. Before the Something In Between exhibition I hadn't curated at the Basementizid for quite a while. It seems that I now reached a new feeling, a new state of mind. And this is why Düren was reallly good for my development and now I really want to travel with Helmut through Europe.
Watch the amazing video clip from the installation/performance with Sergej Vutuc, Vincent Gootzen and others at Sergej's show for the Leopold-HoeschMuseum in Dueren, Germany in November 2011. It's getting (experi)mental… http://bit.ly/sv-dueren
Android Dreams HIS TAKE ON TECH AND A WORLD INCREASINGLY DOMINATED BY HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION IS WHAT SETS HIM APART. WE MET CULPRIT A.K.A. MATT PATTINSON IN CYBERSPACE, AND FOUND OUT WHY HE'S NUTS ABOUT WASHING MACHINE INSTRUCTIONS
att, where are you now? At home in the studio, also known as the dumping room… basically where me and all the rubbish goes… So, your home is also the studio? Yep, it has been for a while. Has its pros and cons, but mainly saves on rent.
DVD box set. Peter Seabrook's book of the garden which I've cut to bits…lots of interesting tree clip art in there. And, if it's not gardening books it's washing machine instructions. They're particularly good for generating robots.
Has there been an initial moment that hooked you to all these robot guys? Some fancy people would call it their creative lab... Was there a special robot? so, this is where all your little robots are being born? Ralph McQuarrie's original concepts for Yes, in my creative lab a.k.a., spare room of the flat. Star Wars without a shadow of a doubt. I've got the art books of the originals, Describe this place a bit more! What's around you? Any and his designs and paintings are great. I stuff lying around or hanging on the walls for inspiration? love all the Japanese robots, especially Haha… to my right is Ultraman, Gatchaman from Battle of the Briareos from Appleseed. Really cool Planets, R2D2 of course… the daddy of all robots. Hellboy is looking features. No one beats the Japasitting on a shelf too, alongside a Syd Mead Sentinel 400 limo. nese for cool robot designs! Gundam Piles and piles of photocopies, washing machine instructions. too - again Japanese cool! I don't know Anything I can cannibalize into robots. The Lone Wolf and Cub a whole lot of anime aside from the classics like Akira, Ghost In The Shell. Maybe Paprika. That's pretty damn cool! Can see where Nolan maybe picked up a few ideas for Inception there. But what's the part that impresses you the most about robots? Imagine having one at home… like an R2D2 or some more humanoid robot. I think the future of robotics is a very positive development for human beings. It's maybe what we'll one day become ourselves. Certainly our grandchildren's grandchildren will be aided by bionics and tech in their everyday health and lifestyles that we only imagine today science fiction… no? The ergonomics and
"Ignorance is bliss… At least that's what I tell myself. Haha…!"
FOR NOW, YOU SHOULDN'T THINK AUTONOMOUS A.I. IS TOO FAR OFF — LIKE, I AM SOME KIND OF EXPERT…
You're also a teacher?! It's mostly care work. Making folks with Asperges syndrome and autism comfortable in a social environment. We go on outings to the cinema, on walks. Dealing with general life situations you and I take for granted. So far it's been really rewarding. Wow, the strange double life of Matt Pattinson… I think you have to find a balance with work and play and the Culprit Tech work veers more towards the play side of things. There are no awkward clients or bureaucracy. It's definitely escapism and a chance to do the kind of work that my school and college tutors would frown upon. So in that sense it's, very cathartic. And I get to geek out big time.
craftsmanship of robots is amazing, be they fictional or real, as much thought goes into Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy as when Honda design their Asimo unit. And as technology advances, these things become more streamlined, smaller- , more delicate, like art-forms! It's no accident you get industrial designer's like Syd Mead asked to re-design Gundam characters. Syd's got a grip on what it is to design automobiles and can apply the same aesthetic principles to futuristic interplanetary gladiators. They might take over our world soon... Take over? For now, you shouldn't think autonomous AI is too far off. Like, I am some kind of expert… haha! You told me, the robots are more of a fun project. Was the work for Tempa/GiveUpArt one of the few commissioned robot illustrations you did? Pretty much. I'd worked with Stuart before on editorial commissions with my other more mainstream style of working. That's big, chunky lines, flat color, very simplistic. So, this was a great chance to employ the collage work which I'd developed as a side line. Prior to the Tempa stuff I'd also done club flyers for a night in Edinburgh called This Is Music and started to silk-screen the droids too ... also I did a slideshow/animation project with Scottish electronica band Mammal/7VWWVW which was a lot of fun. The vibe I was going for was kind of Jacques Cousteau-meets Dark Star with a little bit of boring Wednesday afternoon chemistry lesson screen projection thrown in for good measure. I definitely would like to do more silk-screen and more musical collaborations in the future. Yes, the band project. But you're doing the visuals? Or do you also make music? No just the visuals. The guys in the band live in Edinburgh too and I'd know them for a while before I approached them with the idea of "Remnants of Joona". I haven't a single musical bone in my body, I might add. But these guys are geniuses. I would sit in on their rehearsals and kind of go off into a jazz trance while they communicated in binary or some other strange tongue. Is it just an Edinburgh based project for some heads, or do you have plans on touring with this? I think the guys in the band were really up for doing a tour. Probably just the UK. The films
are on YouTube, but it's not the same experience as the live show, when they have all their old school Moogs and Korgs laid out in front of the screen it's really an impressive sight. Almost like the deck of the Enterprise. Lots and lots of gadgetry. I've done a lot of development on a sequel but that's on the back burner just now. Maybe it's time to dust it off!
How do you focus and stay in the now? How do you take a proper physical and spiritual rest? I love walking and ornithology. Picked it up from my parents. Cinema helps too, actually a big part of my life is spent at the flicks. But this work is equally as relaxing. Certainly akin to crosswords or Sudoku… piecing all the found elements together is complicated but satisfying when serendipitous results occur and the composition begins to form! You told me you want to go to Japan soon. What's the plan? Oh yes! Live and breathe the culture. Check out the sights and sounds. The architecture, the food, the customs and rituals, meet the people. I've friends in Hiroshima, so definitely want to visit them. Will try and check out Osaka, Kyoto and maybe Tokyo. Probably buy more than I can carry back on the plane...a few robots maybe.
What's the story behind "Remnants Of Joona"? It's an expedition to a distant planet. The trials and tribulations of the journey .... the discovery of strange and funny flora and fauna. Just a simple little story. In the end, the team has to abandon their research due to a meteor shower. There's definitely and underlying feeling of melancholy. Tell me more about that children's book. The Meep and Toru characters are your creations. Will it be released someday? The plan right now is to sort through the two sketchbooks I've filled and try to make sense of it all. The story is written and the composition is storyboarded. I just have to wrangle all the elements together. But the plan is to get that finished over the next couple of months and produce a dozen or more and send them out to see if I get a bite from would-be publishers. If it doesn't pan out I'll raise the cash and publish them myself. Something about the content and characters in the book in one or two sentences. Does it intend to be educational? A small Japanese boy is flying his kite one day when an alien called Meep happens to fly past. Meep has never flown a kite before and stops to have a go. This is just the start of their adventures together. It also involves a barbecue-loving dragon, a break-dancing robot, rush hour space traffic and lots of visual weirdness - no, it's not educational in the slightest. Robots are there, big time. Then there is this children's book. But what do you mean when you say "real-life work"? Work, that'll pay my rent! As all freelancers know, times can be tough. At the moment I'm concentrating on getting into autism support work. So a complete departure from drawing things and "pretending" to make a living.
Is this how we
imagine the world to be in the future? Tomorrow is not that far away
…AND A LOT OF FUN. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO LIVE IT WELL. JAY HOWELL KNOWS ABOUT THE BBQ PARTY NEXT TO THE SKATE POOL AND HE WILL REMIND YOU THAT SUMMER RULES
Do you go see a lot of art to get inspired too? Or is it something you avoid sometimes so as not to get influenced too much? I go see art all the time! I feel like I need to go out and see it more. Mostly I just go down to the comic book store and pick up some graphic novels, get home, flip through them, and draw like crazy. Seeing a lot of art just makes me want to draw more. I like to push and compete with myself. Describe the first drawing you were really happy with. I made a story in second or third grade that was, like, 20 pages long about a group of adventuring dudes and their cool pet monkey that went around fighting with laser swords and traveling through underground tunnels that led them to different battles. I've been thinking about re-drawing it but keeping the words as my younger idiot self. Sounds like comics were there all the time. Drawing also? Yeah, so much drawing. Which was the first comic superhero who made you realize you had to draw? Batman. He's still my favorite. I still try to draw him. Try? Yeah, have you seen my art? I'm still learning. Haha.
Like I said, they depend on each other. Sometimes I really can't say which is which. Yes. Thinking things and committing them to paper or movies makes them real. What new thing would you like to try? Ceramics! I'm so excited right now to find a place in my neighborhood where I can do that! I've just seen the ceramic work Geoff McFetridge did. Awesome! Those are so cool! I want to make big pots and sculptures real bad. Imagine a really big mural. Where would it be? What kind of scene would you paint? A zillion people all having a BBQ, skating a pool, living kindly ... forever! Twenty feet long, twelve feet high. Up high in L.A. with really bright colors reminding everybody that summer rules. I like it hot as hell all the time. Would the image be like a continuation of the piece you did for Creature Skateboards recently? Yeah, but with less scary dudes in it. Jim and I just made an animated music video for the band Trash Talk, and Creature made a board that goes along with it. It's my favorite cartoon we have ever done! Total mayhem!
ou're in L.A., right? Why did you leave S.F.? I left S.F. because I was getting into cartooning and it's really good to live in L.A. if you want to do television. It's more affordable and the weather is better too. What do you do to stay inspired and focused in L.A.? I mean, in a city like this, where a million things happen every day, do you get the things done the way you want? It's mellow here, I can go out and walk my dog and make a living as an illustrator and cartoonist. It's nice, if you want to go out, it's always there for you. I get inspired by walking my dog, going to the ocean, and riding my bike. Every band and artist in the world stops through L.A. at some point. It's easy for me to stay inspired here.
even if I just drew the pictures and had nothing to do with the writing (like in the case of Bob's Burgers). I put myself 100 percent in everything I do. I'm not sure about fantasy versus reality. It's all the same to me. Life is pretty trippy.
You run a label called mt.st.mtn. Tell me more about this little company and the need to put out your own stuff, especially physical products related to releasing music. It has a lot to do with my spazz friend Mark Kaiser. He's a designer living in L.A. that can never stop working. We get together, drink beers, and talk shit about records, bands, cool jeans, design projects, and other stuff. Then we make it happen. We just try to make stuff we would like to see. Making things is super-satisfying. Especially a record, what an awesome thing to see finished. If we had more time and money it would be a much larger project. Perhaps in a year or so. Is it still under wraps or can you give us a few details? Yeah, it's a cartoon about a kid and his talking snake. They go around trashing stuff, making mistakes, and living in their own fun world. It's a kids’ show, which is weird for me, but I love it. We have really strong actors doing the voices, like Chris Hardwick, Chris D'elia, Tony Hale and Linda Cardellini. Oh, Maulik Pancholy, I can't forget him, he's from 30 Rock. What is it you find weird about it? It's weird working for a network and having to tone down my terrible sense of humor. Or just change the kind of jokes you want to tell. Kid-friendly stuff like butt jokes is fun. I guess it just has to be smarter than my usual cartoons. But you can hide some jokes within the language. Same sense of humor, just directed differently. It's wicked funny. What makes you laugh the most? Neil Hamburger, Louis C.K. and other people who push humor in weird directions. Funny dog videos on YouTube just kill me.
Although it's all illustration work that you do, both comissioned work and your own art, working freelance and working for a company like Nickelodeon must be completely different. What’s the challenge? It's a challenge to work with a large group of people. Group decisions are sometimes hard things to deal with, but sometimes it pushes you to work in directions where you'd never have went and the outcome is brilliant. You have to be very serious and concentrate on decisions that affect a lot of people. I have plenty of time to do my own thing at home, make crummy zines and animations with no rules.
You also work as a cartoonist. How did you get into the cartoon scene and what are you working on at the moment? I met this dude Jim Dirschberger in S.F. He was going to school for filmmaking. He contacted me about collaborating on a short cartoon project. We've worked together ever since. At first we made some shorts, then we started a cartoon called the Forest City Rockers. The Rockers started getting attention and it led me to designing the characters for Bob's Burgers. Jim and I got approached by Nickelodeon shortly after that and that's where we are now, working on a pilot. It's so awesome!
How much of yourself goes into your work? How much is fantasy or reality? I mean, they depend on each other anyway... I hope that aspects of my personality dominate everything I do,
What mt.st.mtn projects are you excited about right now? The new Blasted Canyons record and also a zine by the awesome artist Mark Whalen (Kill Pixie). He's my mate. We hang out everyday. He's such a good artist and funny dude. Skateboarding has always been a big influence on your work. What was so fascinating about it in the first place? I've always been into skateboarding, riding bikes, snowboarding, and surfing. It's about betting on yourself and making your own rules. All of my favorite creative people are skaters. It's just what I relate to. I don't question it, I just love it. I like to jam downhills and carve around and shit. Do you still go out and skate a lot? Not as much as I should. I bomb hills a few times a month. That's great. So, it's more beer/party at the moment, or is the job keeping you away from all that? I work too much. If I get out of the house, it's to walk the dog or go out and get beers. What are the worst enemies in terms of keeping you away from drawing? Or is there nothing that can interrupt you? Ah, the dog... The dog is a constant threat, and my ADD. I watch TV and movies all day so I'm always looking for more and more and more to watch. I must be entertained all day whilst drawing. What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made in your work that you’ve learned from? No mistakes. I move at my own pace figuring things out and learning slowly. My mistakes in life aren't art-related. Any regrets? Or are you always moving in a forward direction? No regrets. Life has just begun. That's right! Life begins every day. But if you could talk to a younger version of yourself and share some wise words, what would you say? Work harder. But it’s, like, I wasn't ready then for what I'm doing now. Whatever, younger me. Keep skating and do it with more girls. I am happy with the way things have worked out and are going. You can't change the past so why bother thinking about it. It's all now! It's the best time to do it the way you want it.
Blinded by the trash Light â€”
imagining a life happening in Jay's images, full of sex, drugs, beers, skateboarding, bloodâ€Ś I mean, it's all about knowing how to have fun!
escribe the place where you work. What’s around you and what do you need to feel comfortable? I work in a small room on the fourth floor that has windows on two sides, and a balcony that looks out over a park and the Cirque d’hiver. The wall behind my desk is pinned from top to bottom with notes and ideas, as well as a map to trace specifics for my storytelling. Right now, it's of Paris. The tale I am working on takes place here. Take us on a little tour of your space here. There is not much to it. When I am writing I stay pretty much at home and keep to myself. Currently, I am visiting the Circus quite a lot because I am writing a story that takes place around it. I also sit in the park below our window or the café on the corner, but in all honesty I am at the desk most of the time. “The whole problem with technology is that it erases memory!” What's your relationship to today’s technology? I am cut off and mostly cut out. It’s taken a number of my good friends. For me it’s kind of like heroin. No matter what, it changes people and it’s always for the worse. And no matter what, they are never the same again! They can never fully concentrate on you, the moment, or the real world happening around them. They are like recovering junkies who never recover. Always fixated on gadgets and not the living people before them.
A Toast To The
What technical devices do you use every day? I have e-mail and that’s about it. I am not a Google freak or really into Wikipedia at all. I have a set of encyclopedias and a large dictionary that I constantly refer to, along with a ton of books. No cell phone and I check my e-mail in the morning and get on with my writing. What’s your driving force and the challenge in this overloaded Internet world – everything links to everything else, and is available everywhere, anytime, which kills our creativity and imagination? We are no longer thinking any of our own thoughts or solving any of our own problems, and we are not teaching our children those skills. We are simply carrying gadgets that do it for us. Everything gets Googled now and people have actually stopped using any sort of “mind exercise,” which is thought! Before the Internet, the only way to have knowledge was to work for it, to search for it and gain it through experience. What will happen to the world as a whole when anyone can have access to information without the work involved to gain it, and the atlas is skirted? Experience is the only thing that makes information understandable. Without the experience you simply have information, which is far different than knowledge. What is going to happen when the thinkers stop giving away their information in any form, whether it be as teachers, writers, or inventors?
THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES The word
“sharing” has a bad taste nowadays. What does the act of sharing mean in the age of Internet? Sharing is a physical act. It involves contact of some sort and it’s what you do with another person or a group. Art is what one does alone and all this "sharing" is destroying art. I am first and foremost for the individual, and the Internet is the individual’s greatest enemy.
A MAN OF GREAT ACTION AND WORDS. A WRITER AND POET, A THINKER AND STORYTELLER. IN BREVITY, SCOTT BOURNE IS AN ARTIST WHO HAS SOME THINGS TO SHARE
What's the magic of writing letters and postcards? It’s just a tangible relationship. You have a stamp, handwriting, sometimes scents, perfumes, and a signature. It’s an individual
"… the idea of staying in print as an erotic idea — the flesh of pages are much like the flesh of a woman."—Scott Bourne, 2011
piece of a person that we don’t get in e-mails or text messages. Most people these days don’t even write anymore with a pen and paper… some can’t. In which ways do you inject your unique style when working on longer projects, and how do you stay focused? I have never had a problem with focus for the simple fact that I will not take on a project that I am not interested in. It’s the one rule I have set for myself. No matter what amount of money may be offered or involved, I will not accept any project unless I have a personal and real interest in it.
You Have to Your books consist of scans of pages that be present you have written on with an old typewriter. What is your work process? explain your These books have been almost completely and organic in the sense that they kinda made themselves. The original book, Cheating on the state or you Metronome, was nothing more than raw stuff. Lars Greiwe, who was over at Carhartt at the time, really liked the stuff and it just naturallyare going to ended up as scans for no other reason than it lose it was a finished work and we both felt the pages spoke as much as the words. Now it's just a standard for my poetry. That is how it is built and that is how we have chosen to present it.
True or false? Time runs faster from day to day, still so much to accomplish, which makes it sometimes even more difficult to recognize the magic of a moment, the beauty and simplicity of life itself… I have always felt this sort of accelerated panic with life. It has never been slow. Even at a young age I had the sensation that I had things to do and little time to do them. As a result I set out at many of those task at a young age and am still working hard on new projects. As soon as I have finished one, it becomes irrelevant to me and I begin another. I am insatiable and as a result I am always pressed when it comes to time. A man never knows when he will die but he knows for sure that he will… that is an immense pressure for a man who has things to accomplish! Are there things that seem unattainable for you? No. I have never felt that sort of limitation on my life or abilities. I get frustrated at times but it never stops me from taking a second or third try or simply changing my approach or
strategy. I mean who ollied the first time they tried to ollie? Not me, but in the end I could ollie well over a meter flat. Often it’s the man who has had to work really hard for something that gains the deepest respect for his accomplishment as well as the respect of those who have watched him work. You left the U.S. for Paris. How big was the impact of moving? It was actually a real relief. I went from being constantly surrounded by people screaming my name to almost complete alienation, which was what I was looking for. I came here because I just wanted to be left alone, because I wanted to write and become someone new, someone else. I wanted to change my surroundings and experience and evolve. In this new place I was completely allowed to do this.
How has this affected your work? It’s just that I have a strong foundation at this point in my life. I am no longer a vagabond of sorts which allows me to sit alone for long hours on end and express the things that all my travels have taught me. I can go undisturbed here.
What are you extracting from your travel experiences? I think the greatest piece of knowledge I have gained in my travels is that almost everyone is a patriot to their place of origin, but many have never been anywhere else. All over the world we are taught to be proud of our country, race, or various social or class roots, but little is taught of how we are all part of something bigger and that thing is The World, Humanity, and Nature. So that is the origin I claim. I am a Human Being from The World, born of Nature! And that idea alone puts an end to racism, sexism, patriotism, classism, war, false pride, and any other sorts of walls we put up in the name of competition. Nature will be my god and determine who is best. The sooner man gets with that idea, the healthier the world will be. It seems to me that you can be a loner and probably when left to yourself. Is this a result of learning more about your boundaries, and how do you feel most comfortable with yourself? I have had to make certain boundaries with people because it would be impossible for me to get time in my own life if I didn't. With that in mind, I am always open to intelligent people with the same sort of curious nature that I share. In that sense I love people. I love beers over words or a mad night of debate, but it has to have value and meaning. When you are on tour with skating or reading from a book, a certain amount of repetition occurs every day that your audience is not aware of and it's important for your own health to not get locked on repetitive things. You have to be present and explain your state or you are going to lose it.
Poems and drawings
from his book, A Toast To The End Of Time. Released in collaboration with Carhartt
If you could talk to a younger version of yourself and share some wise words, what would you say? At this point in my life I don't want to say anything to him. I don't want to risk changing the man he will become on his own. I like that man so I think the young me is best left alone.
Erosieâ€”State of Now
Jeroen Erosie for JB. in March 2012 / www.erosie.net
Published on Feb 24, 2014
Published on Feb 24, 2014
JUST BREATHE. Magazine — Issue #02 — State Of Now Featured artists: Mercedes Helnwein Sergej Vutuc Jay Howell Adrian Rubi-Dentzel Matt Patt...