I've posted about my cartoon influences quite a bit here, now it's time for a post about some one who had a large impact on me from outside the cartoon animation world. Until a few years ago I didn't even know that it was one person who guided the illustration and design of Santa Cruz Skateboards in the mid to late 80's. Jim Phillips had been working in the surf and skate scene before then, but it wasn't until his Santa Cruz work that I became familiar with his imagery.
His grotesque illustrations and wild custom type immediately resonated with my young adolescent brain. I found his demonic detailed artwork to be pure eye-candy. My skateboard, notebooks and schoolbooks were all plastered with Santa Cruz stickers. The fact that these stickers pissed off my parents, teachers and other authority figures was also appealing to my rebellious nature.
Vintage Santa Cruz Speed Wheels Shirt:
From the Rob Roskopp Series:
My own Roskopp Reissue with vintage Slime Balls wheels:
Check out the insanely detailed lettering on the wheel graphics:
I never felt like he skimped on the effort he put into his graphics. Everything was obsessively detailed and bold. The gross out factor has always appealed to me as well... I'm sure it's part of the reason I was also attracted to the disgusting close up paintings on Ren & Stimpy.
One of the non-satanic Jeff Grosso decks:
I highly recommend picking up his excellent book, Surf, Skate & Rock Art of Jim Phillips. It's filled with all the great stuff from his Santa Cruz days as well as his earlier and later works.