Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Plukart: Bringing It From Colombia

Jaime Eduardo Sanabria Galvis aka Jim aka Plukart is a Colombian illustrator and designer. He's not sure what the first illustration he ever created was, however, one of the earliest he can recall is a clown with a big smile. Collage, watercolor, photography, oil paint, Jim's down for whatever. Except maybe I'm thinking he doesn't like being in front of the lens so much.

It's slow, but here's a home video of Jim painting a room last winter. The walls look fantastic. He obviously loves being on camera when he's trying to work. Jim's portfolio on flickr is absolutely worth your time, so HAVE A LOOK AT IT: PLUKART.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Worry, Spongebob. Pharrell Still Loves You.

A couple of Pharrell's fans painted these Spongebob Vans for him. No details as to who these kids are, but I'm sure they were happy to get their photo up on his blog. Classy move meeting up with your fans, Mr. N.E.R.D.

Here is the Pharrell x Spongebob Vans OG link if you'd like to see another photo. I'd offer you an apropos Spongebob vs The Pack's Vans Song video at this point, but its annoying so here's a good one instead.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Michael C. Hsiung and The Vans Kook That He Has Nicely Illustrated for Our Mutual Friend Phil

Michael is an LA artist I first noticed on FECAL FACE a while back. Turns out he was roommates with my friend PHIL for whom this piece called "Vans Kook" was created. Nice hightops. Small world. Here are the basics on Michael. He's also got a pretty good sense of humor apparently:

Michael C Hsiung is characterized by: large mustache (one of the few remaining facially hairy Asians surviving today) with all of the species capable of reaching one ton or more in weight; herbivorous diet; and a thin yellow protective skin, 1.5-5 cm thick, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure; and a relatively small brain for a mammal of his size (400-600g). Michael is prized for its mustache, sometimes his art. Not a true mustache, it is made of thickly matted hair that grows from the skull without skeletal support. Michael has acute hearing and sense of smell, but poor eyesight over any distance. Michael C. Hsiung will probably live to be about 50 years old or more.

Here are some other illustrations by Mike that are neat and aptly titled.

"The Aeternae stomps proudly with his baby angora unicorns in the Northern Plains of India. 180 BCE"

"On the shameful fight and ridiculous outcome of the two gardeners"

"How brave and noble warriors find burial"


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Sloth that Rocks Vans

Tim Ham is a 22-year-old designer and illustrator (and coffee shop employee) from Tempe, Arizona. Why is his nom de guerre "Sloth?" He thinks people are too busy. Everyone needs to slow down and take a breath. Gaining most of his inspiration from street art (and his mom), he got cracking on his first pair of hand painted Vans when his girlfriend's sister asked him to make some shoes for her. By the way, Tim snagged his first pair of Vans when he was a little BMX racing 5-year-old.

See more of his illustrations at I AM SLOTH. Tim is currently working on his first line of tees so look out for those on his site. In the meantime, he'll keep working at the coffee shop and designing motocross graphics at THE DIRT LAB.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coachella 2009: Pt 4

Dropped into the Viceroy Sunday morning before heading to the show to say hello to Ninjasonik. The slip-ons above are only 3 months old, but Jah Jah has been doing every show in them so they are breaking in fairly quickly. The Ninjas were playing a show there with Spankrock and Abe Vigoda. Nice way to start the day.

If Coachella was handing out showmanship awards Fucked Up would have to get the tiara and the dozen roses. That band went at it with their whole hearts in 100 degree heat before 3pm on Sunday. Taking cues straight from The Wrestler, front man Damian, cut his head with a tiny razor blade (after pounding a can of Krush). He was dripping blood, but not in a crappy GG Allin kind of way. He was still earnest, personable and screaming his face off into the mike. This is hard to pull off.

Speaking of hard to pull off... I met this nice fellow. I asked him what the story was with the suit. He said,"Well, I had this suit so..." And yes, he is wearing underwear.

Who else did I see yesterday? Lykke Li, Sebastian Tellier, Peter Bjorn and John, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Devendra Banhart, The Horrors, and The Kills. Devendra Banhart's set was a huge surprise. Expecting a mellow Cat Stevens set out of him, I wasn't paying much attention to his set. In fact I was backstage somewhere else, heard someone going crazy on a guitar like it was 1978 arena rock, and followed the music to find out it was Banhart. Har Mar Superstar hopped up on stage with him, and they proceeded to kill the entire audience.

Coachella 2009 - Day 3

Thanks to everyone I met who let me take pics of their Vans at the show. Turns out everyone who wears Vans is friendly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coachella 2009: Pt 3

Coachella 2009- Day 2

Saturday's Coachella was a gorgeous & long day. I watched TV On The Radio, Fleet Foxes, MSTRKRFT, James Morrison & Joss Stone, Booker T, Gang Gang Dance, Mastodon, Glass Candy, The Chemical Brothers, Junior Boys, Tinariwen and Superchunk. Hate I missed Ida Maria & Liars, but how much running can ya do?

Coachella 2009- Day 2

Coachella 2009- Day 2

Fun random: someone in the parking lot made a band out of trash & anchored it to the top of their car For Carpoolchella. A+ craftsmanship.

Coachella 2009- Day 2

Churros & pretzels were plentiful...
Coachella 2009- Day 2

VIP was refreshing...

Coachella 2009- Day 2

This guy was all over the place.

Coachella 2009- Day 2

TV On The Radio played one of my favorite sets yesterday. They closed with a remix of Staring at the Sun at dusk. The people commenced a little bootie shakin.'

Coachella 2009- Day 2- TV On The Radio

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Coachella 2009: Pt 2

Coachella 2009 Day 1

By the end of the show yesterday we were completely wiped out. Recap of everyone we saw...The Aggrolites, The Hold Steady, People Under The Stairs, M.Ward, Beirut, NASA, Crystal Castles, Morrissey, Paul McCartney and The Crystal Method. Diverse day. I wasn't expecting to watch a few of those bands, but I rolled with it and had a great time.

Coachella 2009 Day 1

Coachella 2009 Day 1

Coachella 2009 Day 1

When you come to outdoor events in the blazing hot sun don't hate on the sunblock. M.Ward's security wins the best farmer tan award.

Coachella 2009 Day 1- M. Ward Security Guard Farmer tan

I also gave away 3 pairs of Vans to a few twitter people who found me...and those people were quite happy with it. Tata! Off to the show....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Coachella Music and Arts Festival: Pt 1

My favorite time of year. We are out in the middle of the desert listening to tons of fantastic bands. We only got here about an hour ago. Things are beginning to get rolling. So far we've seen The Aggrolites, People Under the Stairs, We Are Scientists, and these two future space hippie girls shaking their asses. Partie!

For play by plays of the festivities go to

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skateboard Kings Documentary Film (1978)

In 1978 a British show called The World About Us decided to take on the SoCal skate scene. Paul Constantineau, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Ray Flores, Shogo Kubo, Jerry Valdez, and a slew of others from the Dogtown crew are featured in this film. Its a PBS/BBC style documentary that takes the viewer through the ins & outs of skateboarding in the late '70s. Watch the whole thing. FANTASTIC. Thanks to MarcBT@VansFrance for the heads up on this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Louie Gong: Mixing Traditional Native American Art & Custom Kicks

Louie Gong isn't just a guy from Nooksack, Squamish, Chinese, French, and Scottish heritage raised between Ruskin, B.C. and in the Nooksack tribal community in Washington state making custom Vans with organic designs. Nope, that's not interesting enough. He's the president of MAVIN, the nation’s leading mixed race organization, and he works as an education resource coordinator at Muckleshoot Tribal College. How did he get into customizing Vans given his community-driven background?

"I started learning to draw Coast Salish style when I helped the Muckleshoot community prepare for the canoe journey by painting hand‐made drums. From that point forward, I started seeing the world in crescents, ovals, and formlines. Then – on a whim – I took a sharpie to a pair of Vans....Many people are also drawn to the shoes because they represent the confluence of multiple worlds. Others simply appreciate Coast Salish art or the fact that that they are something new and original. Either way, I feel honored that people are finding value in something I love to do."

Looky here at us learning about different cultures! I'm changing my last name to Muckleshoot. For more info on Louie take a look at EIGHTH GENERATION: SHOES FOR WALKING IN TWO WORLDS.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Vans Photo of the Week: Jumpity by Caro Sheridan

The photographer behind this is Boston, MA maker-of-things Caro Sheridan. Not only does she know how to wield a camera, but she also designs and creates her own line of handmade knitting and photography goods through her label SPLITYARN. For all you knitters out there she's made theseBOX BAGS that are just the right size for a ball of yarn. She also makes these POINT AND SHOOTcamera straps and one for an SLR CAMERA, too.

A girl after our own hearts over here, Caro will also do custom jobs for you if you send her the fabric you want to use. SPLITYARN CUSTOMS. SEE MORE OF CARO'S BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS HERE.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Digging The Artworks: Interview with Yuzuru Namiki

Yuzuru Namiki is a 27 year-old Japanese illustrator whose style is pop-gore intense. He's landed a recent cover on AIR WAR MAGAZINE, is doing work for a couple of skate companies and has a laundry list of musicians he's working with including DJ LE CASTLEVANIA. I asked him a few questions about his work, and he responded both enthusiastically and self-consciously about his english language skills. After explaining that his English is about 4,678,009,879,098 times better than the Japanese that I learned from that one Styx song, he felt better about it.

When did you get your first pair of Vans?

Um.. I’m not sure. Maybe 13-14? My first Vans is Slipon. That was looks good.

Who are the artists that most influence your work?

Is the Japanese Manga artist(Cartoonist) Katsuhiro Otomo (AKIRA) and Akira Toriyama (DRAGON BALL). They gave a lot inspiring me when I was childhood. They are greatest artist. And then they are also excellent hard worker. I still have huge respect to them now.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on so far?

All that I had done. I’m always working with my best one. Though it doesn't become an answer. Yea, this time was very exciting. These are definitely one of the my favorite work.

To contact Yuzuru, hit him up on his YZR MYSPACE or his website YZR CRAFTSMAN while you can still afford him. By the way, I must mention that his emails may have been the most pleasant and courteous I've ever received. His parents would be proud. Thanks, Arigatou, Yuzuru!