Browsing Tag

collab

Interview

Artist Feature: Emmanuel Camusat for Getta Grip

We loved our previous collab with Damian from Getta Grip so much that we knew from that day we had to do it again. Meanwhile, we were extremely lucky that Manu, the art director behind Diligent Skateboards [remember the collab’ wheels we made last Xmas?], was inspired by our logo and he sent us some awesome twisted versions we loved so much. We reached out to him and asked to put one on grip tape, sprayed by Damian himself. We included the grip in our 3 Years box along with this interview in issue #19 of KrakMag.

Hey Manu, could you introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Emmanuel Camusat AKA Imaurf Emmanuel_Paul; Emmanuel_Paul and Emmanuel Polymorph. This is an old thing from my days at Beaux-Arts [French art school] in order to justify why I was doing very different things. I graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Qimper [north west part of France] in 2000, I’m 46 years old, and I’m an artist and a teacher at the art school in Chateauroux.

How long have you been skating? How did you start?
I started skateboarding in 1986 and I skated straight through to 1992. When my father died that year (I was 20 years old) I put skateboarding aside, my mind was somewhere else. I consequently stopped for 20 years. During that time, I was still landing some ollies every month just to tell myself ‘you’re still a skateboarder’, so I never completely stopped but that was still a proper pause. Then I really went back into it in 2012 when my first son started walking. I put him on a board, then myself, and bang: I missed it too much so I became addicted again.

How long have you been drawing/painting?
I’ve been drawing for as many years as I can remember. I was hungry for comics and I didn’t get out of my bedroom really often when I was a kid so I drew. Nothing crazy but it was non-stop. Then I started skateboarding and I made some logos on my griptape, then on my clothes, etc… Then I started working. And then again: my father’s death, 3 years of being lost, and it clicked. The act of creation was way too important to me. I couldn’t forget that, so I consequently applied to a prep school in order to enter into the Beaux-Arts later on. I was enrolled in the same prep school in Chateauroux in which I teach right now. Then I moved to Quimper and I’m fully into creation now.

What inspired this Krak graphic?
That one was part of a huge series of different logos. I had my little eye-based characters in mind and they started to invade my skateboarding pictures, then I got some geometric forms, then some logos, and in the middle of all these things, the Krak logo. It’s always an evolution for me, I jump from one thing to another, always in motion.

You’ve surprised us many times with some twisted/hijacked logos. Do you especially enjoy this type of drawing? Why?
As I was saying above, I always try to be in motion. I’m also a bit of a workaholic so once I draw something, I have to test it many times, I have to try a lot of different combinations, I have to literally run through the whole thing. So I make a lot of tests, I twist things, and since the thing is in my mind all the time, I need to take it out. Otherwise it consumes my days. I play with the different versions, I fill out the inside of the logo, then I fill all the negative space. The Krak logo was perfect for this little game and I can tell you: you haven’t seen most of the drawings, haha!

I love these drawings because they’re instinctive to me. It’s a kind of meditation. I don’t think… it’s like I draw them to warm me up before going into more complex work. Drawing and skateboarding are the same to me. One paper, one picture, it’s like an obstacle. My pen, my paintbrush, they’re like my board. I have some tricks in my bag that I know, that I manage perfectly, so I start with them to warm up. Then I try some bigger stuff, harder, until I reach the point where they become warm-up tricks; that’s what happened with my logo-based drawings.

We actually see a lot of hijacked logos out there, what do you think about this trend?
In my opinion, it’s because we’re literally surrounded by logos and brands all the time. So quite naturally, the logos are one of the first things that come into mind. That actually proves the strength of those who created them in the first place. I like the idea of ‘invading the invaders’. It’s not a battle, per se, but rather a way to identify yourself, to highlight where influences lie.

Some of the drawings you do remind us of Ed Templeton graphics. Do you draw any inspiration from Toy Machine?
Hmm yes and no. I really like his work, there is something very strong in it but his characters are typically derivatives of themselves. It starts with a monster which eats some skateboards, then step by step it becomes something more liquid with some extra mouths, then extra eyes, then the extra mouth disappears just to leave the extra eye. I’m totally aware that there is some similarities, especially around the cyclops family. But to be honest, and without faked humility, I think that while the design is often similar, the content is not. And he’s doing things way better than me isn’t he?

What are the pros and cons of using boards as a medium for art?
Pros: the form factor. You have to keep in mind where the trucks will be, the used and scratch zones, and the result is a huge and very interesting challenge. It’s always super cool to see your drawing under a rider’s feet. When you think about it, they liked your work enough to buy a deck. The skate shops become sort of art galleries to showcase your art.

Cons: I can’t think of any. I could say the fact that you destroy the canvas over time but I actually find that pretty cool. Consequently, it gives another meaning to your design. For instance, I drew some cows for an American company named ‘Crucial Skate Company’ and at the end, that became a ‘roast beef’ series that I really enjoyed.

What do you like to draw aside from skateboarding?
Everything. I like drawing everything; all the little daily things. I always have a pen and a notebook with me. I draw in waiting rooms, during conferences, during meetings, I draw everything and everyone I see. I enjoy ‘series’ of things, like drawing something so many times that you make it disappear.

How did you connect with Diligent?
I’ve known Florent for a while. Hey, he even told the story in his interview in the KrakMag. I used to ride with my friends in front of his house and then sometimes he rode the mini-ramp that we built ourselves, just next to an abandoned factory near the train rails. Then we sort of lost each other, and recently we bumped into each other. Since I was doing a lot of different things, he asked me if I was down to make something for Diligent and voila, here we are.

Who are your biggest influences in art?
Wow, there are so many. My biggest influences come from literature: W.S. Burroughs, Georges Perec, Jack Kerouac; then from music: Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, Steve Reich, John Cage. Then there is: Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, Ed Ruscha, Joseph Kosuth, Max Ernst, Botticelli, Le Caravage, Richard Fauguet, Wim Delvoye, the Chapman brothers, I could go on like this for hours. Bottom line is: I’m really into experimenting, innovation and the intention being more than the pure beauty of the realisation. Even though there are some wonderful things in the stuff I just mentioned, I also think it’s deeper than what we see, that’s what resonates with me.

If you could do a board graphic for any skater, who would it be?
Hmm if I don’t think too much about it I’d say: Natas Kaupas, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero and Ray Barbee; they’re my young age idols haha; and Louie Barletta as well. Then I think more about brands, in terms of mindset and the atmosphere: Toy Machine for instance (let’s go back to Ed Templeton) and Enjoi.

What is your biggest piece of advice for readers who want to make a living out of drawing?
To be honest, I’d love the readers to give me advice about that, haha, because I can’t say I live from my drawings. Jokes aside, I think you should work in an authentic way, be genuine and sincere, stay open and don’t focus on one thing only. Keep experimenting, always; and last but not least, find a real job on the side, haha!

This interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 19 that shipped with the 3 Years KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Diligent Skateboard's Florent Bavouzet
Interview

Founders Interview: Florent Bavouzet of Diligent

The brand tagline on your website is ‘French Core Skateboard Company’; what did you have in mind when you picked this one up? What’s a ‘core skateboard company’ for you anyway?
For me, ‘skatecore’ means pure and raw skateboarding; no fuss; no fashion; no trend; no duty to perform this trick or that one. Moreover, it’s a company owned and operated by skaters; every type of level I don’t care but everyone should skate. Here at Diligent, the photographer rides, the filmer too, the graphic designer and so on and so forth. We make our products either in Canada or in Spain and they come from a great factory which is managed by skaters too. I mean, we’re not a cult either but I like the idea that the people involved at any level feel a kind of emotional and personal relationship and get some skills with what we’re making. All that being said, we should probably acquire a non-skater-type of commercial development haha!

Is it important for you to stay ‘core’ in the long-term?
For sure. We want to stay ourselves. I don’t want us to have any partnership with some energy drinks or some other shitty stuff like that. We want to stay independent. And we don’t want to participate to any kind of ‘fun contest’ such as the FISE or anything else like that.

Has there been any moment where you told yourself ‘we won’t do this’ because you could have lost this ‘core’ mindset?
I’ve never gone through any decision like this to be honest. I think it’s because we’re still small which means we don’t receive that many requests and consequently, we’re still free.

Ben Raitano, switch heel

Ben Raitano, switch heel. Photo: Johan Verstappen

Do you think there are a lot of ‘core’ skate companies? Too many? Not enough?
I think there are quite a lot of them but unfortunately they’re not the ones we hear the most about. You know it’s always the same thing, they are crushed by the big guys in the business. Their resources are also limited and they don’t have a lot of money for communication. Like they can’t afford any ad in skate mags for instance. So obviously it’s not simple for them to grow efficiently. Now you have social media which is mandatory and actually a cheap way to get the word out.

What are the biggest challenges for these kind of brands?
First: to exist. Then: to survive. And then, to be introduced in the skate shops. Because typically shops tend to deal first with the big guys because prices are cheaper and risks lower. But I think that if you focus on quality, that’ll work at some point. Nevertheless I have to say, some shops are big supporters. Some others just talk a lot and claim ‘support your local shop’ but I’d want to tell them ‘support your local brand’. I don’t want to blame them neither, I mean I understand their challenges. It is indeed quite complicated in France to manage a store; especially when you consider all the pre-orders required by the ‘skhateboarding’ sneakers companies.

Okay we went a bit too fast; let’s come back to the basics: who are you Flo? Where are you from?
Florent Bavouzet, 40 years old. I come from the center of France, a town named Chateauroux. This is quite lost but there has always been a small and super motivated skate scene. Consequently when you grow up there, it kind of forces you to get out and progress. Then I’ve had many lives: experienced the contests, managed a skate shop, got a pro-model, skated street, vert etc… I got the chance to explore the many sides of skateboarding but I’ve also been very down-to-earth in the other sides of my life; like a normal life with a job, family time and everything. Skateboarding is like a big passion for me that consumes a huge part of my energy.

Sammy Idry, wallride grab

Sammy Idry, wallride grab. Photo: Johan Verstappen

When did you start skateboarding? How?
When I was 12, in 1989. It was mainly due to the group of Emmanuel Camusat [he’s the one who drew the Krak logo diversions you might have seen on our Instagram]. I saw them riding a bank on a bike lane and that how everything started. Then I just never stopped haha! It’s funny because we didn’t talk to each other (Manu and I) for like 20 years and recently, we bumped into each other and worked together on a graphic for a deck named ‘Forbidden’… so beautiful haha!

Mandatory questions to understand your skate-influences: favorite skate video? part? trick nowadays?
H Street ‘Hocus-Pocus’, Plan B ‘Virtual Reality’ – of course I talk about old ones because these are the ones that stay just engraved in my mind! The others… well, they’re good in terms of performance for sure but I clearly don’t feel the same thing when I watch them.

Who’s on the Diligent team?
Sammy Idri (Nimes), Ben Raitano (Marseille/St Etienne) and then the flow team Mathieu Sabourin (Lyon), Remi Larnould (Lyon/Montpellier), Arthur Fontis (Grenoble/Mâcon), Victor Naves (Nimes), Adam Geidt, Florian Bac, Guillaume Nozieres, mostly south-east…

Do you all live in Lyon? How did you meet each other?
Well half of us live in Lyon. We met each other through skate sessions obviously. Then some others emit the desire to jump on board so we made them come to Lyon for an interview haha!

Mathieu Sabourin, f/s ollie

Mathieu Sabourin, f/s ollie. Photo: Johan Verstappen

Do you have any favorite skatespots these days?
Gorge de Loup if we want a battle. Small Place if we want to play and drink. Never HDV. Charpennes a lot and every spot that is non-conventional.

We were talking about videos… If I’m right you’re currently filming your full-length, yeah? Are you happy?
Every time we just want to make a 2min edit and we end with a mini-video project which is way longer… we improvise a lot haha! Then I have to say I’m a bit old-school so all the lazy Instagram-clips in which you upload everything and anything, I find them dumb. And this is really sad to focus on ephemeral stuff just for the sake of buzz, no? Well it’s my opinion at least.

Do you have a name already? Or a theme? When is the release date?
March 2018 I think. We don’t any theme yet. A name? Queen Mary 2 – related to our Dilivan.

It’s your first one right? Why this format actually? Was it important for you to release a proper full-length? Why?
We already made a 13min edit in 2015. The name was ‘Plaisir solitaire pour tous’ [Selfish pleasure for everyone]; that was related to a deck graphic we released named ‘La Marianne’, a kind of French standard but porn-oriented; kindly of course… well this isn’t the topic!

So this time we target 15min or slightly more… ok let’s stop with the minutes counting; wait and see finally. We aren’t in an online video contest right!! The length isn’t important at all. But I find a video longer than 25min painful!

Is everything taking place in Lyon or have you travelled a little bit?
We skated in Lyon of course but also in Nimes, Grenoble, Marseille. Actually we try to keep things easy. And because we also all have a double-life with a job or some studies, it means we also don’t have much time and this isn’t that easy. This is really an easy-going way of making a video; we don’t even try to go to the ‘must-spot’ like Barcelona, Berlin and all… At the end we even prefer to skate a village. Anduze already done!

Where does the name ‘Diligent’ come from? And the logo?
‘Diligent’ is a word that’s written, pronounced and means the exact same thing in both french and english. That’s really an universal word. That also means ‘someone who does all the necessary to get something done’ and I found this definition very cool for skateboarding. It’s like all the energy and time you put to land a trick.

I found it because I searched online the dictionaries and synonyms for like 2 weeks. I wrote on a lot of papers, I tried every type of spontaneous technique haha like beers, kids crying behind you etc… everything except: talk about it around you. Then I gave the name to a friend—a graphic designer named Jean Lambert—and he thought about a logo like an arrow on the top to give the direction, and then the 4 legs are like 4 wheels. Of course when you read this you’ll be like ‘it’s a bit too far’ but nope, I was all down.

Remi Larnould, blunt

Remi Larnould, blunt. Photo: Johan Verstappen

When did you launch the brand exactly?
March 2013.

Let’s make a quick ‘entrepreneurship detour’: if you had the chance to do it again, what would you pay the most attention to?
Alain Delon never fails! [french reference… sorry]

Do you have any advice for the people who are reading this right now and would want to launch their own thing in skateboarding?
Argh… don’t do it for the money because you’ll be disappointed; even though some people succeeded.

Thanks for the inspiration man!

Diligent team in Marseille

Diligent team in Marseille. Photo: Johan Verstappen

Cover image: Florent Bavouzet, b/s ollie. Photo: Johan Verstappen

A short version of this interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 17 that shipped with the Xmas KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Pindejo x Lucas Beaufort x Krak Collab Pin
Box

PINDEJO x LUCAS BEAUFORT x KRAK

A collab’ always feels special right? We were so down to have teamed up with artist Lucas Beaufort and Mikendo, founder of Pindejo for a special project.

If you’ve been part of the journey for a while you probably remember Mikendo from KrakMag #4. Here’s how he started skateboarding: “A kid in my high school named Kurt had a 7.35 Foundation Josh Beagle board, with tiny 39mm wheels and some Grind King trucks. They were of the “king of grinds!” haha and he got me into it. Since then it’s been the most important thing in my life and shown me things I could have never discovered on my own.”

Lucas painted the cover of our KrakMag #3 back in the day. You can check it out here and read our interview with him. For our 7th KrakBox Lucas drew for us again and we turned it into a limited edition pin made by Pindejo. We were so stoked on this one.

If you received one of these pins don’t forget to send us your pictures to show us how you wear it. Enjoy!

Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Check out the KrakBox now!

Filmbot - Marty Murawski
Box

Filmbot x Krak Griptape

For the most consistent among you, you may remember our Q&A with Mikendo Stanfield – mastermind behind Filmbot with his partner James Sawyer – back in the KrakMag print issue #4. Yep, back at the end of 2015.

A ‘nerd with a camera’ as he defined himself and yes, he also admitted he used to play too many video games when he was young – hence the name.

Filmbot - Derek Fukuhara

Derek Fukuhara, kickflip. Photo: Mikendo

We have worked together on many products since then but with our 2017 Summer box, we were psyched to release this very special griptape – designed and hand-sprayed by the man himself.

Filmbot x Krak griptape Filmbot x Krak griptape

 

Filmbot - Derek Fukuhara

Derek Fukuhara, ollie. Photo: Mikendo

Long live skateboarding.

Cover image: Marty Murawski, switch pivot. Photo: Mikendo