What if there was no such thing as a skateboard graphic? Would it matter to you if you and your squad all had the same plain, natural wood deck? If skateboards had no graphics, would they still have a soul? Would they tell the story of your favorite pro? Would they still celebrate your favorite video part, ad campaign, or Instagram account? What would a deck with no graphics say about you and your skateboarding? How would anyone know where you have aligned yourself within the skate industry? Would people be making jokes about how lame “Skater X” is over there with his obviously lame brand board?
Thankfully, we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where art and skateboarding go hand in hand. We live in a world where skateboards tell stories, share in our culture’s rich history, and convey a brand’s message. For better or worse, we live in a world where skateboard graphics speak volumes of who you are, who your favorite skater is, what clique you belong to, and with whom you share common values and attitudes. And, if that’s what it takes to draw out all of these beautiful, funny, disgusting, and thought provoking graphics, I enthusiastically embrace every bit of it.
Ambush teamed up with RAW Artists to bring you a stunning collaborative series featuring graphics from some of RAW Artists most creative talent.
RAW Artists is an international independent artists organization that gives artists the resources and exposure to launch their respective art careers. RAW’s Senior Showcase Director, and former Ambush employee, Dayna Melton has long been one of the top talent evaluators for up-and-coming artists. Dayna curates art shows throughout the country that bring underground painters, printers, sculptors, performers, musicians, photographers, chefs, makeup artists, and jewelers to art enthusiasts in cities like San Francisco, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and, of course, Atlanta. When Dayna proposed the idea of Ambush and RAW collaborating on a series of skate decks, it was an obvious no brainer. The project was a go and Dayna went to work on what she does best: find talented artists.
San Francisco, CA
Toby has been creating art since he was able to hold a pen. His passion for art is matched only by his obsession with skateboarding. For the past 15+ years, Toby has fused the two into a lifestyle balanced between the streets and the studio. Toby’s art career started to take off as a graffiti artist in the eclectic neighborhoods of San Francisco. He has since evolved into a commissioned muralist painting the walls of various storefronts throughout the city.
To Toby, skateboarding and art are intrinsically connected. He gets the same feeling of pride and stoke from landing a new trick as he does from creating a new piece. Toby aims to get a reaction, positive or negative, from both his skateboarding and his artwork. And, he thrives on how both cultures share the same virtues of creativity, rebelliousness, and progression.