Andrew Pommier’s art takes wild flights through skateboarding, pop culture and nature, in combination with his experiences and humour to turn them into something new. Skating and art have not only let him make a living in his home country of Canada but have also allowed his imagination to roam and take him and his board even further afield.

Looking at the rad selection of art he’s made over the years you see how so many of the graphics that he has made have stood out for the brands he created them for. From pro board commissions for local companies, designing multiple team series decks for well-known board brands to creating a signature shoe collection for adidas, his portfolio shows his creative range but also how widely appealing so many different types of companies have found his unique art to be.

So we had to hit up Andrew to talk about how he got into skateboarding, where he first went to shred, the art he made growing up, his style and subjects, his first break in the skate industry, working with Ed Templeton, designing boards for Toy Machine, travelling to Europe, connecting with Fos, his graphics for Heroin, Girl and Chocolate, Kitsch, RVCA, his adidas shoe collection and also to discover his favourite skaters, artists, videos and spots of all-time and more.

Read his interview below to find it all out for yourself






What’s your full name?

Andrew Gordon Pommier



Where did you grow up and where are you living at the moment?

I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario and after moving away in 1990 I find myself living back here after 18 years in Vancouver. Which is a circle I never thought I would complete.



Right. So how did you first see skateboarding and want to get into it yourself?

I first saw a skateboard when my mom received a banana board for her 30th birthday. I asked my parents for one for my 13th birthday because a friend of mine who lived down the street from me wouldn’t let me try his banana board, they bought me a bright pink Variflex Voodoo complete in a sporting goods store.






Sick. So you wanted your own. What was your first setup and where did you get it?

The first board I put together was a Per Welinder street board with maroon Independent and Green Rat Bones which I bought at Mike McGill’s skate shop in Florida. The shop was half-plant store and half-skate shop run by his mom.






Cool. Who was in your first skate crew and where did you go skate?

I skated with the few people in my home town that rolled which obviously included my brother Scott Pommier. There were so few of us. Skateboarding was a very niche pastime especially in a blue collar hockey town. We would invite anyone we saw on a board to skate with us. We skated downtown and once we heard about mini ramps Scott and I would hunt them out.

We just wanted to skate anything. There were many launch ramp sessions. Once I could drive we made trips south to Toronto or over to skateparks in neighbouring cities.



Right. So what skate videos did you have on rotation the most when you started?

Our friend Marc Rowe had a copy of Animal Chin so that was the first professional video I saw. In regular rotation was Savannah Slamma, Sick Boys, Hokus Pokus and Wheels of Fire.





What kinds of art were you drawing as a kid?

I remember drawing a lot with ball point pen. I was drawing army men for the most part and then I was drawing hockey goalies. It was pretty basic kids drawings. I started getting into comic books around 8 years old so I probably was emulating that as best I could which wasn’t too well.





Who’s in your skate crew right now?

Since I’m back living in my hometown I’m around the people I grew up skating with and a few locals.



That’s rad, so how did you define your style as an artist ?

My style came about pretty organically. It’s a mix of an art world influence and the refined lines of the talented draftsman I see. I didn’t try to create a style but I’ve found some comfortable stylistic pockets to inhabit.



Be Kind



Ok. So at what point did you know you wanted to pursue a career as an artist?

I figured pretty early that I wasn’t going to be anywhere close to being a person that was going to be paid to ride a skateboard but I figured I could find a space in the industry and my continuing art education was the best thing to use to gain a position.

I’m a bit of a hybrid artist. I’m happy to hang art in galleries or create graphics commercially. I simply went through the doors that were open for me. Some opened with a little knocking. So I ended up in a place where I could generate money from art.






Right. So what moment did you get your first break in the skate industry?

I feel my breakthrough came from meeting Ed Templeton at a Modart art show in San Diego. Where I asked him about doing boards for Toy Machine which was were the “Wild Things” series came from.



‘Where The Wild Things Are’ Board Series for Toy Machine



What was the first piece that you made that you were paid for?

I put together a graphic for Bill Weiss when he rode for Balance as our spot to skate in Toronto was also where the Toronto pros skated as well so I knew Bill casually.

I was a printmaking student in Toronto. I showed Bill some drawings and he was keen on one so I put a board graphic together with a top graphic. The board didn’t come together but the top graphic was turned into a t-shirt and I was paid $50 for that.



What’s it like skating a board that you have designed and seeing them in the wild?

I always get jazzed catching my work out in the wild. My favourite is seeing one of my boards being skated in a video or seeing it in a magazine. I didn’t skate my graphics much as I usually skated a bigger board than the boards my graphics end up.



MSA Board Graphic



Your sketches are rad, why do you like to show your artistic process?

Thank you. I always really like seeing artists sketchbooks an artists studios. It’s a cool look behind the curtain I like seeing the beginning of an idea. The images are raw and packed with potential. Sometimes the sketch is better than the finished piece. It’s pure magic – sometimes, so if have a place to show sketches I will.





How do you make a design, sketch first or come up with the idea and then draw it?

It’s a combination. Sometimes the idea lands on the page fully formed and other times the idea needs to be teased out through sketching. There is no one way to get the idea out and realised.





How do you decide a piece needs to be coloured the way that it is?

I honestly dislike the process of picking colours. I generally do it begrudgingly but I realise that most images need to come to a conclusion and colour helps with that. I also know I can mix punchy colours which is just a knack I have. I took a colour class in my first year in art school so I have the basics for colour theory but my colours are driven by intuition.



The Captain



Anthropomorphism plays a big part in your work. What is it about animals as humans and humans as animals that interests you so much?

That combo just came about naturally. I like the images that come out from mixing. It sometimes feels like an easy trick but I know the balance is full of subtlety.





Coming from Canada a lot of your graphics seem influenced by the nature and animals there. What is it about the Canadian environment that gets you stoked?

I don’t intend for my work to be regionally specific but Canada is a country of natural diversity. There is also a famous Canadian artist-illustrator named Robert Bateman who was prominent in the house where I grew up so that was probably a low key influence on my work.





Who would you say are your main influences and inspirations?

I don’t have a main influence. I flip between getting juiced from illustrative work from the skateboard world as exemplified by Todd Bratrud or Todd Francis. Then, digging on the crossover work of Barry McGee and James Jean to the work of Phillip Guston and Mark Rothko. The inspiration waves hit at different times and in different ways.



Right. So why do you think creativity is important to skateboarding?

Creativity in skateboarding doesn’t seem to be the main driving force in skateboarding these days. Truth be told I’m not sitting on the front seat of skateboarding culture. I know there are a lot of ways to ride a skateboard but it seems skill and raw talent is the main driver like Nyjah or Jimmy Wilkins but I do like what Fos and the Heroin dudes get up to and the GX 1000 are straight crazy.





Making connections seems to be an integral role to your collaborations. For illustraters reading this, what’s the best way to make contacts in the skate industry?

The best way I found to make connections is putting myself around the people that make decisions and being nice, which is important in every human interaction.



Not Drawing



Who’s your favourite Canadian skater of all-time and why?

Rick McCrank. Amazing skateboarder and a stand up individual with a big heart.





How did your Deerman of Dark Woods graphics for Heroin come to life?

The first one I did came about because I stayed with Fos in London for 10 days in 2010 and he was working of a new series for Heroin.

I was familiar with DMODW as he was usually spotted in my neck of the woods. The second board sprung out of the first. I had first met Fos in Shanghai when a group of artists was brought over to paint the skate course for a competition sponsored by adidas in 2008.



Heroin Skateboards – Deer Man of Dark Woods Brain Eaters Graphic



Heroin Skateboards – Deer Man of Dark Woods Knifed Graphic



Rad. So what’s your favourite thing about working for Fos and creating boards for Heroin in the past?

He’s very low stress to work for as he isn’t heavy handed in his art direction and offer good insight to how a graphic execution can be improved. Also he’s a swell human. I’m always happy to see him on my visits to LA.



What has been your favourite graphic you’ve created for Heroin?

The ice cream cone I did for a Fos pro board. It was a simple between the trucks graphic on a flat background.

Heroin Skateboards – Fos Ice Cream Cone Graphic



How many board series have you made for Kitsch Skateboards?

I’ve done a series for them pretty regularly since 2012. So its somewhere around 9 series now.



Kitsch Skateboards Animals Series



What has been your favourite series of boards to make for Kitsch?

I really liked the first board series I did for them. I really appreciate Geoff Dermer for letting me go in my own direction. In 2022 I did the inaugural pro board for Corey Tesky, later learning he grew up in my hometown.



Kitsch Skateboards – Corey Tesky Pro Board Graphic



That’s a rad coincidence. How did you end up making the KISS character painting deck series for Toy Machine?

KISS seemed to be connected to the zeitgeist of the late 90s. I originally did those paintings in the hopes of being included in a gallery show in Toronto. When I was included in the Modart show in San Diego I thought those would be good paintings to send because I was happy how they came out and the size allowed for easy shipping.





A few years later Ed asked me for another Toy Machine series and Deanna remembered those paintings and suggested those paintings as a series since Toy Machine only had 4 pros at the time. It was the first board series where I executed the layout on a computer with real photos.







Which was your favourite to paint and why?

They were painted at the same time so one doesn’t stand out more than another, I was happy how the KISS monster painting came out.







You’ve also contributed a board graphic for Girl’s RED series. How did that collaboration come about?

That ask came out of the blue. I had already done Girl boards and I had a nice connection with Andy Jenkins. He just asked me if I would be interested in putting together a graphic for ChocolatexREDxChico Brenes. I was super stoked to be able to do it. I sent Andy a few sketches and we narrowed in on that idea. I drew everything in red paint on paper.







Cool how that came about. Do you always get sent the boards that you create?

Usually I have to ask for the boards. I took a break from collecting my boards for better or worse. I think I have about half of the boards I designed. I wish I had the second series I did for Girl. It became hard for me to keep getting boards to throw into my storage locker. I think I had 10 full board boxes when I moved back East. Not a light load.



Have you designed any other boards for the Crailtap camp?

I did two Wooden OG series for Girl and the one board for Chocolate. I also did a few t-shirts for 4Star in the early 2000s





When did you first get in touch with RVCA or did they contact you for the first piece that you created for them?

I was hyped on RVCA when I first started to seeing ads for their t-shirts and team. In the early 2000s I went to Munich for a Modart art show event during ISPO. I roomed with Yogi Proctor. He thought my work would fit in with the RVCA aesthetic and connected me with the current art director and I just keep rolling with them.





What was the meaning behind the two guys one smiley face graphic you did for them?

No meaning behind the graphic. The idea landed on a sketchbook page and I thought it was something that could work as a t-shirt graphic and so did the art crew at RVCA.





What’s your favourite thing about working for RVCA?

I really enjoy the support they give their artists. I can pitch them an idea and if it makes sense they’ll put money behind me. They’ve helped me get art overseas. They’ve helped me get my art to shows and they make nice clothes.I’ll keep working with them for as long as I can.





How did you connect with adidas to design your signature shoe collection?

The way I ended up working with adidas was because of a nice crossover. A core of creatives were up from Portland and went into Antisocial Skateshop, the original shop had a big gallery space. I had paintings hanging in a group show and all my characters were wearing shell toes and Michelle told that adidas crew they should work with me. They were open to the suggestion and pushed it forward. We did a pack of three shoes. A vulc shell toe, a skateboard leaning mid-top and a slip-on.



Andrew Pommier x adidas skateboarding Collection – Super Skate High Top, Superstar and Slip On



What were they like to skate?

Haha, I never skated a pair of my own shoes but I liked the adidas vulc sole. I skated the vulc high top for a minute.









Did you get royalties on the shoe?

No royalties. I just received a payout.





They look sick. Will they ever be re-released?

Not sure if that would be in their current program but I would dig seeing them re-released.





Have you worked with any other shoe brands?

I did a few events for Vans.





Mostly I painted the Hastings Bowl for a few consecutive years when Vans held a contest there and one year I painted the contest bowl in Huntington Beach. Also in 2017 Converse Canada sponsored an art show that hung for the Vancouver Trade Show but I haven’t done anything signature wise with any other shoe brand





Rad any other memorable collaborations come to mind?

I did a signature Zune MP3 player which is random but also pretty neat. I did a signature series of in-ear monitors. I worked with Rossignol on an artist line of skis that ran for a few years. The crew of artists was pretty cool. One of the artists was Steve Caballero. I was also one of the artists that created glasses for Asahi Beer in Australia.



What has been your favourite collaboration to date and why?

Working with Rossignol was my favourite. They had the artists and the art up front and the brand was connected to a gallery in France named Spacejunk.

So I showed art in their 4 locations and as a result spent 3 months in Europe attending openings and travelling in and around France.



Andrew Pommier x RVCA – Case Collection



Sounds rad. Where is your favourite skate spot in the world?

Quito Skatepark. More for the trip than the park. It’s a complicated question.



For sure. Maybe, this one will be easier. Where is your favourite skate spot in Canada?

Downton Toronto. Very formative.



Yeah, the first spots you skate are hard to beat. So what’s your favourite skate video of all-time?






Who’s your favourite skater of all-time and why?

Ed Templeton for his progressive skateboarding and art.





Who has your favourite style on a skateboard and why?

Grant Taylor. Smooth power.





Any plans or announcements you would like to mention Andrew?

I’m still in the midst of getting myself organised in my new/old city. My studio space is only a third organised so I haven’t gotten into action in any serious way. Keep an eye out for an upcoming signature collection with RVCA in 2024.



Any last words Andrew?

“Illogical judgements lead to new experiences.”- Sol Lewitt