Andrew Carl Jenkins is one of the most renowned creatives in skateboarding. After a tenure at Girl Skateboards as Art Director, working directly with Spike Jonze, he is now the Global Art Director for the Element brand.
I try every day to get out of the bed with a good frame of mind (that happens about 63% of the time). I get in my car and drive for over an hour, to my main job at Element. When I’m there, I art direct. When I’m not there, I try to spend time in my studio making things. Tinkering.
Every time I think about the relationship between making art, skateboarding and my creative process, a different answer comes to mind.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about skaters as true artists. After the new Element skate video ‘Peace’ premiere, it really hit me. Not just the physical aspect, the flow, the lines and the movement of skating, but the brain flexing, the creativity — it’s art.
Take Madars Apse, for example. He spent months, years working on his part for Peace. Blood, sweat, tears. Breaking himself off for his art. The video premiere was a group show opening with all the team artists, Silva, Westgate, Evan Smith, Jaakko — all those guys.
Their parts are a culmination of their life’s work, on display for everyone to see. When their “work” goes public at the “gallery” premiere, it goes out into the world for people to judge. And, as an artist, you ask yourself, “What will folks think? Is it even good? Is my foot wonky on that landing? Does the music work?”
The same insecurities run through every artist’s head. The difference with skaters is that they sacrifice their bodies for the art. They really break themselves off. Some handle the process better than others.
Personally, as an artist, I have a really hard time at openings. I’m awkward. Feel awkward, act awkward. “Is it good? What do they think? It sucks, doesn’t it…” I could keep going here, but it’ll get boring quick… someone ought to write a dissertation.
Skating IS art. All art is intertwined.
So much. Too hard to list it all. Folks I’ve been lucky to work with or know personally have a direct effect. Girl, Spike Jonze, krooked skateboards Gonz, T. Campbell, Ray Barbee, Jason Lee, Jon Miner, Swank, Mike Blabac, Tobin, Aaron Meza, Hecox, Swanski and many more. I’ve been very lucky to get work with and collaborate with brands, people, artists I admire. This is what keeps me going when things get hard.
I think The No Comply Network has the best name. It’s a Nobel cause and I’m happy No Comply exists.
I love my family. I’m proud of my kid, Emmet, for being a skateboarder — I hope he gets as much out of it as I do.
Skateboarding saved me, I truly believe that.