Ash is a skateboarder and artist from Birmingham, England
There’s a strong connection between skateboarding and illustration. On virtually every skate product there’s a rich, diverse range of illustrations.
Every skater knows different skate brand styles. As skaters we’re all connected to the range of visual identities, brands and artists within skate culture. I think it’s fair to say skateboarding has played its part in the current demand for illustrative artists in general.
Saying that though I feel the most unique link between skating and the arts are the lessons skating has taught me and the experience it has given me that have prepared me for my career in the creative industries.
Skateboarding captivated me since day one. It requires practice, exploration, practice, success and failure in order to progress. Its undoubtedly a creative art form in itself.
Skateboarding in Birmingham as a young teen allowed me to connected with my local environment in a creative way. The landscape became story driven. I would often be in abandoned; half demolished warehouses, running rings around security guards or searching for skate spots in shady parts of town, filled with graffiti, in places where the general public would not think to explore.
I think experiencing these types of situations allows skaters to create rich, original artwork and become more creative people. Skating definitely gave me the desire to try new things and overcome obstacles.
The No Comply Network is another testament to the drive and energy within the skate community to explore. Through promotion of the talent in the skate community, I’m sure it will help artists who skate connect with other like-minded people that they would not have done before.