Dinero DIY is the world’s first skateable art installation, founded and run by two female skaters called Levanna and Eve. But that’s not the only thing that makes this sick, Southern Spanish spot different.
Dinero’s unique aesthetic is built around the themes of skate nostalgia, money , luxury and pop culture iconography. The obstacles themselves combines constructive art and ramp building, with a high level of detail. Dinero evolves as Levanna and Eve’s interests grow and the park is constantly changing and advancing in concepts and designs in turn.
So to get to know more about Levanna and Eve, we sat for a chat about why they decided to start Dinero DIY, how they make obstacles and create new ideas, their thoughts on money, luxury and anti-capitalism, the rise of girl skating and advice to girls who skate and their favourite skate videos, music and art ever. Read below to discover it for yourself.
Levanna grew up in Bristol, England. Eve grew up in Holland.
What did you set out to make with Dinero DIY?
We set out to build an original and unique obstacle, as we have always loved skateboarding and art.
Our initial idea was to build the money obstacle, and the concept of the spot just grew from there.
What’s the money obstacle?
The money obstacle is a big gap of launch ramps that we painted like Euro notes.
Sick. DIY is a big part of skate history, why do you keep it DIY?
The DIY culture is loads of fun. We like building and therefore it’s the freedom to create something which we can design.
All the eras of skateboarding are inspirational to us, perhaps more so the earlier days of skateboarding, where even skateboards themselves were DIY and you had to be creative in finding things to skate.
DIY is a very progressive movement and is a platform to be inventive. We like that DIY is about making something out of nothing.
The spot is themed around money and luxury? Why?
We didn’t plan it that way, it was something which just seemed natural as we built the money, then the car, and the theme just started a life of its own really although it has given us a platform to use our art to reinforce the anti-capitalism message that we can make our own luxury.
Do you own the land the DIY is on?
No, it’s abandoned, but the neighbours seem to like what we are doing. There’s a lot of stories we can tell you about Dinero DIY.
Tell us one
Our most craziest story to date is when we had a skate jam there last December.
The place was busy, and we were hoping no officials showed up. Then the police major turned up… and asked who was organizing this?
Thinking, that’s it (gulp), we were gonna get arrested, we owned up.
Then he said he loved it and started taking photos. At one point he even got a broom to clear some the dust away… later that day, he came back with a box of trophies for us. We couldn’t believe that happened and it’s given us a lot of motivation.
There are always a lot of crazy stories doing a DIY spot, it’s part of the fun.
The name Dinero reminds us of Robert Deniro…On that note, why did you call the spot Dinero DIY?
Yes our name gets shortened to Dinero…Wonder if he can skate, he’s a legend for sure. Dinero is the Spanish word for money. It just came to us, as we had just built the Euro money notes, and we decided on that name.
Any advice for obstacle designers out there so they can improve?
It’s good to see there is so much going on out there, and we guess our approach to the design is a bit strays from the norm.
We find thinking in different ways can be useful for example we tend to work in reverse by imagining what everyday things can be turned into skate objects.
Sometimes having a visual eye helps us to see the way in which we can position an object to create the skateable angle.
The champagne is a good example of positioning in ice to get the rideable angle. We just try to expand the limits a bit, but generally a lot of what we like creating is simple stuff which is really fun, the artwork adds to the impact.
Burnside in Portland is the most legendary DIY. Have you been there and what do you think of Burnside?
No, we haven’t been to Burnside, but the story of how it came about was very inspiring to us. The thought that a previously run down and neglected place can be turned into a vibrant and cool place is what DIY is all about for us.
The plane’s sick, who made that?
Once we were thinking about luxury, the obvious one was a private jet…. seems perfect to put it on the ledge. We plan to build a luggage belt on the side of it, so there’s more ways to skate it.
Rad. Who is the creative director?
It’s a joint effort. We are always bouncing ideas off each other.
So, who builds all of the obstacles?
Levanna does most of the building and Eve mainly focuses on the art. But we combine our skills so that we can create something which is artistic yet skateable. We think very carefully about the designs to try and get them right.
We feed each other’s imagination and that’s how we come up with such crazy ideas.
Who are your favourite skaters who’ve skated Dinero?
I guess it would be Spain’s number one female street skater, Andrea Benitez, and also we have had Christian Estrada, Jordan Thackery and Sid Halford skate the spot. We are always seeing a lot of international skaters come to visit.
We like people having fun at the spot and love to see people enjoying what we have created, even skating it in ways we didn’t even imagine, that’s really interesting to us. Every skater that comes has a different favourite obstacle.
Just last week we had an Austrian crew visit, one of them kickflipped the money, with the gap being so big, it’s not a trick not a trick we often see. We love getting the insane photos and the footage.
We have a lot of big stuff, so there is plenty of room for NBDs and as a result we see some really impressive skating.
Your spot is visually intriguing. Has using Instagram helped you?
Yes we are seeing a lot of new followers on instagram and we get a lot of messages from other DIY’s, skaters, and even just people passing by who want to come and see it. We are really stoked to have some highly respected followers
Yes girls’ skateboarding is so alive. It’s so great to see, especially for us, seeing girls skate our spot is perfect.
As women how has your experience been as a skater?
As women who skate, there have been challenges to overcome, even with starting the DIY, some people want to believe that there is a man behind the idea, on the other hand being women may have let us off the hook with some things that male skaters would maybe find harder to get away with.
Nowadays women role models in skateboarding are really strong and it’s influencing so many girls to get on a board. It’s come a long way, and we think it’s going to grow even more.
Advice for girls who want to skate?
We love seeing people get into things… we encourage a lot of beginners, lend local kids our boards and let them have a go. We wouldn’t treat girls differently, and we always want to encourage them.
Girls shouldn’t be scared… nowadays the female role models in skateboarding are really strong and it’s influencing so many girls to get on a board. It’s come a long way, and we think it’s going to grow even more.
Who are you creative influences?
We are inspired by all the creativity that comes from skateboarding, whether it’s the DIY, recycling, building, graffiti, graphics. At the moment we are very fired up about the possibilities of skate spaces being integrated as a multi-use space, or designed with interesting and unusual aesthetics and we imagine how different things could look in the future..
LRG’s ‘Give me my Money Chico’ is awesome for the music.
We also like the Tiago Lemos part in the DC Promo, his skating is just so awesome…
Oh and the new Supreme video is really cool.
Who’s your favourite skater?
Sergio Santoro. He’s the funnest person to skate with, because he’s up for anything. He is the most chilled out dude and nicest soul you will ever meet.
What music are you both into?
Funk and Northern Soul, Lowrider Oldies.
Favourite music to play at your jams?
Hip Hop, Surf, 60s Garage, Blues, Deep funk
Favourite Dinero DIY Obstacle?
Our favourite obstacle hasn’t been built yet. We have the ideas in our heads, but need to find the time and the money to build them… We still have some special ideas we want to create. Out of what we have done already, it’s generally our most recent one, so in this case it’s the “Cool Skating’s” Bobsled run. Gnarly but fun.
Favourite thing about doing a DIY?
For sure it’s having a place to test out ideas. Shaping the park, designing the flow, creating art which can be used and is interactive and fun. Having all kinds of different visitors stop by and talking to us about it.
From the international skaters to the goat herders who bring their goats to graze..it’s all wonderful and such a peaceful place. Every day is different.We have also made some great friends, people who have visited have become good friends, and we’ve made great connections.
Locally, we have since worked with the Mayor who invited us to overhaul the local skatepark, and we have been asked to do other art projects in the town. We have been talking with him about the possibility of designing a radical new skatepark for the town, using our creative ideas.
Further afield we have made connections with Stockholm skate project who we hope to collaborate with. It’s helped us link up with like-minded people.
Where’s your favourite spot to skate in the world?
Probably Stapplebadsparken and Sibbarp in Malmo, one of our favourite skate cities. Sweden and Scandinavia, have such great attitudes towards skateboarding, and it really shows. Their communities are really fun, and so progressive, dynamic and diverse. The way they think about ideas is really cool. They have so many good parks and good vibes.
Favourite DIY Spot that’s not Dinero?
We like Wonderland CPH for its real free spiritedness and self organising.
Yeah, they are awesome. So what are your thoughts on The No Comply Network since you joined?
We think it’s pretty rad how much content you put out and your dynamic approach to running the network, it’s great platform for showcasing work and done really well. The No Comply Network is very forward-thinking.