Joel is a skateboarder and photographer based in Berlin
My initial intrigue in photography was a direct result of skateboarding and specifically seeing Leo Sharp shooting at the MK Buszy when I was a kid and soon after seeing the resulting photo on the cover of Sidewalk Magazine.
I was completely blown away. I was injured at the time so I put all my energy into learning photography and taking skate photos. I think this is a really common case with skateboarders – there are so many of us find other creative outlets as a result of injuries.
As skaters, we’ve obviously all got relatively high levels of creative curiosity and energy so when somebody is injured and can’t skate, they focus that energy on something else and this often relates directly back to skateboarding itself.
Lately, I often find myself sitting down with a photo book as a final shot of inspiration before going out shooting – just like we’ve all done hundreds of times before with skate videos before heading out skating.
My biggest influence right now is Alex Webb, but he’s not a skater.
There are too many creative people in skateboarding for me to start listing influences…so maybe I could just go with what I have in front of me now on my wall I’ve got this dope risoprint of Stockwell framed above my desk by Rich De Courcy.
Next to that there’s a photo of Pontus Alv FS Wallriding at TBS shot by Sam Ashley
Also another rad risoprint by Joe O’Donnell.
I’m waiting on an Isle Skateboards ‘Vase’ board to fill a gap next to that.
There’s so much amazing art out there from skateboarders though and therefore The No Comply Network is undoubtedly a good idea.
Maybe I’m just speaking for myself but I feel that because skaters and artists can sometimes not be the most organised people that with a platform like No Comply, it could make it that bit easier to work together and share ideas or even just to discover somebody’s work that we were previously unaware of.