Mikey is a skateboarder and artist who’s currently living in Tokyo, Japan.
“I’ve always had respect for technical ability in art and skateboarding although this alone has never held my interest for very long. When I look at skating and art, I’m drawn quite naturally to things I feel connected to, so I get excited when I can feel the energy, or look at something and say, ‘that person had fun doing that’. I remember we were always told in art school to think about the process rather than the end result, so I always just interpreted that as enjoy yourself as much as possible.
At the moment I live in Japan and am travelling as much as possible. I teach English to make a living, and I skate, make art, and learn Japanese when I’m free. I made the decision last year to cut my work hours down so I can focus on being creative, so I’m currently working three days a week.
I subconsciously look for skateble spots all the time and have always looking at my environment and wondered,‘what is possible here?’ .
-That process has been happening since I can remember anything -
When I was a kid, I used to play with sticks, and pretend they were swords, then my dad left an old car in our garden, and my brother and I pretended it was a castle. I think people might be able to relate to this when they look at the sky and see shapes in the clouds,skateboarding is a more interactive version of this, I think that’s just how I look at everything and making art is a very similar process. It’s simply using what you have in front of you to have fun and through that communicate your ideas to others.
The difference between art and skating for me, is that I tend to make art by myself, where as skateboarding is a very social thing. My inspiration for concepts mainly comes from seeing things I find interesting when I’m travelling or reading but there are a lot of skaters whose art I enjoy looking at. I like Arran Gregory’s newer abstract sculptures, and my friend Hiroki Muraoka makes some pretty rad collages.
The connections that you make as a skater are amazing. Skateboarding for me, is a way to connect with people who think in a similar way and I’ve met people all over the world, it’s always been a sort of hidden link so I think that its great that The No Comply Network utilises this for collaboration and finding skate related creative work.
Whilst living abroad I’ve gotten really into languages, and I’m aiming at shifting from teaching to translation. I think languages are interesting because they are so contrasting that it’s impossible to directly translate most things from one tongue to another so you have to always find a cultural equivalent.
I’m currently building a translation portfolio based on things I enjoy to read, so ideas, or stories that I think are cool are available to a wider audience. If you have any suggestions please let me know.”