Russ AKA Sketch Stance is a skateboarder and illustrator from Liverpool who runs skate Company Mersey Grit Skateboard Inc
“I create black and white, brush and ink illustrations under the name Sketch Stance.
(The name spawned from a fanzine many years back). I curate monthly exhibitions on the walls at Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool.
I blow any spare time and overdraft debt, half owning and operating a skateboard company called Mersey Grit and get loose howling for the band //SHEER ATTACK//
I think the relationship between skateboarding and making art for me starts with the wheel and ends with your brain. Sounds stupid, but for me and most its true. From the simple act of rolling you trigger something inside, fear, logic, excitement, discipline, danger, confidence, strength, balance…These are all words you need to master and be in control of to make creative processes happen.
For example, when you get injured and you’re sat on your arse feeling sorry for yourself, it’s the ideas that flood your mind and inspire you to move forward, and work on a project to pass the time. In more literal terms pretty much, every exhibition I have hung in the shop over the last seven years has been by a skateboarder or sourced through skateboarding.
Another example might be when I’m out pushing round town and I’ll see some buildings get dozed or feel a texture on the floor that resonates a weird frequency when you roll over it. I get great pleasure filming these moments on my phone and flashing them in an insta montage in-between skating.
Its cliché but skating around the city breathes life into me. In a nutshell it’s pretty much the translation of Mersey Grit. So many people in skateboarding inspire me to create work…
Tim Kerr from Texas is an all-round positive guy, his music and art and whole ethos is sick. Ben Horton is massively understated master craftsman and super nice guy. He’s flown over twice, hung two shows, designed us a t-shirt, painted the shop front and still offered to pay for his brew when he came to the counter.
Jim Thiebaud is personally a massive influence on me in everything he does. I would need way bigger space than this to explain my appreciation for him and DLXSF but lets just say the 3 months I crashed in his shed many moons ago completely change my whole perspective on life.
Everything that Brian Seber churns out with Ignition Skateshop shop and Steadfast inspires me to get better at screen printing. His shit is so tight.
Steve Rodriguez and 5BORO NYC i always respect for being to cool when we used to go NYC and he’d show us around a hook us up with places to stay and get cheap product.
I’m always stoked on Blast Skates they have a solid DIY attitude and output. I think Stu Kolakowitz, Tim Ryan, Craig Questions, Sam Hutchinson, Ken Nagahara and Jasper Dawson Clough all have some gifted brains and are great skaters.
I’d say Serious Sam Barrett/YaDig? Recordsarrett is the most talented guitar picking skateboarder I know, hes very hands on with everything hes does with his music and skateboarding What Rob Parsonson’s has dedicated a decade of his life and savings to in his garden North Wales is some pretty intense terrain.That goes for a lot of skate concrete guys, that is some inspiring work. Youngo, Darrell, Beanhead, that shit is built to last!
I think The No Comply Network is such a positive thing and im honoured to be on it. I maintain that skateboarding keeps the world spinning. In terms of everything decent in films, music, art, construction, acting, and activism. The more educated skateboarders there are, in more influential positions, the better.
No Comply beats the intimidation of swanky design agencies approaching with confusing lingo, faux-pastel coloured appeal and strange spectacles.