How did you come about founding DWD?
It was a result of over-confidence and stubbornness on the part of Jeff Keenan and myself, AKA ‘Young and Dumb’! However, sometimes those are the two best ingredients with which to put a far-out idea into motion.
Being the owner, team rider and occasional designer for the brand must be exhausting – how are you managing to fit it all in?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s definitely tested my time management skills, and I can say with confidence that I’m still far from having that mastered.
Do you delegate much of the work?
Not enough of it, but Jeff and I have an awesome family of reps, distributors and riders that are always down to step up and pitch in where needed.
It must be nice having no limitations to what you can do with your graphics.
It is. It’s also a welcome challenge to be able to create ideas within these limitless options.
Tell us about your pro model design this year. There are eight different editions, right?
Yeah. There are eight different top sheets that are available across the three available sizes (151cm, 154cm and 157cm). The centre illustrations are all part of a bigger series of characters I’ve been drawing called the #WanderingMurderOfFutureDeads. The FutureDeads started out as characters that I drew to include with stickers that I was sending out in the mail, and a way of warming up to work on other graphics in the line. They ended up representing things, big or small, that were going on around me each day… things that people were doing. I started making them every day and titling them all with verbs. Although some are slang and a bit more of a stretch than others, they all represented an action by the character. Eventually there was almost a hundred of them, so when the time came to narrow down the art it wasn’t easy. The only way I felt that the boards could represent the series was to offer a bunch of them, so I picked my favourites at the time and put them on the eight available designs.
What kind of process did you use to make the background graphics so discreet?
The computer helps a little with that part. The background on the tip and tail of the board is line art set to a lower opacity, with gloss and matte details to help highlight the shapes of the illustrations.
We love the cheeky little Think Thank references.
Yeah, there are a bunch of hidden shout-outs in the graphic. Friends, sayings and words to live by… they’re very subtle and hidden.
What kind of feedback have you had from it so far?
Good, I think. If someone hated it I’m not sure that they’d tell me anyways…
Any plans to take it in another direction next year?
I’m not really sure yet. You’ll have to check back again next year to see.