We’ve been wanting to interview Russ Pope for a long time. He’s one of the artists that best exemplifies the loose but intrinsic connection between art, skateboarding, music and the creative culture that surrounds, informs and is spawned by it.
Over almost three decades Pope has been a sponsored skater, started companies like Creature and Scarecrow skateboards, and worked for core brands from SMA to Vans, all the while developing his artistic style. HIs bold brushstrokes, thick fluid lines and bold use of colour are a signature, while characters and references to skating, music and modern culture are ongoing themes.
Russ has exhibited his paintings all over the US, in Europe and Japan, and continues to work on a range of commissions and projects for core and mainstream clients, while also continuing a longstanding relationship with Vans as a featured artist and curator of their art shows and projects.
We were stoked to get the chance to speak to him about his roots as an artist, and to find out his plans for the future. Check it out.
”The people I work with understand I’m not a short order cook and I arrange for complete creative control. I’m pretty fortunate that people are willing to work this way with me.”
How’d you get into art and what inspired you at an early age?
I started drawing as a little guy and was told that I was good at it. Every kid is told that, but I believed it and took it to heart. My uncle was a painter and I saw his work around my grandparents house. Like most kids I think, I was also inspired by comic book art and Doctor Seuss.