We talk to Matt Blease about his recent collaboration with Flatspot.
First up, Matt, how did the collaboration come about with Flatspot and were you already familiar with the brand?
Yes, I’ve been a Flatspot customer for a long time and I’ve always really been into what they do. Weirdly (in a planetary alignment/cosmic vibes kinda way) we’d both emailed each other about working together at exactly the same time.
Whilst working with them on another project (coming very soon) we spoke about collaborating on a deck series and ‘Deal With It’ was born.
You’ve created three designs (shown here) for the boards: Rosette, Trucks and Grabrail – can you talk us through each, and also tell us a bit more about the Deal With It concept?
Designing deck graphics is probably the best job in the world. Even though the brief was totally open you are obviously restricted by the shape of the deck and knowing that the trucks and wheels will eventually cover up part of the image. I filled a sketch book up with concepts, I knew I wanted to use a restricted colour palette with a white base colour and to keep the illustrations as bold and graphic as possible.
Over the years my favourite deck graphics have always had that subversive skateboarding humour going on. I wanted to create something that makes people do a double take. I love seeing the ‘Trucks’ and ‘Grabrails’ decks set up. They really come to life.
As part of the collaboration you were also asked to draw live, at their Percy Street London pop-up store, to create a large-scale mural (image shown here). Can you tell us more about the visuals you created for this?
I rarely work at this size so I gave the piece a suitably pretentious art name ‘Thoughts On Skateboarding’. It’s a collection of illustrations I’ve been working on, loosely based around the world of skateboarding.
Finally, are you yourself a boarder and are there any particular skateboarders out there that you admire?
I don’t skate anywhere near as much as I’d like to. There are so many inspirational skaters out there, especially people like Mark Gonzales who, for me, is the living embodiment of where art meets skateboarding. I’m always inspired by any skater that is older than me and still ripping, keeping me on my toes and that dream alive!
See more of the collaboration at Flatspot
Matt’s decks can also be bought online at the above.