The Skateboarders Journal issue #31 is out. Thanks for Matty Dillon, Cameron Markin (photography) and Steve Tierney (layout) for putting this ad together.
Jono Powers webclip for 2014!
Check out this clip of Darren Kaehne shredding Keirle Park mini.
When did you first pick up a board and what was your first set up? I got a plastic green dart from Kmart when I was real young. Then around 1987 I got a pig shaped blank for my birthday, Edward 215 trucks, kryptonic wheels. My first new pro board was a Powell Peralta Tommy Guerrero, the one with bonite and a round nose.
And with art, when did that begin? I'd have to say drawing on stuff at school, folders, books, desks and stuff. Getting taken to galleries and museums at a early age by my mother, doing oil painting classes as a kid, drawing on grip tape, walking into skateboard shops and galleries and getting blown away.
What have been your main influences throughout life so far? Family, friends, skateboarding, music, art not in any particular order (laughs).
...and the board graphics and commercial stuff ? I was doing some art and writing for a few magazines, then starting to do some board graphics around 1996. After that I started a little ‘zine called TIGER. It was just random stuff, with contributors like O’Meally, Ricky Oyloa, Andrew Currie, Gibbo, Dave Adair and Wade Burkitt. From that I did shirts, stickers and pins. Then I started doing freelance stuff for other companies, like shirt prints for company's and skateboard graphics for Cliché skateboards..
Any highlights? The Cliché skateboard bottle series decks. I was stoked on the way they turned out, completely dipped in white paint. Any Our Spot art show that happened. The City Lights show in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.Living and making art in New Zealand with my girlfriend was pretty fun. We had a nice show with Lee(Ralph) over there, Mark Gonzales singing the fine young cannibals. They're just a few things that pop into my mind.
Can you remember the first art/painting you sold? Yeah, I think it was actually getting paid to send of some charcoal drawings to a magazine around 1995. Don't know if that counts? But the first large painting I sold in a gallery was at Our Spot in Sydney, 2003.
Where do you think it all comes from? (inspiration) Umm , I guess from outside or inside, you know I'm always listening to music, eyes wide open on the streets, listening to conversations. It can come from anywhere, the problem is trying to get it all down before it moves on. I like to have a slight distraction when I'm working like music playing or something else going on so there’s something else at play. Picture words I call ‘em, they can really take you places, it’s just enough of a distraction not to be a distraction. Stuff like music and environment can really change a painting. Most of the time I really think it’s all just floating around and you just need to tap into it, and get it down before it floats off. It’s a nice feeling when it feels like it 's flowing through you and you’re some sort of messenger.
How has skateboarding influencedyour art? I don’t know if it has, well I guess it must of in some way, I guess maybe by the way I look at things . A lot of friends from skateboarding pushed stuff like the Our Spot gallery / retail place in Sydney. I’d just finished studying visual arts and had a show there, that definitely helped out as far as exposure goes. They sort of opened some doors,. At the time there was nothing like it in Australia. I think skateboarders are generally more inclined to be creative as that's part of skating and as they get older focus on other stuff as well. The whole skater art thing has been done to death but in the end it’s just a fact that a lot of skateboarders are creative and do art.
Do you see skateboarding as an art form? Skateboarding as an art form? Yeah, it can be to some people and not to others if that makes sense. Some can make it look like a art form and some can make it look like sport.
How do you approach your art? Is it planned or totally spontaneous? Most times spontaneous, sometimes planned. As far as process goes that's more planned, like there are certain rules you have to apply if you want a certain result. As far a subject matter goes, that can come from anywhere.
And thoughts on the current art scene? What scene are you talking about? The commercial art world or these little indie galleries everywhere. There are what they are I guess.
Well this street art movement? Oh that's just a title. Sure, some art is done on the street, always has been. Who makes up these labels? The galleries? The art market? The media? Well I heard it’s the biggest youth culture movement since punk rock, big fuckn deal! The only good thing to come out it is the city streets are full of art and artists are making decent money. It's got millions of kids painting ,that's got to be a good thing, or maybe not.Art is just art. I like to think that art can transcend all labeling.
Any advice to any up and coming artists? Yeah I'd say that if you want it to be your only career understand that you have to still go to work everyday and do your art, there are many different approaches to take. Personally I like the one when you just chip away , do it when you feel like it and keep it fresh. I'm hoping to be around for a while and I never really sit around looking at my own art. I always hope that my next painting is be better than my last. I've always enjoyed doing other odd jobs to bring in some money as well, it has been my naive way of saying “Stuff you art world, I can do this on my terms”. Only now I understand the importance of a agent or manger to do the less desirable tasks for the artist .
Jono Power Interview. Intro/Interview by Chris Yeoh, extra questions by the Fans.
Back in 2007 Darren Kaehne and I were at Waterloo Skatepark to watch Ian Gray compete in an ‘Es Game of Skate comp. Ian had come down with some Newcastle crew and most of them were in the comp too. After one of Ian’s mates had finished a game of skate Darren said to me “Keep an eye on this guy, he’s got some pop.” That mate of Ian’s was Jono Power. For those that know Darren he has an uncanny ability to spot raw talent years before anyone else. Sure enough within a couple of years Jono was on the team and ever since he’s been pushing the level of street skating in Newcastle to new levels. Sometimes referred to as Nollie Power, Jono is a calm individual who puts his heart into everything he does in life. I'm stoked to know the guy.
- Chris Yeoh.
Have you always lived in the Newcastle area?
Yep, born in Waratah Hospital and grew up in Cardiff.
The Diff! When did you start skating and who were your influences coming up?
I started skating when I was about 10 years old, in the Diff my influences were Stevie Linhart and Benny Mulherin those guys ripped the Diff aha! As I got older I looked up to guys like Ian Gray and Jev Hollis.
When did you pop your first nollie? Has it always been a favourite?
Hahah fuckkk probably when I was like 14 or 15, I used to suck so bad at skating nollie compared to the other people I skated with. That's probably what made me skate nollie as much as I do. Yeah nollie is always the go to trick, it just comes easier aha.
What keeps you busy in Newy? You're studying right?
Yeah right now I'm studying Psychology full time and working part time, so that keeps me pretty busy.
Nice one. Do you find yourself psycho-analysing people or situations?
Haha people always ask me this! Nah not really, I mean if I see someone tripping out or acting strange I might think like they have schizophrenia or anxiety or something but nah I don't study people too much.
That's good to know. What's the Newy skate scene like these days? Who do you go for a roll with?
It's getting better, there have been a lot of new spots pop up in the last couple of months, also guys like Daniel Sparrow and Simon Lyddiard have been shooting photos so it's sort of giving unknown guys a bit of coverage. Normally I'll skate with ASAP Ricky, Taita, Azza Gray, Jesse Ambrose and Simon Lyddiard.
A lot of good skaters have come out of Newy. Who are the young up and comers that you would rate?
Ahh right now Levi is killing it and ASAP Ricky has been throwing lifestyle hammers left, right and centre, look for his part in da homiez video. Definitely rate Nathan Zahra as well.
[quote]Probably about 30 pairs of Janoskis I'd say[/quote]
Having grown up in Newy I know how sketchy it can get at night, I witnessed some crazy shit. Any stories you care to share?
Aha yeah sketchy stuff is always going down. Probably one of the most sketchiest things happened at Diff skatepark one night after a party. This carload of guys rocked up each with a baseball bat and just started going crazy on everyone, fair few people got hit it was gnarly, it was like something out of grand theft auto 5.
Been making any beats lately?
No, I wish!! I never really had the time to get into it with Uni and stuff I ended up selling the beat maker to a mate.
So your producing days are over, you've retired?
Yeah pretty much aha I'll just be a fan for now, who knows I might get a beat maker further down the track.
How many pairs of Janoskis do you recon you've worn over the years? (@zaccconnell via facebook)
Probably about 30 pairs of Janoskis I'd say.
You've been filming a bunch of clips lately. When will they be available on the youtubes?
Not too sure at the moment, hopefully by the end of the year I'll drop another part.
Why can't you go anywhere without Taita? (via facebook)
'Cause no one else in Newcastle skates street.
Why do you always make me shoot sequences? (via facebook)
Because I have no tricks that you can shoot stills of.
When are you moving out of the 'diff' and down to Sydney. (via facebook)
I live in Maryland...
Why so much diff pride? (via facebook)
I think I stopped having Diff pride the same day I stopped wearing fitted new era hats.
Why do you skate so much better the day after partying? (via facebook)
Probably because I think less and I don't get so OCD about stuff.
Any last words:
Just want to thank all my sponsors: Amnesia Skateboards, Nike SB, 5050 skateshop, Picture Wheels, Modus Bearings and Theeve trucks for hooking me up! Shoutout to Lyddiard, Cam & Sparrow for shooting the photos. Also Jesse for putting the clip together! Ahhh what else Taita you've lost it mate... and Ricky get off the gear you mad c#nt!
Simon Lyddiard has been on the team for nearly a couple of years now. He's a pretty quiet individual but always gets shit done whether it's photos, filming and even designing board graphics for the brand. After just dropping an interview on skateboard.com.au, he's followed it up with this Day In The Life clip which gives us all a bit more of a glimpse into Lyddiard's world. Thanks to Jesse Ambrose for the clip.