Exclusive Interview with Pier Pressure Artist
The Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Pro Junior presented by Jack’s Surfboards is quickly approaching, hitting the circus that is Huntington Beach on June 28th and 29th. In typical Nike 6.0 fashion, they managed to find an artist with a maniacal eye to create this year’s eye-popping event artwork. The action sports world may be familiar with Jimbo Phillips, hailing from the surf-rich land of Santa Cruz, but if you haven’t seen his bold, skate-influenced works, you should definitely check it out.
If you want a piece of Jimbo, there are a number of ways to get a hold of his unique style of artwork in the coming weeks. If you find yourself at the NSSA National Championships this week, you’ll find him painting surfboards while Nike 6.0 will have a t-shirt press printing FREE t-shirts with his artwork and images.
And in case you want to take a walk in his shoes, you can! Special autographed Nike shoes embellished with his Nike Pier Pressure designs are being released along with signed Pier Pressure posters beginning June 28th.
We caught up with Phillips to find out a little more about the man behind the art.
How did you get involved with the art for the Nike Pier Pressure Pro Junior?
My friend works at Nike and he was familiar with my artwork, so they gave me a call. I gave them some samples and did some rough sketches and got going that way. I had done this other artwork with surfers on the wave that they liked and wanted me to do something similar to that.
Why draw surfers?
I’ve been surfing my whole life and drawing as well, so the two just naturally cross over into each other.
How did you create the drawings for the Pier Pressure event?
I pick, say, generic characters in the surf world and then exaggerate them in my own creativity. Make their eyes popping out and stuff. I have a bowl cut soul surfer dude throwing a shaka and there’s a mermaid. I like to not just stick to reality but make up my own reality.
How did you get started as an artist?
My father was a graphic artist illustrator. He did the original Santa Cruz skateboards logo. And so I was always drawing when I was a kid. I always enjoyed it, and it kind of came naturally to me. When I graduated from high school he had a job opportunity to apprentice with him, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe it as I guess aggro/comedy, cartoonish skate-influenced art. I always start off with black and white and try to get the lines real strong so they will hold the image on their own. And then any color is a bonus. A lot of my work is commercial graphics, but I also do some acrylic painting as well.
Where do you draw inspiration for your art?
Through surfing and skateboarding, music, other artwork, just art of all kinds, nature, and just the world around me.
Any other artists influence you at all?
Well obviously my dad. And Robert Williams, Big Daddy Ross, Mad Magazine and old monster movies. I grew up watching old Godzilla and Frankenstein movies and I think they had a lot of influence on me, because I grew up drawing that kind of stuff.
What do you enjoy most about drawing?
I like the freedom of it, just being able to put your own influences and style in there. I like getting little funny things in there for people to look at. I like to create it so you take a second or third look and see other things in the background. I try to keep your interest for a while.
Will you be at the Pier Pressure event?
Yah—I’ll be signing stuff and painting some surfboards maybe. Nike’s having a promotional hotel room where I’ll be painting a surf scene on the wall in there.
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