A short interview with Jason Adams by David Paris, owner/operator
After months of us talking about it, the prints are finally done – 1 print for every year you’ve been alive. I saw that your new company Devium also had some shirts printed in a CMYK process pattern (side note – we used a 6-color process) that looked like it accurately depicted your stencil work. Are these the first times you’ve translated your art into something screen printed?
I have done it a couple times before…..I had a shirt made for my website years ago 4 color process. Santa Cruz recreated my Screaming Hand painting 4 color Process prints. The Devium shirt turned out killer. The prints you guys did turned out so sick! The colors and the textures look so good!
What is your method for stencils? Do you use acetate or do you use paper? It looks from your photos like you actually cut out all of your layers; do you use Photoshop or is it all freehand? How bad is your carpal tunnel from X-acto fatigue?
I cut straight from the original image. I can’t draw at all! That’s why I got so into making stencils. Years of wanting to make art but always frustrated with the outcome. Stencils were instant gratification…and it was punk! Ha! I would say the majority of the time I use stencil board for my stencils, but I’ll use anything if I need to. I have just cut the paper, use card stock, poster board, water color paper, but I prefer .007 stencil board. In the last year I haven’t done a lot of art so my stencil fatigue is low. Ha ha, there was a time I was all jacked up! I want to get back to being jacked up!
I read that every pro skateboarder you looked up to as a kid happened to be an artist as well. What would you say your biggest influences on your art are from both the skateboard world and the art world?
The majority of my favorites seemed to be artists…but it makes sense; skateboarding attracts creative people. I was influenced by board graphics, punk records and zines. The only artist as a kid that I recognized and was intrigued by his work was (Andy) Warhol. When I was young I was all about Santa Cruz Skateboards art, so I was all about Jim Phillips and I didn’t even know it. I liked Vision too. Gonz, Blender. Later I was all about Black Label and Alien Workshop. Later Art wise I realized I am attracted to the whole 60’s pop movement.
Screen printing and stencil-making have a lot in common, especially the fact that they both require lots of set-up work but can then be used to make reproducible images. Do you usually end up making multiple copies of your stencils? How long would you say the average one takes you?
It’s all different time wise; it depends on how big, how many layers. Plus I never work on one thing at a time. I’m way too ADD for that, sometimes I do use them multiple times and sometimes I don’t; I don’t have a system. I’m pretty all over the place.
Being a Palo Alto native, I’d see you and the Tilt Mode dudes all the time in San Jose. What are your top 3 all-time spots in San Jose? Who’s in your top 3 for all-time San Jose skateboarders?
Hmmm top 3 spots…I would say from the early years Gunderson High school. I have skated the white walls bank to wall so many times! I have also juiced the shit out of the Wave as well!! I think the top three Skaters would be my friends: Tim Brauch, Crazy Eddie and Salman Agah…But I have to throw Cab in there too.
I knew the Wave and Tim had to be in the mix! I know it’s been asked multiple times, but how does it feel to back on Black Label after so many years? Is it just like old times? There seem to be more and more of them around Portland and it’s radical to see.
It’s radical! It’s not like old times because those days are over – I don’t even look at myself like a pro skater anymore. I’m not out shooting and filming too much really. I’m not out there pushing it and eating shit all the time. I’m not obsessively thinking of what I want to try and where ya know? Plus the skateboarding industry is dead. I do know that I’m back where I belong! I’m definitely over the hill in skate years.
Speaking of filming, I saw you just filmed a super cool video with our good buddy Kyle Camarillo. What other art and skateboard projects do you have in the works?
I don’t have any thing for sure right now. I am supposed to do a video for Some Label edit, but these days that will be like 2-3 days of filming and just film what ever…I’m pretty out of practice these days and out of shape!! Ha ha!! I would like to plan a art show so I am forced to get into hyper art mode! I have an idea for a book project I would like to do. I need to get focused…been trying to do too many random things.
You can check out Jason’s website at http://www.jasonadamslh.com