For Fall 2014, Stussy has tapped artist Wes Humpston to design a grip of limited goods. For the uninitiated, Wes is the original artist to draw and design “Dogtown Skates” – graphics rode by legends like Jim Muir, Tony Alva and Jay Adams. During the mid 1970s Wes worked at the original Zephyr Surf Shop before going on to co-found Dogtown skates. To mark the release, Wes chatted with Lance Mountain about his art and the culture which bore it. Find the complete transcript here.
LANCE: YOU JUST DID A PROJECT WITH STUSSY. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
Wes: I did some t-shirt art with a Grinder Wave along with a round patch that says “Stussy Tribe, No Kooks!” Looking forward to seeing them!
CAN YOU REMEMBER ALL THE DIFFERENT SKATERS THAT YOU DID PERSONALIZED BOARDS IN THOSE EARLY YEARS BEFORE PRODUCTION?
All the guys I skated pools with in the early years- TA, Jay, Bobby B., Muir, PC, Shogo, Ray, JP, B. Paul, A. Lake, and a lot of the locals like the McClure Bros, Jon Hardy, Kelly Thomas. Local kids would find out where I lived and just come by the backyard up to the fence and get attacked by my Mom’s crazy dog! (Laughs) It was pretty much a local thing at first. There was no internet back then.
WHAT DID A LOT OF YOUR ART STAND FOR BACK THEN.
Well at the start, the art on boards were simple: DTS or a Dog Town Skates Cross with a graffiti style, and then I would add in a tag like “Z13” that I got from “V13”, or V.S.M.R. for “Viva Santa Monica Rule”. It was all the graffiti I saw around town back then. People sometimes would want their own art added in, so I would add my art to their art. Or sometimes I would have to draw their ideas for something. So it was a lot of things in the mix, but the core of most of it was all about where we were from- Santa Monica & Dog Town Skates!
WHILE IT WAS ALL HAPPENING, DID YOU EVER THINK OF BEING PART OF THE CULTURE AT LARGE, OR BELIEVE YEARS LATER IT WOULD STILL EXIST?
No, not at first. We were all so focused on getting waves, pools, girls, and getting high, but as things went on it was getting so big that it really blew me away. TA & those guys were all over the place! Skateboarding was on TV shows, it was a great time. But I really didn’t think about the 15 or 30 years down the line – I never thought I would be around that long.