How the hellll are you guys? I hope you’re doing well and kickin’ ass. Since my last post here’s a little update on some stuff..I’m sticking to my tagline (see previous post) and it’s been a challenge but a good one. For example, confronting some past items with my biological family which I will get to later (post coming about this I promise!).. Went for the 1/2 marathon Triple Crown and had a physical set back so guess there is next year!.. And signed up for an extra program at work which is pushing me in the best way possible professionally. So, ya super brief update because I want to get into this interview!
I have been following this artist for a while and have been lucky enough to see his work in a few places around the world. Hell, you’ve probably seen his work too and just didn’t know it! But anyways, his name is Mike Kershanr (IG: @huskyroundup) . He’s worked with the companies Baker, Toy Machine, and Volcom to name a few… And has work featured in Thrasher and Juxtapoz Magazine. His unique style coincides with his unique personality so I was hyped to get to ask him a few questions. So, yeah a little intro for ya and now for the interview!
- Alright so, where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I grew up in Irvine, California close enough to Huntington Beach Skate Park to experience all the legendary sessions as a kid witnessing Ed Templeton, Tom Penny, Geoff Rowley, and many others destroying that place. I was influenced by exploring agricultural ditches to skate, surfing San Onofre, and images I saw in Thrasher Magazine. I went to college in Santa Cruz, lived in Berkeley and San Francisco on and off for years and spent a lot of time in Paris. Now I am gearing up to spend a summer in the Sequoia Mountains.
- What inspired you to start drawing, painting, etc.?
I was inspired by the connection of art and skateboarding. The paint pen griptape of Mark Gonzalez and Sean Sheffey as well as graffiti clued me in at a vey early age that art had an application to culture and daily life, beyond studying Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso at a class in school. Of course I was enamored by all the awesome art I’d see on decks on the skate shop wall. Sean Cliver, and Mark McKee were so subversive and awesome. I couldn’t believe that stuff was actually being created for skateboards; such masterful work, with twisted themes.
- What’s your favorite part of the process? Or is there even a process?
I try to enjoy the entire process from finding the inspiration of the subject matter I want to create, the rough sketch, intense patterning work, and finishing details. The most satisfying moment is stepping back from a finished piece that looks and feels right. Sometimes the inspiration is also a favorite, for instance I saw an Egret snatch a lizard off a bush and devour it, I instantly felt inspiration to create and interpretation of that moment.
- So, I’ve followed your social media for some time and see you skate! How did you get into that?
I started skating when I was in second grade. I saw a kid with one in my neighborhood and really wanted one. My parents wanted me to wait until I was older, as I got hurt as a lot as a kid. There was a raffle for one though at an Indian Guides event I was at with my Dad, and he said if I won the skateboard in I could keep it. Call it destiny, fate, luck, the hand of Jah, but they called my ticket number and I have never stopped skateboarding close to 30 years later, and it has taken me all over the world.
- Do you think skating and art go hand in hand?
I think skateboarding and art are definitely related. In addition to all the fine art on decks, wheels, stickers, and clothes the way one skates is very artful. I would classify it more as art in the way ballet is art versus as a sport like football. I like to think Ed Templeton’s skating and art feeds off each other and there would not be one without the other, somehow beautiful impossible tail grabs, feeble grinds, and noseblunt slides are right there in his brush strokes.
- Current skate setup?
If I am on a trip, at a park, or trying to get tricks I will ride a pretty standard eight point something popsicle stick with a friends pro model. I have a little quiver of oddball boards I like to use to skate the grocery store, bar, or what have you. The one that gets the most comments is a signed Lance Mountain The Firm cruiser.
- What was one of your favorite skate spots to paint?
Wow, that’s tough to narrow it down, as these are some of my favorite experiences. I love the rawness of camping and painting at The Nude Bowl with a solid crew. Painting in Christiania with Tom Penny and the Alis guys was all time, the Cow Hollow DIY in SF with the Roughneck Fam was amazing, painting Grindline concrete on Pine Ridge with Evan Smith and the Elemental Awareness squad was awesome, Jakeside with No Hotels, and a Cons Space Paris event my friend Luidgi hooked up with Supe and The Blobbys was the stuff dreams are made of. Basically any time I can paint and skate the thing, and shoot film of people ripping it, is pinnacle of my skate and art practice intersecting.
- Favorite skate spot?
The original Pipeline Upland Park. RIP. It had a downhill ditch that spilled into a bowl. That’s probably my favorite spot of all time, so I guess the Indian School Ditch is sort of a natural version of that.
- Alright, back to the art! Any events coming up?
I am doing a popup at Pizzanista Long Beach with Salman, then teaching art all summer at a few different camps. A little collab with Grant and Maka Lassi Posse in the fall.
- If you could work with anyone or any company, who would it be and why?
Well in skateboarding I’ve always been a huge fan of Julien and Dill, so FA, and Anti Hero are top shelf, but Todd Francis has 18 on lock so they wouldn’t really need me. But if the question were ANY company it would be pretty insane to do something like Virgin if you got free plane tickets and free places to stay all over the world. Interesting enough even with a million dollars I still think the most fun thing to do is the classic P-Stone, camping at a DIY in the woods skating, painting, and grilling out with all your friends.
- One more important question to end.. What came first, chicken or the egg?
Tommy Guerrero the original street chicken
So there ya go. I’d like to thank Mike again for his time and contribution to my little blog.Be sure to check him out if you can this weekend in the LBC!
Flyer with event details below.. What more could you want than some bad ass art, pizza, and cold beer!