Upon meeting, there was an instant realisation that Gather.ly and APN could combine the two things that we each loved most, skate and create, and do something really f-ing great with Gather.ly's network of talented creatives.
The cornerstones for the Gather.ly and APN collaboration began like most great ideas... over a beer. A few skate sessions later and the project was in motion. The idea of giving illustrators the opportunity to create their own skate deck had been milling around our minds for some time, so we were over the moon to find ourselves with this exact opportunity on our hands in partnership with APN.
And as the APN motto goes - "It's just a ride". What better idea to offer up for interpretation...
"It’s just a ride" is a mindset. It’s a way of life that informs how we approach things in our day-to-day lives. It’s the do it the way you want to do it, and deal with the consequences later attitude. It’s the satisfaction we get from achieving those things that others told us we couldn’t.
Who doesn't love breaking the rules every now and then. I think we speak for everyone when we say we take great pleasure in doing things in life that people tell us we can't. "It's just a ride" was all about emulating a little bit of that.
In true Gather.ly style, we wanted to give the right people this unique opportunity, we left the interpretation of "It's just a ride" in the very capable hands of Harry Tennant, Pedro Oyarbide and Mystery Meat. We knew each of these guys have a penchant for skating and live and breathe the culture that this very brief stemmed from - the perfect candidates to inject their individual creative juices into the beating heart of this project.
Of course we couldn't just create some boards, we needed more.
Filmmakers Craig Smith and Ed Hubert, along with music composer Kyan Lasslett Obrien, were also invited to collaborate with skaters and creatives to produce a really damn beautiful piece of film exploring the relationship between skate culture, creativity, and the arts based on the same sentence, “It’s just a ride”.
We don't know about you, but we've had this one on loop in the office ever since. Lee Kirby also captured some stunning portraits of those involved in the film to add another dimension to the project.
The collaboration is about seeing a different perspective on other people’s ‘ride’. How they interpret those words, what’s their ride right now and how they might inspire others to understand their own ride, it’s HOW you decide to ride that counts.
- Rupert Leigh, Co-founder of APN
We were blown away by the work that we received back, each piece tells a completely different story that has evolved from the same four words. It truly depicted what we aimed for and intrigued each and every one of us to enter the artists world and discover the story behind the illustrators individual 'rides'.
To me, ‘It's just a ride’ represented my own personal link between being a skateboarder and being an illustrator. So far in my life these have been two of my biggest interests. There is something very obsessive about skating; finding hidden skate spots, trying tricks hundreds of times to be able to land them perfectly, finding the best angle for filming, re-watching classic skate vids over and over. Being an illustrator you need that obsessiveness to spend so many countless hours drawing. For my ‘Just a Ride’ piece I combined old and new drawings of mine in a collage, that references skate culture and illustration. The style takes influence from adverts and designs in old skate magazines, where my interest in drawing began.
MysteryMeat like fast women and fast skateboards.
'It's just a ride' is how thoughts move within my brain. Unexpectedly and unpredictable they fill out blank spaces of my mind I didn't know were blank. They are visual language, lines, shapes, borders and boundaries and forms, esoteric references that become my work. They find the best ways to transfer themselves into something tangible.
That's what 'it's just a ride' means - to allow intuition to dominate and conquer the concept: an overwhelming flow of ideas that find their way into a beautiful woman who waves a racing flag while yelling out loud 'let the ride begin!
It's just a ride. What can go wrong?
It all kicked off last Thursday evening when we gathered for the premiere of "It's just a ride." We clearly weren't the only ones impressed by the work put together by our talented friends as over 200 excited faces made their way through the doors at Box Studio, Shoreditch. Box Studio was the perfect venue for the occasion and we owe a huge thanks to Jonathan for all his support.
Fuelled by Purity Brewing Co. beers, the crowd spent time admiring the longboards, artwork and portraits and getting down with the DJ before moving upstairs for a party on the deck. Limited edition longboard decks, tees, vintage sweats and prints were available on the night and can still be purchased through APN. It was a thrill to see visitors of all ages decked out in tees and sweats with the artists' artwork adorned on them.
We were overwhelmed by the huge response we had to the event, and were stoked to have big names from Huck magazine, Storm Models, All Saints, CHI and Partners, Earnest Agency, Fox, Popshop, iD, Global Street Art, Marks and Spencer and Surfdome present, displaying our constant growth and recognition as a network for emerging creative talent.
At the crux of the collaboration was the desire to show the deep rooted similarities between being a creative and being a skater, to see such a diverse crowd mingling and embracing each other really was the icing on the cake of such a successful project. The film echoed this notion and was on such high demand it was screened three times!
There was a huge number of people involved to make this project possible, you know who you are, and we are eternally grateful for everyone that gave up their valuable time and skills, we hope you are as proud of the finished product as we are. We can't wait to get going on the next one! Here's a round up video of last Thursday to get you by in the mean time...
Check out the photos from the event and tag yourself and friends here.