It’s not as egocentric as it seems…
Upper Decker Zine
I came home from Hong Kong to a package filled with copies of Upper Decker Zine – Issue 7! Signed copies are now available in my shop, and come with extra photos and goodies! Grab a copy today, to read my feature, plus an amazing interview with Absorb creator Dave Ackels, as well as photos, and contributions from Ohio skater Jordan West.
I am so happy to have been a part of this project! As digital content replaces print media, models, and photographers often scramble to have their work featured in what few publications exist. Meanwhile, the Internet is being bought up by corporations, whose Terms Of Service are more complicated than any stereo instructions ever were. Everywhere you turn, self expression is being monitored, commodified, and censored. Now more than ever it’s more important to support DIY projects like zines, blogs, and all things created with passion, and care.
For my part, I’ve worked hard to build a network of inventive, and skilled collaborators, and challenge myself to try new things, and develop new skills.
When Upper Decker Zine approached me for a contribution, it felt like the perfect blend of all these things. There’s always risk involved when you open yourself up to a new market, or collection of fans. “Will they people like the pictures?” “What sort of attention will this get?” And in the case of skateboarding in particular “Am I going to piss anyone off?” I aim for authenticity in all I do, so it’s important to me that I can stand 100% behind a project, regardless of what the answers to those questions may be.
In my experience, skateboarding definitely fits the bill.
From my first time on a board, to late night sessions at the Plaza, to literally busting my ass in Hong Kong for the past two weeks, I have an incredible amount of respect, and admiration for skaters, and their community. It’s incredible to me that these people spend time, money, and sacrifice skin to an activity that pays so little back. (In contrast to say, professional sports like Hockey, or Football.)
If tear sheets, and editorials are the goal of many models, and fame, and large paycheques draw professional athletes to their sport of choice, what drives a skateboarder to get on a board day after day, and pick themselves up from the ground so many times?
I’ve learned so much in the past 8 months, and have still barely scratched the surface! But spending time with friends like Jordan Mayfield, Brian Caissie, getting involved in my local skate community, and subscribing to channels like Upper Decker is helping me to get in on, and support the scene in a way that is both fun, and inspiring.
This Zine is a result of the hard work, and talent of many. It’s amazing to see what you can accomplish when you collaborate with passionate people. My experience with Upper Decker was super fun, and positive, and I couldn’t be happier with the results!
Get in on it:
Giant thank you to Lucas David Morgan for shooting such rad images, and sharing them with this project!
Do you love it?!?
PS> If you’re in the Columbus area, I highly recommend you catch up with the homies at The Cowtown Showdown, March 22nd.