((( AWESOME: in review )))

What is Awesome? Skinner, Bwana Spoons, Martin Ontiveros and me “Scrappers” all locked in a 30′ tall by 260′ around gallery space called )( Space for 14-17 hours a day for seven solid days. Armed with over 100 gallons of paint and Hurley’s credit card we pushed each other to do the biggest and bestest work of our lives. For once we didn’t have any of the typical obstacles (not enough money, not enough time, not enough fun…) to get in the way of doing what we love.

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I’m not sure how it all came about, but I know this much, Bwana invited me, Dalek invited him, and all the kind folks at Hurley made it happen.

I’ve been around long enough to know that a chance like this will only come once, so I took full advantage of the opportunity. I quit my job at the Portland Mercury, and started freelancing at Pinball and Egg until the time came to fly to Hurley’s headquarters in Costa Mesa with my best art buddies to see what we could make together. It was totally Iron Chef style. I worked with the ingredients that were at hand. All I took was a Scout Book full of ideas.

We dove in heart first on day one. After all the Hurley workers left at 5pm we cranked Red Fang and other random heavy metal that Skinner and Martin loved and Bwana and I had the indoor skate park all to ourselves. I’m an old man, I’m brittle, I get tired easily, and I am very very fragile. So I fell and dislocated my ring finger on my painting hand. After a trip to the hospital (thanks for the ride and crazy stories Maloney), I came back, picked up a paint brush, and dove back into the loud music of making lovely color with my friends (insert cheese fart here). It set the pace for my whole trip. Go hard, go long, go all the way until it’s over.

I know my friends rule, but working with them in this environment really took my breath away. Martin is super mean to himself, but he works through it every time and is a true inspiration to everyone in the room. Skinner is a very smart man, he’s also more sensitive and compassionate then most of his fans would ever admit. Bwana is my hero. While we were there Bwana abandoned any sort of formula or branded style and did all new work in all new ways. You won’t believe what he can do with driftwood and a paint roller now. It’s clear to see how we all grew from the experience (insert tear drop here).

Scott Patt and his lovely wife Lisa Dejohn were some of the best people (they are epic artists too) that I got to talk to down there. Scott even picked us up in his bad ass jeep to go surf the Cliffs one morning. Later he told me that the beautiful board I was using was given to him by Bob Hurley. Rad! Used a crappy plastic camera to document the surf session. Turned out pretty good, eh?

Cody Lusby was our right hand man. We would NOT have gotten 50% of what we did down there done without his hands, brains, and patients. Melissa Erwin somehow was able to foresee any need that popped up before we even know we needed something (she’s as smart as she is pretty). For example she got Bwana and I these really cool wetsuits (I looked like a Killer Whale) before we even realized that we needed them to go surfing the next day. Yb Ybarra putt up with all our dirty fart jokes and unsocial skills while filming our tiny adventure (we made him eat vegan once-HA!). Jason Maloney was the ringmaster of the whole thing and a good one too. He even corrected my manners at “A” fancy restaurant (I guess it’s not cool to jump over the red leather booth when strangers are in it?) Dalek had the faith that we could do it even when we were flying blind. Derek Bahn did a killer job documenting all our folly. And pretty much everyone else at Hurley in some strange way helped this show/adventure happen just the way it did. So without running on any further…THANK YOU! (Yeah, you know who you are.)

Bonus info, Tim Biskup was the DJ at the opening which is an amazing honor. But it gets better, Jay Howell one my my top five favorite artists/thinkers/partiers went skinny dipping with me after the opening (but the details of that night are foggy at best).

What happens now? I might as well retire and move my family to Maui right? Correct! I’m moving my family to Maui to work as the art director at Mauitime (the local altweekly) and live the good life. Stay tuned!

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