PÄS will start its series of Artist Interviews with Neil Blender. a strange love for cars, his pet animals, and miscellaneous oddities, Neil Blender shares a little about his life as an artist and almost nothing about his life as a pro skateboarder. he is truly one of today’s contemporary artists with a humble/mellow demeanor. his influences range from his Mom, Hagop Najarian and John Sollom to MC Escher, Van Gogh and Picasso… Neil recently participated in our “Walt” show in July. it’s our hope to publish these interviews through our blog on a regular basis. enyoy…
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
PÄS: When did you know you were an artist?
NB: Last year…kidding…I don’t know.
PÄS: When did you know you were a skater?
NB: Similar answer, I remember going to The Concrete Wave in Anaheim and vomiting after skating for a long time. It was right around then, age 14.
PÄS: Is it true you can vomit on demand? Tell us one time when that was beneficial.
NB: I used to do that a lot as a teen. It worked good to weird people out that didn’t already know. It was mainly after food and drink.
PÄS: What did you “want to do” when you grew up?
NB: Drink beer and hang in the Garage…
PÄS: How old are you now?
PÄS: Talk about your childhood homies…
NB: As a young kid i remember Maggie, our German Shepard. Got older, skated a lot with Brad Jackman, Skip, Weiser, Parsons… Lester…
PÄS: Talk about your study habits as an adolescent…
NB: ??? Watched others do stuff to learn. Like skateboarding.
PÄS: Do you use your freestyle skateboarding mentality when you paint/draw? You invented all these epic tricks as a skater, do you think it’s just your creative side? How did you become such an innovator?
PÄS: Those were dumb questions, huh?
PÄS: You seem to do your art with (and on) many different mediums. what’s your favorite? why?
NB: I like all surfaces, but Denim has to be a favorite. You can get “line screen” effects with it. Glossy surfaces are rad too.
PÄS: What kind of music do you like?
NB: Mostly Rock, i guess, some Jazz if it’s old, and there’s no sax. Country too, ‘old time’. I like The Cars a lot.
PÄS: I’ve heard you were the first pro skateboarder to have his own artwork on his deck. Is this true?
NB: Not sure.
PÄS: The guy laying down with the coffee cup. Is that you? Talk about it…
NB: That was my 5th graphic for the bottom of the board in 1985, or 86. Graphics didn’t change too much in the early 80’s. When you changed the shape, you’d want to match up with some new art. I started using paint brushes and ink then.
PÄS: What are the names of these graphics? (pictured below)
NB: Coffee Break, Faces, Prayer, and Scorpion. The Scorpion was drawn by Larry Gordon’s son, Eric.
PÄS: If there was no such thing as Art or Skateboarding, who would you be?
NB: Jim Thome
PÄS: What’s your relationship with Vans?
NB: I work for Vans doing art, way stoked on them. Check some of the Joel Tudor gear online.
PÄS: Did you do any work for the Joel Tudor line, or do you just like to sport it?
PÄS: When is the last time you paid for clothing?
NB: A few weeks ago.
PÄS: Are you brand conscious?
NB: Fully, you have to be or you can get attacked by friends.
PÄS: Talk about your mom as an artistic influence…
NB: Yeah, fully encouraging creativity to us as kids. Through clay, drawing, paint. She worked with a lot of stuff. Pen and Ink, Oil, Watercolor…you name it. She’d make her own christmas cards with silk screens, now I understand the commitment if you want to screen stuff. My sister and brother, both older, were always drawing stuff. So i started too.
PÄS: How often do you get a haircut?
NB: 3 month intervals, but sometimes it goes on and on, then i start getting George Harrison hair…
PÄS: Do you read? If so, what are you currently reading?
NB: I read in small amounts, captions on photos is good. It takes so long to read a regular book, though, I’m reading The Source Field Investigations by David Wilcock right now.
PÄS: Do you subscribe to any magazines? Art pubs?
NB: No subscriptions now either. I get the AMS catalog though (American Music Supply).
PÄS: Who do you live with?
NB: Tons of air molecules.
PÄS: Talk about Walt… (the cat our show was named after)
NB: Walter was one of our cats in the early eighties. He was rowdy and controlled the area on Crone Ave. in Anaheim where we lived. A lot of notches on his ears from sparring with the other cats. They looked like someone took scissors and cut a few V’s out. He was mellow though, to us, he just wanted his space and not be hassled.
PÄS: We came across an old Thrasher spread (Feb. 1985) on you and found this “ALL ABOUT NEIL” commentary by Jason Jessee to be pretty funny. Are these true? How close were you to Jason Jessee?
NB: Close, we used to skate with Steve Claar all the time. Jason’s funny. Some of the fun facts changed. I drive a Honda now, have been for the last 10 years. Volvos are good at using a lot of gas. They look cool though — anything pre-1990.
PÄS: Are there any other fun facts you want your art fans to know…
NB: People shouldn’t be into Hang Gliding…at all. I don’t like Palm Trees. Leaf Blowers are the worst invention. Bic Lighters are the best invention.
PÄS: Have you ever been interviewed by an art gallery before?
NB: No, it’s hot though.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –