Solitary Arts is a group of talented Artists and Skateboards based in San Francisco, California. In addition to designing skateboards, wheels and T-shirts they are involved in a number of cool artistic projects.
Despite being unable to skateboard for more than a minute without falling off I love their stuff. I spoke to Yong-Ki Chang to find out some more
(plus! we have 2 T-shirts to give away see below).
How long has Solitary Arts been established?
I started the Solitary Arts as an idea in 2005 and Geoff McFetridge wanted to partner to make it happen a few months after the initial idea for a skateboard company.
Was there a key objective or goal that you wanted to achieve?
We liked the idea of how skateboards can create experiential moments when you see a shape or setup that reminds a skateboarder of a certain time in their life.
Geoff and I wanted to make the best quality boards whether we made tiny boards like we did or larger boards for pool riding. After 2 years of initial planning on every aspect of building a complete skateboard, we started to officially release through Solitary Arts.
How did you get into Skateboarding?
I grew-up in Hawaii, surfed as a boy and when a kid named Randy moved to my neighborhood at 12 years old and did a boneless off the sidewalk, I was hooked!
Who were you influenced by artistically when you were younger?
I used to write to Pushead after getting my first Thrasher Magazine from a local bike shop. Pushead would always do some kind of artwork for the magazine including a lot of shirts I used to cut sleeves off of.
He’d send me letters with stickers and posters. That was really kind of him and influenced a lot. I also loved the stuff that Neil Blender was doing with his board graphics along with VCJ, like most kids.
How many boards have you designed for Solitary Arts?
I’ve designed 7 unique shapes so far for the Solitary Arts. We have 3 currently out available with 4 going through the sampling period. I’ve also designed 3 wheels and will be working on more this year.
What is the secret to a good Skateboard?
No real secret, but it has to feel right under your feet, first and foremost.
Where do your ideas for new stuff come from?
When Geoff and I started the Solitary Arts, it was cruising around and doing tricks on smaller boards with softer wheels. Now, I’ve been riding concrete round-walls so our ideas evolve as much as the landscape we skate. The next influence is probably some ditches that I’ve been jonesing for.
Where is best place to go skating in San Francisco?
The streets are the best and you’ll find rippers all over this great city.
What is the best thing you can do a skateboard?
Stay on board!
Are you ever too old to skate?
Nope, I’ve seen guys in their late 30’s to 40’s and even 50’s that shred harder than the younger skaters.
What have you got planed for the rest of the year?
2011 is a great year thus far and we now have 2 riders for the Solitary Arts… Roger Mihalko and Bob Lake. We will go on some skate trips and also do some projects together as we tend to attract not only great skateboarders, but those that do a lot more artistically and creatively.
We have a competition to win 2 ultra-cool Solitary Arts T-Shirts of your choice.
To enter just answer the following question
** This competition is now closed **
For more info on Solitary Arts visit their website www.solitaryarts.com
Closing date is 23th May, usual competition rules. Open to everyone. Winner will be contacted via email, make sure firstname.lastname@example.org is in your address book.