At Flavourmag we are continually searching for passionate young creatives who excel in their respected art forms; so it was a pleasure when the work of fourtwenSKATE was brought to our attention. This young group of skateboard fans produce creative and innovative pieces of art with a twist: fourtwenSkate are not your typical artists, you will not find canvasses or paper in their studio neither will you find their work stored in frames… these guys produce all their art-work on skateboard decks!
FourtwenSkate’s artists produce dazzling pieces of work often visualising urban legends such as Biggie and 2Pac as well as also offering a wide-range of other services. FlavourMag caught up with Andrew Gower, the co-founder of fourtwenSKATE to get the low down on their exciting new concept.
Explain to our readers a little bit about what you guys do…
fourtwen is a lifestyle brand as much as it is a skateboard brand. Our focus is making hand-painted decks that are pieces of art as well as skateboards. Our top level range is fourtwenUNIQUE, our most expensive decks. They are extremely detailed pieces of artwork and each is completely unique, never produced again. fourtwenCUSTOM is our “invitation only” range that we give to people that we take inspiration from, and hand-picked individuals who we as a company represent what our brand is all about.
It’s great to see young people setting up their own businesses and being successful. Do you guys have any business knowledge or was it more a case of having a great idea and just following it up?
fourtwen was started by Andrew Gower, Will Guise, Josh Steele and Tom Tapolczay in 2012 after a whole stack of events brought an idea together. Andrew works in a digital marketing agency and so has used those skills to set the foundations for our idea – websites, social media activity etc.
Having said that though, when we started this we had no idea what it would become. The goals and intentions of fourtwen have steadily evolved with experience and it’s exciting to see how much they continue to change.
Your work combines art and skateboarding, explain what influences you guys and how you came up with the concept for fourtwenSKATE…
fourtwenSKATE’s core belief is that skateboarding is more than a sport – it’s an art. So we believe it’s right that skateboards should treated as a medium for beautiful artwork.
Will’s art is what spawned the original idea for fourtwen in the first place. The first deck we made was a UNIQUE based on his sketches of the characters from Alice in Wonderland. The reaction we got from that deck was the catalyst to make this happen .
We buy our blank decks from Bamboo Skateboards at this point in time. Their values and quality of product are aligned with our intention and they share our belief in art so it’s the perfect relationship. The decks are nothing short of beautiful in their blank form, so the artwork always compliments the woodwork. Our brand colours are primarily white and wood texture.
I understand that your work is beginning to attract some celebrity attention?
We’ve managed to get our decks into the hands of some people that we have drawn inspiration from in recent months, like Joey Bada$$ and Wu-Block, who we all listen to regularly. For obvious reasons that’s great for fourtwen but it’s more about the enjoyment we get out of it. We’ve always wanted to meet these guys, so having something to give them that they can appreciate is the best outcome we could ask for.
Do you have plans to expand your product range in the future? For instance maybe a clothing range featuring your designs?
We’re in the process of launching a number of ventures in the near future but we don’t really want to say much about it until we’re ready to tell the public.
It sounds exciting! Where can our readers go to check out you work?
We post everything we’re ready to release on our website – http://www.fourtwenskate.com
The one hint we can give about the future is we are working towards opening a physical shop in London, but with a twist. We’re very excited with our plans for that but we can’t go into it any further at this time.
What is the ultimate ambitions for fourtwenSKATE in the future?
At the moment our focus is purely on producing the decks we’ve come up with over the next few months.
There will be more fourtwenCUSTOM decks in the hands of those we deem worthy and we’ll be pushing our product harder as we grow.
Aside from that, we’ll all just have to see what happens. In the meantime, watch out for fourtwenSMOKE.