We recently had the pleasure to host an in-store exclusive live-art show from Swanski to celebrate the UK launch of Polish skateboarding brand Turbokolor! If you managed to make it down last Saturday, you’ll know it was a great evening filled with art, beer, laughs and good-times! After the event we caught up with Swanski for an exclusive interview. Check out the interview below and a few pictures from the event.
– Name & location:
Hello, my name is Swanski, I’m an artist and designer based in Warsaw, Poland.
– Tell us a little about your skateboarding / art roots?
Around 1994 I started skating with my friends from the neighborhood. I know this might sound like a cliché but since then skateboarding has become an important part of my life. It has taught me to be patient, to express myself through the tricks like I do now through brush moves on paper…. Skateboarding took me to the place where I am right now. From producing t-shirts for my own crew at the age of 15 to traveling with my art, designing skateboard graphics and expanding my work towards large commissioned projects like Absolut Vodka signature bottle.
– What kind of brands have you collaborated with in the past?
Well, there are quite a few. I was lucky to work German ones like Hessenmob and Titus… Then Cliche, Nomad… And finally US players: Listen Skateboards, Creation, Autobahn, Girl and Lakai. I also worked with companies from outside of the skate scene like Absolut, Nike and Casio G-Shock.
– What would you say your favourite collaboration is that you have done and why?
I really loved to work with Hessenmob – they are like family to me. Working with Girl and Lakai was amazing. For someone like me who grew up watching these guys skate, getting to work with them was quite an experience. As our relationship tightened, I was invited to participate in the Girl’s 20th anniversary exhibition in LA. I did my version of the Girl’s wooden toy for the show, which became later a staple for a special board series featuring this artwork. As for the upcoming things, Lakai is going to release my signature shoe series in 3 colorways. It’s a part of their Echelon line and my shoes are next to Spike Jonze and Mariano’s pro models. I’m excited.
(Click here to watch Swanski’s trip to LA for Girl Skateboards 20th Anniversary)
– Tell us a bit more about ‘Turbokolor’ and how it came about?
Well, skateboarding is all about D.I.Y, right? We build spots, make videos, we create our own tricks and the way of photographing them. I have been making t-shirts with friends since I was 15, so starting a brand seemed like a natural step forward. I was lucky to have my friends on board, who still run this project with me. A clothing brand is just like a huge tree which needs its roots, its trunk and many branches. Without either of them it is dead.
– Did you enjoy your trip to The Black Sheep, Manchester & Parlour Skate Store, London to celebrate and promote the UK launch of Turbokolor?
I enjoyed both places 100%! The most important thing was to feel a TRUE passion for what we do. Skateboarding is a worldwide tribe, language doesn’t really matter.
– What’s next for Swanski & Turbokolor?
A tough one! There is so much going on! We are focusing on supporting local scenes on the new markets. We’ve been seeing a lot of interest from Europe, but also from Asia and North America. As the Turbokolor family is growing and new projects are popping up, it only means more work and more travel. And that’s great news!
Thank you Swanki & Turbokolor for coming through with an amazing night, a great SS14 line and a dope new wall in our shop. Much love from us all here at The Black Sheep Store.