“Would you say that the unfortunate events that happened in your childhood were one’s that are highly influential, as well as visible in your art nowadays?
I’d say that having both my mother and only brother both pass away before I was 18 definitely gave me a hyper-awareness for the brevity of life, so yeah I’d say that those events were highly influential. My mom had cancer and was sick for most of my childhood (or at least the part I remember) and she passed away when I was 15. My brother died two years later from an asthma attack. As a result I have a really low tolerance level for bullshit. Life’s short. Do your thing at all costs and never give up. As far as those events being visible in my art I’d say there’s probably some truth to that. The characters in my drawings and paintings definitely look like they’re carrying some heavy weights. “
I have began this post with a question from an interveiw I read once on a blog called Nephew Marcus, it was published quite a while back in 2012 and you can read the whole interveiw here. If you haven’t already guessed from this posts cover photo, the amazing talent at the centre of this post is Michael Sieben. The first time I saw a skateboard deck with Siebens work on I was instantly attracted to it, I love his use of line and the overall incredible, instantly recogniseable style of his work. Then when I read about Sieben’s childhood and learn’t about his work values, my respect for him began to grow further beyond his aesthetic creations. Enjoy!
“Was working in the skate industry a goal of yours from the get-go?
Yes. It has always been a dream of mine to work within the skateboard industry. As I get older I have dreams of working on projects outside of skateboarding but that probably has to do with the fact that I’m almost 40 and have a love/hate affair with my skateboard at this point. I love to play skateboards, but I just wish my skateboard cooperated with me that way it did when I was younger. I feel like it’s just a battle these days. But a battle that I love.
Thrasher didn’t come along until 2004, which was five years after you graduated.What did you do before you landed a job over there?
Made tons of zines, got a full time job, opened an art gallery, got married, skated tons of ditches, got a tattoo, and cried a few times.”
The examples of Michael Siebens work below have been taken from his website, www.msieben.com