Stickers are a communicative art form and are simply just fun to slap on shit! Stickers can be a way to rep or to claim a crew, a region, or a company. They also communicate beauty in artistry, creativity, as well as style. Stickers can be applied to most everything—with a semi flat and smooth surface of course. Ha ha! Stickers also free art of its pretentiousness and over-seriousness. These portable and sticky creations take on a life of their own once applied—especially once slapped on a sk8 car or an actual skateboard—as these two vehicles are in constant motion and come in contact with so many different eyeballs.
In some cases, the context of a sticker’s placement can be more meaningful than the sticker art itself—like sticking one to a cop car for instance. Anything stuck to a cop car is immediately placed in the “awesome” category. The possibilities are endless really. You can be a small time vandal and stick them all over your classroom, on the national forest sign at the top of your favorite mountain bomb, slap one on your forehead, on the back of your homie’s shirt, or on the street sign at your local spot. Some skaters throw stickers up in neighborhoods or various spots while out skating in order to “rep” a crew, company, or artist. If you skate hills—or anything else for that matter—you are bound to see a combination of stickers slapped in a visually opportune location signifying a particular allegiance/influence. Depending where you are skating, you might find stickers repping: Wheelbase Magazine, Skate House Media, Coast Longboarding, Sunset Sliders, Boomtown, PDX Downhill, Pagan Downhill, Ratchet Patrol, No Coast, Skate Invaders, Skate the East, Mids, and Beast Coast. Then even deeper are the subsets of company and brand alliances, maybe one neighborhood is all Nelson Longboards, one is all Comet, all Muir, and another might be mostly Landyachtz. It’s crazy how you can divide places into local cliques by identifying the particular stickers you see. You can even go as far as identifying skater vehicles and where they might be from. A car with heavy rep for Texas may have Texas Baked, Bombsquad, Waterloo, Carve Boardshop, and No Bull stickers adorning its chassis.
As you can see, I have fallen in love with skate stickers and the unique culture surrounding them. I love how they can be direct, creative, abrasive, or simply just ridiculous and nobody cares. My collection of stickers from the scene is growing constantly, with more and more added to it all the time. When I’m in need of inspiration I just look through my sticker pile and it gets my creative engine running. What is awesome to me is that there is always more out there to get stoked on. More and more skate companies these days are actually spending time thinking about stickers, and supporting artists. Daddies Boardshop is a perfect example with their “sticker of the month” program. Stoked Skateboards is making a bunch of custom stickers as well. Obviously, Wheelbase is always churning out rad new stickers to get skaters fired up. Rayne has some pretty epic stickers worth a peep. These days, all sorts of small collectives of skaters, artists, and brands are coming together to create badass stickers.
I say, rep your crew, promote the brands you love, and get inspired by the applicable art that is all over this scene and within your reach. Go design a sticker and print it at Kinkos, and then send some of ‘em to me! Go put a sticker on your helmet, your local street sign, your board, a cop car, make a collage, sticker up a skateboard. Have fun. Yeehaw!