The thing that got me interested in graphic design

July 9, 2017

Unless you're a long-time friend of mine or went to high school with me, you might not've known that I grew up skateboarding.

In my early teens, I spent most of my free-time skating with my friends, filming videos, and constantly being surrounded by music.

I used to get a skate catalog in the mail from CCS once a month. These catalogs were full of different t-shirt designs, skate decks, and other skate related merchandise.

Being so young at the time, I didn't have a job to afford anything from these catalogs, so I would circle all of the products I wished I could own. Until one day my Mom caved and bought me my very first complete skateboard!

I would skate that deck every single day – just pushing around and practicing. It probably lasted me a couple of years, but like most skate decks – after using them for so long – they eventually SNAP!

Although I couldn't afford anything out of those CCS catalogs, I would obsess over all the designs – the t-shirts and skate decks. This left me wondering, someone gets to design this stuff. Whose job was it to design these products? These designs come from somewhere, some designer, and that fascinated me.

Looking back, this is the root of what got me interested in design.

It's funny to think back now, after all of these years that I've stumbled into making a living designing t-shirts.

To this day, all of the the projects I get to work on, I get to obsess over. I'm incredibly lucky that I've found the thing I enjoy doing most.

If you feel like you're struggling with finding your focus in design, try taking a look at your past self. See what you absolutely obsessed over at a young age. Maybe you can incorporate that into your design career now, or at the very least let that passion shine through your brand.

As you can tell, skateboarding played a major role in how I got to where I am today.

Nowadays I may hop on my skateboard every once in awhile just to cruise or practice old flip tricks on the carpet, but I'm not on it consistently at all.

I'm dying to get back into skateboarding and using it as a creative outlet in a physical way. And being a freelance graphic designer that works from home, this will give me a great excuse to get out of the house and be more active. Not to mention, nothing beats the feeling of just pushing and riding on a skateboard – even if that all you learn – it's totally worth it.

My current skateboard is about 10 years old! That's a crazy long lifespan for a board, and with that comes a chipped tail with no "pop", ripped grip tape, and worn out bearings. It's burnt toast...

Like with most activities, when you want to start something, you invest in it to help motivate you. For example, if you were to start running, you'd buy new shoes, headphones, clothes, etc. So, I went all in and bought myself a completely new set-up!

If you're at all interested in skateboarding, here's the gear I purchased from Warehouse Skateboards:

  • Primitive Skateboard - Shane O'Neill Optical Red Deck - 7.8" x 32"
  • Thunder Trucks - Lights High - 145mm Hanger - 7.625" Axle
  • Ricta Wheels - 52mm
  • Bones REDS Bearings
  • Standard 1" Hardware + 2 Red Tipped Bolts
  • Mob Grip Tape

If you watch the video above, you can see I'm still a bit rusty after going to the skatepark. But it was so fun just to get out there and be back on the board. I can still cruise just fine, ollie, 180, and basic shuv-its – nothing too impressive – but it's all about that daily progression.

With skateboarding, you'll try something again and again. Even if you fall, you just keep persisting until you land the trick you're going for! I love that about skateboarding, and it's a mentality I try to apply to my every day life and freelance career.

Skating is something I'm going to try and keep up with, at least on a weekly basis.

I'd be interested to know, looking back, what do you think sparked your interest in design? Feel free to leave a comment below, on the video, or shoot me a tweet!

See my latest work and more on Instagram @BrentGalloway