“You are who you are, so my skating, personality, and artwork all come from that one entity, the person I have become from years of learning, deforming, growing up. It’s ever-evolving.”
Paradigm Magazine recently had the honor and privilege to interview skateboarding legend and artist, Ed Templeton. We would like to thank Albert Hering, Ed’s studio manager and Ed for this amazing interview.
Why did you start Toy Machine as opposed to skating for another skateboard company back in 1993?
I knew that skateboarding wasn’t a long-term job. Your body can only last so long. So when the idea and chance came to start a company, I took it. Now, even when I am old and crusty, like I am now, I can still work with the thing I love, skateboarding.
Why did you choose the song ‘Titanium Expose’ by Sonic Youth for your skate part
in ‘Welcome to Hell?’
I was a big fan of Sonic Youth, still am, and I don’t think they were used in any skate videos really at that point. I wanted to have some different music than what other people were using. Plus that song has a fast beat and has good changes that work well for skateboarding videos.
What correlations are there between the ways you create artistically with a brush-camera
(eyes / hands) and skateboard (eyes / legs)?
You are who you are, so my skating, personality, and artwork all come from that one entity, the person I have become from years of learning, deforming, growing up. It’s ever-evolving. I think skating helped give me the tools, or at least the approach, both from physical skating and from the people I grew up around, to be a good photographer or artist.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
Off the top of my head, Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin… Maybe Egon Schiele. These guys are all dead. That’s a hard question to answer. I wouldn’t mind meeting Marylin Monroe either. For Jefferson and Franklin, it would be fascinationg to see and talk to these legendary founding fathers, to hear them speak, and talk to them about their ideas would be amazing. For Schiele or Monroe, just to see them in person, take a gander at their mystique.
My time is mostly spent working on Toy Machine and artwork. Skating on a pro level has taken a back seat in the last 2 years.
You said in the film Beautiful Losers that, “Kind of the weird tragedy when you become
an adult is that you grow up and stop creating and involving yourself in the joy of
coloring and creation and I feel that I was lucky enough to never lose that.” Why do you
think that the majority of adults lose their sense of creativity?
People just grow up and see no value in drawing or creating anymore. It’s time to get a job, make some money and raise a family.
Do you feel that there is a particular art scene among the artists you associate yourself with … Like there was in Paris in the Montmartre and Montparnasse quarters with Picasso in the early 1900s or even in NYC at the Factory with Andy Warhol in the 1970s?
Not as much. People were calling us Beautiful Losers as a group name, but really that is just called Street Art, and who knows where a painter and photographer such as myself fits into that label. I never did graffiti. There is a sort of association with me and some fellow artists, but we despise being named as a group, because really our practices are wildly different. When you think of certain historical groups, like the Cubists, they worked under a manifesto or a certain idea about how to create art. The people in Beautiful Losers for instance are all over the place; photographers, painters, graffiti artists, graphic designers, etc.
I always find myself asking artists about inspiration, what does that word mean for you as an
Everything is an inspiration. People, the way they act and dress. Other art, and the way it was made, films and music. These things we input to our minds, get processed and mixed with the learning or unlearning we have accumulated in our brains, then get regurgitated as our “Art,” our output. So every waking moment, and even during sleep, inspiration is there. At least that’s the way I see it.