Justin Betts

      When buying a new skateboard, sometimes the graphic is the deciding factor as to which one you want to buy. Shortly after the board is bought though, that graphic is quickly scratched off and destroyed. Justin is an artist who uses his talent to recreate and preserve some of the most iconic graphics from skateboarding history. It is about reliving that joy we all felt when we were younger and walked into our local skate shop and saw our favorite pro's newest graphic.

Home Town: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Currently: San Diego, California

Favorite Medium: Acrylic, Pen and Ink, Skateboards

Where do you find inspiration?: From everyone included on this site! Inspiration can happen at any given moment but skateboarding for the most part, I mean I am replicating skateboard art. Skateboarding is filled with so much talent, the act in itself is an art form, then you have these people from different walks of life who bring a piece of their individuality to it whether that be photography/videography, tricks, graphics, style, or fashion, there's just something magical about skating. I've made corny cards for friends for shits and giggles for years, along with painting, but recently my friend Daniel gave me a different perspective as to what could be done with an upcycled skateboard that would otherwise be garbage, we're both doing our own versions of replications but he's no question one of my most recent inspirations and without him I probably wouldn't be doing what you are seeing. Thank you skateboarding and thank you Daniel.

What do you want viewers to take away from your work?: I want to bring back the joy you had from seeing that one specific graphic that existed in a shop, catalog, or online back to you. Skateboard graphics are a huge part of skateboarding but they get scratched away and are typically only around a short period, I'm able to recreate those lost graphics in a three dimensional way to bring them more to life. Originally I was making these just as personal outlet, I felt weird about calling somebody else's art my own (still credit original artist), but after the positive reactions from the original artists, other artists, pros, and recipients of the pieces I've become quite happy sharing. Hell, if I'm able to bring any sort of stoke to another person then my mission is accomplished. I want people to view my work and realize a skateboard is never garbage, it can keep bringing pleasure, if you can't find a local that's in need of your used deck then search out the closest person that does woodworking, share the magic of your useless wooden toy, it's still a piece of art if it's chipped or broken and just needs to bring it back to life, reuse and upcycle as much as you can.

What is your favorite skateboard graphic of all time?: This is a tough question...The Santa Cruz Jeff Grosso 'Toy Box' was my first brand new deck, I worked an entire summer refinishing a boat to buy it so that graphic means a lot to me, it's on the skate and replicate list. Pinning down an all time favorite is really hard with how many talented artists are involved in skating, I have an appreciation for all graphics and even more for ones that are screen printed. Whats funny about this question is I've ridden Baker logo boards for years, does a font count as a graphic

Who is your favorite skater?: Can any skater really say just one? Andrew Reynolds has always been a favorite, along with Heath Kirchart and Guy Mariano, we're all around the same age so I think it falls back on seeing them to do tricks that made me think it was possible to do myself, not that I could, but they pushed me to try things I wouldn't have necessarily tried. I need to add Dorian Tucker because skating with him changed my viewpoint on skating, he's got so much finesse on his board, I'll never tire of watching him. Plus, while thinking about finesse how could I not include Dylan Rieder. This list could get really long, there are so many different aspects that I love about skating/ers, trick selections, style, terrains, or you could be a person that is breaking boundaries like BA or Lacey Baker, they're both faves too. If you skate and are a positive force then you're one of my favorite(s). 

What's your least favorite part about art?: Acceptance. Selling/Marketing/Self Worth. Doubt. Satisfaction. Calling yourself an Artist.

What's your favorite food?: Toss up of either Artichokes, not the marinated/pickled type, Chocolate of any kind besides with fruit, or headcheese tacos from South Philly Taproom. Seriously.

Any upcoming shows or gallery openings?: October 20th at Booze Bros in Vista, CA. I'll be showcasing some specific skateboard graphics along with 10 beer labels that I've replicated from Ben Horton's art. Opening night there will be secret piece that will not be put on display, track down the guy with the 3 legged dog to see it.

Instagram: @justin.e.betts