>> faux_heimat >>faux_kultur

FauxAmi Interview
Ed Templeton

by Juan Jose Moya 2005 for Staf Magazine

Ed Templeton turned skateboard pro in 1990 for New Deal skateboards. Started the company "TV" with Mike Vallely in 1992. Started Toy Machine in 1993. Brought Toy Machine to Tum Yeto in 1994. He is the president, acting team manager, and graphic designer for Toy Machine as well as being a pro for them. He is an contemporary artist as well and has art shows all over the world.

Place of Birth: Garden Grove, California

Eating Preference: 100% Vegan


Hey Ed. How’re you doing?


Where are you right now? What time is it?

I am in Huntington Beach, California, it’s 1:49 in the afternoon. I’m at my house in the suburbs.

What were you doing five minutes ago? I mean, are we interrupting something important?

I was talking to my mom, she wanted some money. She came over to show me pictures. She is always taking pictures.

Okay then. Let’s go right down to it.
Your professional career is quite diverse, or schizoid we might say… To someone that didn’t know you or your stuff, what would you say you are? A skater? An artist? A photographer? Are all of them synonyms? Or maybe you are just a business man??

I guess I am all those things and also none of them. I can’t understand people who do only one thing with their time on this earth. I was fortunate enough to have the time to do all of this stuff, and subsequently, I have no time!




Back in the days, you were directly involved in the freestyle street stuff happening 15 years ago or so… That was possibly one of the most interesting creative moments in the history of skateboarding… Don’t you miss that? Don’t you miss living history in present tense?

We are all living history right now! You never know what is going to be memorable 10 years later. So the only thing to do is just live your life. We didn’t know that what we were doing on handrails was going to mean anything or change skateboarding. It’s fun to look back on, but I don’t miss it. I look forward to what is next. Skating changes, and you have to go along with it if you want to be involved. Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand!

In those days you had kind of a close relation with Jason Lee, right? Tell us a bit about the old days. Is that relation still that close?

Yes, Jason was my skate buddy from 1997 to 1989. We skated together every single day and competed against each other in learning new tricks. It really pushed us! We got better faster than all of our friends because we were always making sure that we were better than each other. If I learned a new trick, Jason had to learn it that very same day. It was truly a great time! I feel like we took skating in new directions. We started doing “freestyle” tricks down stairs, like impossibles and 360 flips. No street skaters were doing that stuff. Gonz and Natas were not even doing it. Then Jason left skating to be in the movies. We didn’t talk very much at all during that time. I e-mail him once in a while. I have seen him a lot more since he started doing Stereo again...


Jason and his mate Chris Pastras were in the cover of the previous Staf issue. You’re in the cover of this one. He was/is a skater, and now an actor too. You were/are a skater, and now a visual artist too. Is it that people like you and Jason are so damn creative that you can just stick to one single thing? Or is it maybe that you tried to redirect your professional career because just skating wasn’t that fun anymore?

I don’t know about Jason, but skating has never lost it’s fun for me. I have always done it, from when I started to now. The only time I had to stop was in 2000 when I broke my neck, and that was only 6 months. Skating is great, but there is more in life than that. I can’t understand doing only one thing forever, especially as a job. You will have a hard time being a pro street skater when you are 45! That is why I started Toy Machine, to be able to work in skating forever. The art career was not really planned, it just happened. I started doing shows and it just happened. Now I will be doing that as my job as well as skateboarding until I get to crusty to be a pro.

Do you think the days we’re living right now are as innovative as the old days when everybody would come up with a new trick?

I think skating was very close minded for a while, but now you are seeing certain people take it to new levels. I think we are living a very great time in skating, but only time will tell. People like Geoff Rowley, Marc Johnson, and Kenny Reed, are doing new things by using their talent on new and different obstacles. The days of the rail, hubba, and gap are over. People want to skate and see new obstacles.


If you look back to that, and then take a look on what’s happening now on the streets and skateparks… Don’t you think things are a little bit stuck? I mean, it’s obviously much more difficult to come up with something really new….

There are still new way to do things. New tricks can and will be invented, just watch.

How about that applied to the visual arts? Which do you think was or is the most creatively interesting moment in the history of graphic design?

I really don’t know anything about graphic design! All I know is how to make a toy Machine ad, and a skateboard graphic! I like Mike Mills’ graphic design, and Geoff McFetridge too. But I have no idea what the best moment in graphic design was. As far as skateboarding goes, the best time was in the mid 90’s. Board graphics were changed every month, which means that every pro had to have 12 new graphics a year. If a company had 5 or 6 guys on the team that means that a company would have to make like 72 graphics a year! That really changed things because it took away the importance of the single great graphic, and helped spawn a whole new, artsy, and series driven wave of skate graphics. Now boards stay out for 3 or 4 months.


In some way you could compare that creative burst that happened in skateboarding when some people find out that some really weird stuff could actually be done with a deck, and the landing of computers into graphic design… or am I talking shit?

Computers helped make it faster for sure. Computers are still changing board graphics! There are new ways to do things all the time! I used to do all the graphics full size, but now I do them only big enough to fit on the scanner!

Actually, observing your artwork one might come up spontaneously with the conclusion that you don’t really love computers, at least in the way they affect to graphic design and illustrating. I mean, we see a lot of handmade traces and kind of kid-drawing-style in your artwork… Would that be far from the true?

Yes. I never liked the way that a computer just made everything clean. Too clean! Look at a magazine from the 60’s, they did all of that by hand, with no computers! Even the very clean layouts were done by hand. You could always see evidence of the hand. So all the toy machine stuff is done on the computer, but I go out of my way to make it look like it was done by hand. I rarely use type, and I always make the picture boxes a little off. It shows the people who see them that I spent time making it. I thought about it. I think people notice that and appreciate it.


So what is it you love to use while working on an empty canvas? Tell us a little bit about your artistic process when you work on a piece.

I just like when I have an idea and it comes together as a good looking painting. It is easy to make a painting that means nothing but looks cool. It is great when you make one that looks beautiful and also says something.

Pieces. Yours are many and come in different formats. But do you have a favorite canvas: webstuff, decks, photographs, full page ads, notebooks…?

No favorites really. I guess paintings would be the most rare and then precious to me. But I do too much stuff to really have a favorite. They are all a favorite when I am doing them!

And switching to skateboards, we might guess your answer, but do you rather skate vert, street or transition?

Streets. Never Vert. Mini ramp and skate parks all the time!


How about the creative process in skateboarding. You know a little bit about this, don’t you? Tell us how do someone come up with the idea of a new trick? When does usually the “eureka” stuff appear? While skating, driving, trying to find sleep, in the bathroom?

I can’t really say. I think it just happens when you realize that you can really do almost anything on a board, and then you start fucking with it. That is what Geoff Rowley looks like he is doing. He knows he is as good as you can get, now it is time to mess with it.

How is it that there’s possibly more people trying to find out new tricks on a skateboard risking their own body, whereas not many people risk anything trying to find new ways for graphic design? Or do you know many designers with broken legs?

They are totally different things! Both are mental, but only one is physical. You can try new and crazy things on a computer all day, and all you are gonna do is get fat. Trying new and crazy things on a skateboard can put you in the hospital.


Maybe it is that there’s some psychological pain in opening yourself to the people that hurts deeper than physical damage.

There is a risk to be taken when your artwork is about very personal things...

But… Anyway, what does the word “pain” means for a skater?

The same as it does for anyone, but as a skater you have a better relationship with it. Skating is 80% falling down! You better get used to it.

And for an artist?

The only pain there is being rejected.

And for the person Ed Templeton?

I don’t like it, but I am used to it.

Okay, okay. We’re going a little too abstract, aren’t we? Let’s go for something lighter:
What’s your favorite color?



Favorite trick?

Noseblunt slides


Ghost World


The new Evens record, Ian MacKaye’s new band.


Right now, Sydney Australia, but that changes a lot.

Skate company?

Toy Machine Bloodsucking Skatebaord Company, RVCA clothing, Emerica.

But hey, wait a minute. In this capitalist emporium we live in… Isn’t a bit disgusting even to ask ‘what’s your favorite company’? I mean, in skateboarding is a bit different, or it used to be… Do you think that still skate companies are rid by people who love it and that aren’t in it just for the money?

I hate most other companies, like McDonalds and stuff. These days a lot skaters are riding for certain companies just for cash?

How about Toy Machine? Are you in it just for the money?

I barely make any money doing Toy Machine! I’m in it to help my riders out, and make skateboarding the way I think it should be.


Anyway, to consider you yourself on your website your own venture ‘a bloodsucking company’ is cool… and strange. What’s behind those words? What’s behind Toy Machine in the end?

All companies are Bloodsucking bastards! Toy Machine included! We just don’t try to hide it. All boards are exactly the same, the only difference is in the graphics and ads. So we are selling the idea that we are an evil company trying to brainwash kids. The kids see that we are joking and hopefully have a laugh.

If that last question was made to me, I would say that Toy Machine has a lot to do with the epic ‘Do It Yourself’ punk statement. Prove me wrong. Or right.

That is part of it. Everything in life is there if you just take it. I want kids to know that. It is not about school or teachers. It is about doing it. The minute you start doing what you want, it all starts working for you. Teachers can help, but you have to just start doing whatever you plan on doing with your life.


"The Judas Goat" Ausstellung Jan 05

The exhibiton "The Judas Goat" - Jan 05 in London as QuickTime VR´s.

Einfach links in die beiden kleinen Bilder klicken, oder:

>>The Judas Goat VRmov1

>>The Judas Goat VRmov2

Dank der 360 Grad Rundumsicht und der Möglichkeit sich durch den Raum zu bewegen kann ein guter Eindruck gewonnen werden.(Quicktimeplayer notwendig)

(Den Apple QTVR Browser PlugIn gibt es hier!)


So are you the typical guy that decided to set up his own skate company just to make the graphics or you have a real and personal vision on the skateboard business? If so, hehe, what is it?

I hate the business side of it. I started to just have something to do when I got to old to be a pro. Now I have learned a lot about the business side, but I still just want to have a regular company that treats it’s riders good and makes stuff that says something.

Okay. If you don’t have anything to add, we’re done. So, last call for any stuff I didn’t think of asking you but you’re willing to answer.

Vote with your dollars. What you buy is the only way to send a message to the government and the corporations that run it. Money is all they hear. So don’t buy anythign from fucked companies, and do buy stuff from good companies. That is how things will change.

So. What you’re gonna do now? Any plans for the day? And for the night?

I’m going to sleep, I have a headache from looking at my computer screen too long.

Okay. Enjoy it whatever it is. Thanks for taking the time to answer and take care. It’s been a pleasure.






A book from Ed : "The Golden Age of Neglect"

Contact Staf Magazine: >> stafpromo@gmail.com

Web Staf: >> www.stafmagazine.com

here you can DL the magazine as PDF for free!



FauxAmi ist nicht verantwortlich für die Inhalte externer Internetseiten.
Diese Seite wurde erstellt von www.braitling.de