Shepard Fairey’s on lessons learned from skateboarding

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Shepard Fairey wrote an interesting note on his blog this week about skateboarding. He asserted that skateboarding had taught him resilience. I had never thought about things in those terms. But thinking back about how many times I wrecked myself trying to stomp a new trick, it seems very logical that the determination, perseverance and resilience from that era in life had something to do with shaping the present version of me. Here is what Fairey had to say about the photo above:

My friend Jason Filipow found this shot of me from the summer of ’88 on the internet. We don’t know who took the photo, but it is from a spot called the Junkyard, an abandoned concrete slab on Sullivan’s Island South Carolina. The Junkyard was a really fun spot where we built a bunch of ramps as we were able to buy or “acquire” wood. I remember clearly that I was riding an S.M.A Rocco Division Jesse Martinez with OJ Team Rider wheels and independent trucks. I learned to ollie boardslide handrails on that setup. We had a great crew that skated The Junkyard almost daily, including Jason Filipow, Alfred Hawkins(who can be seen at the right edge of the frame), David Stowe, and Kevin Taylor. I’m still friends with all of them,  and they are all successful artists and designers. The creativity and rebellion of skateboarding shaped who we’ve become profoundly. I’m teaching my daughter to skate now. I was reminded of another valuable thing skateboarding helped me with after I slammed on my tail bone skating with my daughter today… resilience! Skateboarding taught me to cope with pain and keep going.

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