Samuel Lucas, Illustrator / Graphic Designer Interview

Interview with Samuel Lucas, Illustrator / Graphic Designer. |  by Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

Samuel Lucas is a very busy graphic designer, but a happy one. Which makes talking to him a freaking pleasure . He took a little time to tell us his story and it’s basically the story of a dude who got to become involved in the work of some of his heroes. How do you beat that?

I know you basically do freelance stuff, but I’ve learned that now you're piling up some official jobs on top of that?

I know what you’re talking about but, well, to tell you the truth everything is pretty much freelance. Even with Thousand Islands Records [Canadian label], where I’m an art director, it’s still freelance, they pay me by the project. But it’s my choice. I worked briefly in an advertising agency but it just wasn’t my thing. No freedom, no artistic freedom. With Vazva, the spanish clothing brand, it’s the same type of arrangement. At one time, before the corona panic, I was doing four different collections or drops a year for them. I knew that throughout the year I’d be working for them during certain periods, which is cool for a freelancer, because it helped me fit the rest of my work around those dates. With the stuff I’m doing for Cruzade Skateboards it’s pretty similar.

Speaking of Cruzade, it’s funny because those graphics caught my eye recently and I had no idea who was doing them. They sort of reminded me of some Creature graphics but maybe a little more cartoonish.

Yeah, I’d been following their stuff pretty much since they started because they were working with a Spanish artist I thought was really good. I had thought more than once that I’d like to be able to work with them sometime and then one day they just sent me an email. We hit it off really quickly and got to work. But right now, man, the skateboard market is pretty insane. I just finished a collection for Cruzade in late April that’ll only be coming out in 2022. They don’t have enough raw material, enough wood to keep up with the demand.

  • Samuel Lucas on instagram
  • Follow
Yeah, I’d heard similar stories. But going back, I’d like to ask you how you started. Were you always drawing a lot, was there any particular gig that made you realize that you could do illustration for a living?

Well, I’d say I started when I was in high school, around 2009. We had this website for promoting punk shows and that’s when I began paying more attention to the bands I was listening to, learning about them and I remember noticing the Vans Warped Tour posters, how they looked. Then at about the same time I got into my school’s students’ union and there I was involved in actually organizing concerts. The first one we did was a Fonzie [Portuguese skate punk band] show. We had to draw a poster and there was no one else so I just thought I should give it a try. I still remember, the whole poster was done on Paint. But it must’ve worked, because just through word of mouth I started getting requests to design posters and other stuff for other Portuguese punk bands.

Eventually I won this international contest to design a merchandising line for Etnies. The prize was simply them going through with it, like actually producing and distributing the line like they do all their product. That gave me quite a bit of visibility. And I used it to open some doors. I’d get in contact with bands and be like “hey, I did this, what do you say?” From 2010 to 2014, while I was in college, all the money I made I could just spend on partying and going out. After college, and especially after having worked with big names like NOFX, The Casualties or No Fun at All, I thought maybe I should hold on to this more seriously, because it was what I enjoyed doing and I had been doing fine so far.

Your style definitely makes me think of a lot of 90s punk albums, and 80s skate graphics, Jim Phillips comes to mind... were you looking at the work of any particular artists or was it more a sort of vague influence from a whole era?

No, you’re right there. Jim Phillips was for sure someone I paid a lot of attention to. Him and his son Jimbo were both probably my main inspirations. There were also some other guys I really liked, like Sean Cliver, Brandon Heart... then more on the punk music side Horsebites (Richard Minino), Dan Mumford, Godmachine... I mean they’re all different but it’s also useful to be able to adapt a little bit according to each client’s needs.

I was looking at your stuff and thinking, this really is illustration. It’s not a drawing or painting that someone puts on a record cover or a skate deck, it illustrates an idea or tells a little story. How do you get to that? For example, for a record, do you talk with the band, do you get to listen to the album?

Yeah, usually they’ll send me the album while it’s still in production. Most of the times I’m either in contact with someone in the band or with a manager or someone like that and they’ll give me a starting point, a basic idea that I’ll explore. It’s usually a simple process. After the initial briefing we send the design back and forth a couple of times until it’s done. For example, if there’s an album that’s going to have a big booklet with all the lyrics and a lot of pages, I try to imagine a graphic solution that’ll run through all of it, something that’ll make sense from the cover, through the booklet and the cd itself, to the back cover. Right now Thousand Islands is preparing a compilation album. And “thousand island” is the name of a well-known type of salad dressing. So we’re redoing the label’s logo to look like a bottle of salad dressing and I was telling them that the compilation will have to look like a restaurant menu, with different types of dressings and stuff like that. Particularly in the case of punk bands, where most of the times they have something they really want to get across, you can take that conceptual side and explore it to the limit.

One example that I’m really happy with is the work I did for [Portuguese punk band] Artigo 21. Their album was going to be called Ilusão [Illusion] so I thought we should find a way to reveal every image as an illusion. The cover shows someone sitting at home, in a nice house, watching this smiling politician with a background of green trees on their smartphone. Then you open the cover and everything turns out to be complete shit. The dude is handcuffed to his phone, the trees behind the politician were a set, there’s a guy starving beside him, factories everywhere... Having the little cutout really increased the cover’s production costs, which for a Portuguese band, in the Portuguese market, could well mean that they’d have a hard time making their money back. But I’m glad they thought it was worth it anyhow.

That’s cool. It already says a little bit about your process but I wanted to ask you about a particular project you did. I really liked the board design you made for Trucks and Fins, the one with the UFOs, I think you nailed the site’s spirit. I wanted to ask you: how did you come to that one?

I’m also very happy with how that one turned out. The process, I mean, Haroun [T&F co-founder] just told me “you know what the site is about and you know our work so just do whatever you think is better” and, well, it was like you said, I just had to think about what the website was. I knew it had to be something pretty futuristic and then I thought it would be cool to refer to the website’s international scope, so I had the idea of including all these famous monuments. So yeah, I thought of these UFOs coming to steal all the skateparks and taking them to another dimension, which would be the dimension where Trucks and Fins is. When we do a new version we can continue the story and have the aliens skating the parks they stole on Mars or somewhere like that. Also, the central ship, which is taking a skatepark with a skater in it, is taking the Venice Beach skatepark, which for us is just as iconic as all the monuments that are lying about broken at the bottom.

It’s a great idea and a great graphic, I hope they’ll go into production some time soon. Before we go, are you working on anything cool right now, is there anything you’d like to announce?

There’s one thing that I’m really hyped on. Rastilho Records is doing a re-issue of Censurados Ao Vivo [classic Portuguese punk band live reunion album] and I’ll be doing the design for that. Also, I’m starting a collection for this American punk band that I’ve been a fan of for years. They’re called A Wilhelm Scream and they’ re huge in the States, and not just there of course. Their first t-shirts or posters were done by Jimbo Phillips and I was looking at them and thinking that I’d love to do something for those guys one day. Then about two months ago I got an email from their manager and I was ecstatic. I’m doing two designs for them.

That’s what I call a happy-ending. Thanks a lot, Samuel.

Check Trucks and Fins’ instagram for the chance of winning a Samuel Lucas custom-designed deck.

TRUCKS AND FINS INSTAGRAM

By Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

Get ready for the Super Crown World Championship in Rio de Janeiro

November 3, 2022 In a couple of days the best skaters will compete in the Olympic Park. With the highlights on the duel between the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro and the Japanese Yuto Horigome, as well as the phenomenon Rayssa Leal, from Brazil The Arena Carioca 1, at Parque Olimpico da Barra, will host, between the 5th and 6th of November, the Super Crown World Championship, the final stage of the Skate Street World League (SLS) 2022. This is considered the main skate street competition to be held in the country in 2022. For this year's edition, the SLS Super Crown World Championship expects to receive around five thousand fans a day. The important names of the modality are awaited in the search for the title. In the men's, the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro, who won the recent stage in Las Vegas, will have as his main opponent the Olympic champion, the Japanese Yuto Horigome, who leads the ranking.  Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk In the women's, Brazilian Rayssa Leal, who won all stages of the 2022 Street League Skateboarding (SLS), held in Jacksonville, Seattle and Las Vegas, arrives as the favorite. She also won the STU Open Rio, held at Praça Duó, in Barra da Tijuca. Second place in the STU Open Rio and in the world ranking, Pâmela Rosa also has a chance to win the third consecutive world championship.  In addition to the top four in the SLS men's and women's rankings, the top four will compete in the final after the qualifying stage, which will take place on Saturday, the 5th, at Arena 1 at the Olympic Park.  In the 2021 edition, TV coverage of the event was followed by more than six million people worldwide, while another five million were impacted by social media. In Brazil, the economy around the modality moves almost 200 million dollars, which places the country as the second largest skate business center in the world, after the United States of America. Visit StreetLeague website Watch Live

Read More

How many skateparks are there in the world?

November 2, 2022 The million dollar question? How many skateparks are there in the world?  Three years ago, this whole crazy journey started, because I wanted to make the first map of all the skateparks in Portugal. After completing my first country I decided to map out the rest of the world and basically never stopped uploading parks since then. The following data is not 100% accurate, because I am still uploading hundreds of new parks a week. But one thing if for sure. There are 16449 skateparks in the world on our map and I estimate there are around 23000 public skateparks around the globe. What country has the most skateparks? The United States of America has way more skateparks than any other country in the world and there are 7 countries with over 1000 skateparks. The United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Spain and Brazil are all members of the +1000 club. Below you can find a list of the current top 20 countries with the most parks. What country has the most skateparks per capita? Having the most skateparks is one thing. But who has the most parks per capita? Well, yesterday I put all the numbers in excel to find out. The results are surprising. Liechentstein comes on first place. This small country has 5 parks and a population of 38383, meaning you have a park for every 7676 people. The USA currently is far from reaching the top 20 list with one park for every 98782 people. Brazil is another country that disappears off the list with one park for every 214781 people. Below you can find the current status of population/skatepark for the top 20 countries. These lists and rankings will change over time whilst I continue to upload and find parks, but it does give us an idea of the current situation around the world. Know a skatepark that is missing on the map? You can add the skatepark here and help keep our map up to date! See all the skateparks in the world Add a skatepark to the map 

Read More

Style is fundamental in Olympic Skateboarding

October 31, 2022, interview with Marcos Hiroshi Subjectiveness, originality and fearless tricks are the secrets to success in Olympic skateboarding. In this third part of the interview with Marcos Hiroshi we get a comprehensive view about how judges value a good trick. Stay foolish is still a good mantra. How have the Olympics changed skateboarding in Brazil? We got the power to advocate. Skateboarding now has the same importance and relevance as many other sports. Now we can talk to politicians and demand a skatepark like other sports demand new facilities. Skateboarding is becoming more popular in Brazil… Yes, even folks who didn't know anything about skateboarding are now more curious. People want to know more about skateboarding and hear stories about their heroes. The bad image of skateboarding belongs to the past. A rider is not an outcast anymore. Skateboarding is now a kid’s sport. It's something that brings all people together. It's more than just winning or taking over the other one to rule. The image of that girl being raised was a landmark in the Olympics. The Japanese skater, Misugu Okamoto, missed the podium after bailing a flip attempt and falling into the concrete bowl. While she was crying, other competitors showed up to hug her and lifted her on their shoulders, becoming one of the most powerful images of that competition. This was the perfect calling card of skateboarding. Now you have that uncle who during a family dinner is talking about the young girls who are rocking in skateboarding, like Rayssa Leal. That's a good thing, because people are interested in skateboarding and it unites people.  It is about empowerment. Thanks to this, riders are receiving scholarships. They do not ride just to get a sponsor; they get money from the state or local government. That money will sustain the skater and that is a huge change! Furthermore, many specialists started to work on the backstage: therapists, physiotherapists, coaches, referees…  people who became professionals. I was in Tokyo during the Olympics and people from other sports were saying ‘hey, I like the way things work in skateboarding.’ They got impressed. You have conquered a place… Yes, but we are having some disputes with Worldskate, which is more related to roller skate. Skateboarding wants to take their own decisions and follow its own path. Worldskate has nothing to do with skateboarding. Fortunately, skateboarding is rising in other countries due to the Olympics. I went to China recently and I noticed how powerful skateboarding is. I saw some exceptionally good things in Turkey too. You are a judge member at skateboarding competitions, including the Olympics. How subjective is your analysis? There is a fixed value for a trick. The extra comes from other factors like did he do that it at the limit, the speed, style... For that we give hundredths of a point and that is what makes the difference. Let us say a deep slide is worth 5,10 but the guy who does that perfectly and with style gets 5,86. We value the one who makes the difference. It's not like snowboarding, where there are mandatory maneuvers with a closed and fixed value. Subjectiveness is one of the more important parts of skateboarding. Style and individuality mean a lot, which is the essence of skateboarding. We stand to prevent riders to become robots. How do the judges establish judgment rules? The CBSK created referee courses to explain, in each state, how the evaluation system works. Judges learn how to take notes, what to pay attention to, etc. Do you watch training sessions to? Yes. In the Olympics we must watch all training sessions since day one. Is there a specific training sessions’ number? Yes. If a competition starts on Thursday, then Tuesday and Wednesday are dedicated to practice and official training sessions. That is when we see what the athletes are preparing and what they are going to do in competition. We start to study them on previous days. Based on that we, the judges, start to set an average to a special trick. Give me an example. Let us say we see a guy doing a flipnose blunt. We start to discuss: how much should we grade it? And then we start to make charts to divide it in those items that we talked about before. We go to the park, too, to try it. It is impossible to understand the difficulty level of the obstacles from a higher point of view. By going there, we see the distance between obstacles, how high they are, witch side is more difficult, if there is a crack. Those details will help us to have a full guide and to give a fair rate. You must decide very quickly. Because competitions have TV broadcasting, judges cannot debate rates, we must decide almost immediately. We have 15/20 seconds to do it. That is why we prepare everything in advance. Is there a chance of a rider surprising you during a competition? That is almost impossible. If a rider wants to show a new trick, he must try it before, at training sessions, where we are studying them. I remember one time a guy doing a Caballerial nose flip. He was just trying, but we started to debate ‘how are we going to score this if he does it during the competition’? How many judges were you at the Olympics, in Tokyo? Five judges and a head judge. I was a park judge. Are the Olympics changing the skateboarding categories? Mixing styles in one competition is the future? Yes, the future is to combine all features at one single track. The rider of the future will be the one who has not just a category, he must do everything well. It is by watching championships that you see who has that profile. Andy Anderson is a good example; he is someone from freestyle who rocks in park. Park is still too attached to bowl and vert; the future will be a fusion of all these categories. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi Read interview part 2

Read More

Skatepark hunter in the highlight - Patrick Peeters - 100 skateparks added to the map

October 28, 2022, interview with skatepark hunter Patrick Peeters Meet Patrick Peeters, one of our top skatepark hunters, who visited 107 skateparks in less than a year. Patrick Peeters is a Belgian TV camera operator who discovered skateboarding during a "bad moment" in his life. Skateboarding helped him "clear" his mind and chasing skateparks in Europe has been his passion since then. 107 skateparks, in less than 1 year, is one hell of an effort, so we decided to have a chat and find out more. First, tell us something about you. Where are you from, what do you do and how/when did skateboarding turn part of your life. Hello, I'm Patrick, I'm 46, I live in Belgium where I work as a television cameraman. As a teenager I skated, but can't remember doing anything special. I just liked cruising around and jumping over some self-build quarters. Then I stopped skating for 30 years, but have been back on a board for the last year and half. So yep, I'm back skating again and love it. In the beginning actually my sister wanted to start with inline skating, so I went along at the local pumptrack with her and that's how it all started. What drives you to find, discover and help update new skateparks? I love to skate at different parks, just so I can find spots I like. Skating different parks helps me get comfortable on different surfaces, shapes, heights of quarters, and carve in different bowls. I was planning to make a Facebook Page or something similar, to collect my pictures of different parks, to get my own sort of database. And then I discovered Trucks and Fins. I knew this was what I was looking for. I believe there are more people that would love to have information and see quality photos of skateparks, before making the decision to go there or not. And that's why I love to help update the website. Can you tell us how far you go to explore a skatepark? When I drive to a skatepark the first reason is to find a spot to skate. The second reason is to get photos of the park because I am there. I'm lucky to be allowed by my chief to make some detours on my way to work abroad, so I can drive some extra km's to check out parks in France and other places. Along the way I have found some great skateparks. Recently I was on vacation in Tenerife and of course couldn't resist to check out all the local parks and put them on the Trucks and Fins website. You have visisted 107 skateparks, what are your favourite? And what about the worst? I didn't end up skating all the parks. Due to weather or not having a board I didn't skate every single one of the parks. But from the ones I did skate the worst was Grand Marais Skatepark near Amiens in France. It's a concrete bowl with a nice shape, but because it's old, there are pieces of concrete coming off everywhere. I just left after a couple of minutes. It really wasn't possible to skate there. The best? I can't really pick "a" favourite, so here are my top 3: Du Grand Large in Mons, Strombeek Bever near Brussels, and Sint Niklaas skatepark. They all have a nicely shaped bowl and a street section with different obstacles in an interesting setup and quality quarters. Based on your experience, does the average skatepark have the right features for average riders? What could improve? For me there is no ‘standard rider' because of the different disciplines. It's difficult to build a park that's right for all of them. For street you want lots of flat space and obstacles, for transition skating you want a lot of quarters and half pipes in different heights, and for a bowl you want a good closed bowl to carve around. But I guess Blaarmeersen in Gent, Sint Niklaas and Strombeek Bever are all-round good parks. What could improve is getting more in contact with the local skate community when building a park. I have visited a lot of big expensive parks with a bad surface, bad quarters, or the trend now to paint bowls... Skateboarding is a social gathering, too. Do you have a happy story at a skatepark you would like to share? Recently I met a woman who was skating but wanted to skate more and with other people. She was happy to learn about the 'skating for adults’ lesson I was following each week, and she joined our group. When I was on a little holiday in Vienna, Austria, I met some local skaters who invited me to their park, lended me a board, Vans and full protection gear so I could have a go. It was a fantastic moment skating together and being welcomed like that. What is your favourite trick? Not sure if it qualifies as a trick, but I love to carve and I hear nice comments about my carve skills. I know it's definitely not a standard skill. At the De Kuil bowl in Den Haag one skater said that at the time he first tried skating a bowl, he already skated 10 years but couldn't carve, and was impressed with my carving after 1 year skateboarding. Another skater said he held competitions between his friends to see who was able to carve a curve after a curve, but they couldn't do it. And to see me do it like I do after just 1 year was really great. So, I guess it is a trick! Who’s your favourite rider (actual or all time, it’s your call)? To be honest I don't follow any specific rider. I prefer to follow adults on their journey to learn to skate than more experienced skaters. But of course, as a kid and still now I know Tony Hawk and really like his style. Would you like add something I didn’t ask? I want to go more into what skateboarding has done for me. I started to skate when I was in a bad place in life. Skateboarding gave me a thing to focus on. Something to clear my mind, a reason to go outside and do something, to meet other people, and do some good exercise. It has helped me a lot on a mental and physical level, which I could never have imagined when I started. As I have become fairly active on Instagram with my skate account, I had some people who told me they are inspired by my journey, by my progress, and so I think it's given me an extra boost to share it all, the positive and the negative. And I always like to leave a positive remark or an encouraging note. We all have our own journey, our own progress, don't compare yourself to others. Just have fun and enjoy your own skills. Could you give us your opinion about our project, Trucks and Fins? I love it! It is exactly what I was looking for. A map with all the skateparks, with some pictures, so I can plan a skate trip to the parks of my interest. I hope every skater will get to know this map, and to use it for their trips. Patrick Peeters Instagram See Patrick Peeters his skatepark portfolio

Read More

How has the Rayssa Leal phenomenon changed the image of skateboarding in Brazilian so...

October 4, 2022 How has the Rayssa Leal phenomenon changed the image of skateboarding in Brazilian society? Well, let's start off with this... In 2022 there are more girls than boys in skateboarding schools in Brazil. Don't miss the second part of this conversation with Marcos Hiroshi, former Brazilian professional rider, where we tried to understand how Brazil turned into a massive player in the world of skateboarding.    How do you explain the evolution of skateboarding in Brazil? We had ups and downs, but at one time skateboarding started to appear frequently on TV and city halls all around Brazil started investing in skateparks. We had this mayor in São Paulo who started building a skatepark in each community youth Centre (places with schools, specialized courses and sports equipment, including, of course, skateparks). In São Paulo around thirty skateparks were build and the city became a reference in skateboarding. Most of these skateparks were built in the city’s outskirts, in poorer neighborhoods and many good riders came out of those initial skateparks. Mainstream media helped, too… Indeed. It was when the X-Games appeared. Suddenly, skateboarding was on TV all the time and we had our ace, Bob Burnquist, who became a true ambassador. Many others came afterwards: Sandro Dias, Rodrigo TX, Tiago Lemos, Luan Oliveira and the most recent of all, Rayssa Leal, who at the age of thirteen years old won the silver medal in the Olympics. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk What was the impact caused by Rayssa Leal in Brazil? A tremendous impact. Every child wants to ride now. Parents are being pressured by their kids to put them in skateboarding schools. The Olympics showed that a little girl can ride and have fun like if she was in a playground. I can even tell you more. In Brazil now, we have more girls than boys in skateboarding schools! Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk You have accumulated a lot of experience in skateboarding events in Brazil… Yes, we acquired a lot knowledge in the last two decades. The CBSK (Brazilian Skate Confederation) exists for twenty years and has many skillful people. We have associations, federations, statutes, projects connected to schools, you name it. They are also many social associations that take kids from streets through skateboarding. All this know-how resulted in big events and we have created a whole group of specialized people along the way. The image of skateboarding in Brazil has changed… For sure. It became mainstream and less marginalized. Several years ago, parents didn't want their kids to skate. And a girl? Never! But now that all changed overnight. The general public now understands something about skateboarding because the Olympics and all the Brazilian "skateboarding" idols. Now we have public money allocated to skateboarding, to prepare the Olympics, because skateboarding is an official sport. This money is also used to build more skateparks. The CBSK has an agreement with local and central government to act like an official advisor with skatepark builders to prevent bad constructions. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk How many skateboarders do you have in Brazil? A search made in 2015 by Data Folha (data platform from newspaper Folha de São Paulo) concluded they were about 8,5 million skateboarders in Brazil, but I can say for sure that we have now more than ten million, after the Olympics in Tokyo. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi See all skateparks in Brazil

Read More

SIGN-UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Join the Trucks and Fins community and receive exclusive news, giveaways, access to subscribers-only
-contests, discounts from our partners and much more directly from us!

Advertisment

Testimonials

Sponsored By

Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalized recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy.