Skateboarding and San Francisco go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise that new independent, artist-owned skate co, BearSloth Boards, was founded in the City by the Bay. BearSloth is owned by designer/illustrator/skater Nick Sirotich, who created the "Penny's World" collection for NeonMob, and who's artwork has been featured on Juxtapoz. Sirotich's new venture officially started in February 2015, although he tells me that it's been a year-long process of making connections with manufacturers and designing the line.
BearSloth boards are made of high quality, 7-ply Canadian maple, and are shaped, sanded, and polished by hand before Sirotich's digitally printed-graphics are applied. As for now, the designs are all made by Sirotich himself, but he hopes to collaborate with featured artists in the near future.
When I asked him why he decided to create his own skateboard company, he explains, "I have been both an avid skateboarder and dedicated artist/illustrator since I was a kid. I was mesmerized by skateboarding, the aesthetic and artistic aspect of it all, which admittedly shaped my style a lot as I grew into becoming a professional illustrator. I have been freelancing full-time for about eight years now and in that time I got to work with a lot of different companies, including several larger skate companies. After working in the skate industry for a while I began to see that a lot of the creative energy, wild imagery, and edgy artistry I remembered as a kid was being replaced with simple company-logo boards and less emphasis on design so I was driven to start a company that I felt was missing and much needed."
In case you're wondering what a "BearSloth" (cuz I did), Sirotich says, "BearSloth is a mythic beast with the patience of a bear and the power of a sloth!... But really, BearSloth was originally something of a nickname of mine in College. The bear kinda represents a drive to get stuff done, a furious ambition to make new art, see new things and have new experiences or whatever. The sloth kinda represents a laid back, really chill kind of demeanor, a way to take pride in my work but keep the ego in check. I take it to be a way of saying I will always work really hard on my projects but, I stay relaxed and don't take myself way too seriously. I've always liked the name so I thought it would be a good fit for this company."
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