And so that was 2017 eh?
What a year. For those that haven't been following this is/was Doric Skateboards first year.
Born out of a desire to express myself and combine two passions that have at various times and for various reasons lay dormant in me - skateboarding and art - Doric Skateboards launched on the 31st March 2017.
The ethos was pretty simple - a skate brand influenced by the North East - its people, its culture, its architecture and everything in-between.
I won't bore you with stats - how many decks sold, how many tees/hoodies blah blah.
I'll bore you with other stuff though! A highlights reel. And its a highlights reel that will consist of things and people and experiences and thoughts that i never would have guessed would have happened. And for that i am thankful! They often say life is full of surprises and without meaning to sound trite - its true. In a good way.
So join me on a journey of the countdown in no particular order!!
Learning A New Skill
Screen printing. It was always the intention to screen print the graphics onto the skateboards, and to do it myself. The graphics i obsessed over as a kid (and still do!) were screened and so it was something i was going to do too. It also meant that i would be handling every single deck and doing it all myself. It would be easier to get them done by one of the many companies that print up decks for other skate brands but where's the fun in that? No insult to anyone who does that but i believe in paying your dues and at the level i am at its possible to knock out decks in the quantity needed. Learning to screen print was and still is scary but really satisfying. At the beginning i thought i knew what it was - that turned out to be slightly different from reality...! So big thanks to Peacock Visual Design on Castlegate - and James in particular! Cheers for the help and you guys are doing a grand job!
I've met a whole host of people on this journey and they've all been pretty much everything you'd hope to find in a person - supportive, enthused, interested, interesting. I'm not massively comfortable in social situations (although some folk would say that's bollocks) but the people i have met have made me feel comfortable. From Ciaran Fowler at Brawlight Films (more to come next year!), Gaby at Small Stories (and her fam!), Emma at Geek Bothy, Joe and Mike from Transition, Zee Yule of Edinburgh Local and Dopezine and Jon Reid (the man who's not so much in the loop of cultural goings on in Aberdeen but is the loop!). All these folk and more have been great! Also managed to meet some skating buddies! It's hard when you get back into skating and being my age - you don't make friends like you used to! But great to have Matty, Martin and Barry to have a chat and a skate with - and they've been a great support.
Following closely with this was the collaboration with one of these folk i met. Justins art has always been on my radar and we actually grew up around the corner from each other. And now as adults we find ourselves around the corner from each other again! But we'd never met. Total honour to have his art on Doric decks - can't wait to do more next year! Check him out on IG Honkemon and FB Honkydoodledoo!
We were lucky enough to get involved in a few pop ups this year. Starting with Slains Castle, then Etsy and ending the year with the awesome HAAN! Thanks to Kirsty, Laura and Sally and their teams for letting us be part of these. Loved every minute of them and canna wait to do more!
Getting to be on a podcast to talk about Doric Skateboards was a massive deal! I listen to podcasts every single day. I don't sleep too well so 4am i can often be listening to something! So when Ica from Creative-me-podcast asked me to be on i jumped at the chance. Great guy with a great idea and it was cool to hear the subsequent episodes too! Looking forward to more next year!
So happy to be asked to do a wee presentation/talk on Doric Skateboards at Art Hive. Art Hive is the brainchild of Jane Ronie and Kelly-Ann Cairns - they provide an informal, judgement free zone to discuss anything art and culture related. Loved every minute of it and would jump at the chance to do it again! Keep yer eyes peeled for Art Hive!
So thanks to everyone mentioned here and to all others that i've forgotten. And a shout out to my Mum and Nicola for listening to me - or maybe you invested in invisible ear plugs?? And to my brother Mark (of Forty Two Studio and an amateur production of Mary and Joseph fame: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6005908/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_2).
Roll on 2018! Can't wait to get going again! Some collaborations lined up already and some ideas of my own i want to get going with. And hopefully i'll get on my board more too. That's a must.
And an obvious thanks to everyone who has bought anything or support us on social media. Means a lot and keeps me going when i get over analytical!