Thursday, 20 December 2012

Grip tape Graphics 101

So the time had finally come for me to try and conquer the task of applying a black and white image onto the grip tape of my skateboard. I decided liquid paper, or white out as some refer to it, and a black permanent sharpie marker would suffice for the job at hand. I was a bit concerned about messing up the grip tape of my brand new board so I figured I'd better start of small.

For my first test and attempt at this I chose a Skate Rags skull that I saw in a Thrasher magazine add, it was a cool looking little skull and wasn't very typical in regards to what a skull generally looked like. I started applying the white out at the nose of the board, the white out brush wasn't getting in the rough texture of the grip tape very well, so I poured a small pile on the grip tape and began spreading it with the brush to achieve the general shape of the skull. Once I had achieved my desired shape I went in with the sharpie, cleaned up the edges, and began doing the details inside of the skull. Surprisingly it didn't take me long at all and the final product looked spot on considering I free handed the whole thing.

It was now time to test the integrity of my work to see how it would hold up with the wear and tear of my feet on it, so I set out on my board and headed to my favourite skate spot for the evening, Ching Library. After countless hours of thrashing I headed home. Once I arrived I inspected my new grip tape graphic and I was amazed to see it was still in perfect shape asides from a bit of dirt on it. I grabbed a wet J cloth from the kitchen and reluctantly began to wipe away at the dirt. Incredibly the dirt came off with ease and the image stood strong, bold, and un compromised.
I knew it was time for a second attempt.

When I returned home from high school the next day I headed straight to my room with my skateboard to create another new image. I wanted to do something fairly large and complex that would demand people's attention and respect. I flipped through the pages of Thrasher inspecting the tiny t-shirt adds but nothing caught my eye. Suddenly I clued into the fact that all my band t-shirts were black and white, so I started rifling through my closet until one shirt caught my eye, an SNFU shirt.

I ran back to my other room (I had 2 bedrooms) excitedly and got to work. I wanted the image to be the size it was on the shirt so it would fit the top portion of the grip tape, minus the area near the nose where the Skate Rags skull was. I ended up having to pour out the whole bottle of liquid paper and spread it strategically in the general shape I needed to work with, then just like the day before I grabbed my sharpie and got to work. Again I started with the outline and worked my way along the edges until it was complete, and once again I did all the detailing inside of the outline to produce another mind blowing finished product! Feeling great about the job I did and being eager to show it off, I hit the streets to shred and see who I might bump into along the way...

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