A little while ago London-based illustrator Matthew Bromley put his freelance illustration career on hold in favor of a nine-to-five design job. This regular salary has meant Bromley could fund his very own skate label, Blast Skates. This week, the new brand launches a series of three beautiful British-made boards featuring new artwork by James Jarvis, Marcus Oakley and Jon Boam.
"Being a skateboarder and an illustrator, I've always wanted to do skateboard graphics and artwork but my work didn't fit the brands that I liked and there was no connection to make it possible," Bromley tells CH about the birth of his new venture. "Roughly two years ago I thought, 'I'm gonna do this myself!' and drew up the logo, created the first stickers, then T-shirts and other bits before getting to work on the most important bit, a board," he says.
As well as the Sidewalk Psycho board—featuring Bromley's Blast Skates logo and happy skateboarding character—the label will launch three boards a year as part of its ongoing Chronological Series. "The idea for the Chronological Series is simple: once a year we'll work with three different artists who'll each work with the same color palette to create the artwork for three new shaped boards which we'll the release along with a new comic by illustrator (and fellow skater) Kyle Platts. The artwork for each year's triple release will be inspired by a pivotal moment in history." This first iteration's theme is dinosaurs, and Boam, Oakley and Jarvis have each created artwork for the boards in the chosen colors; red, white and blue.
Each of the CS1 boards has been made by A Third Foot in Birmingham, England. "The guys at A Third Foot have been pressing boards for quite some time now; they're super-good,” says Bromley. “They really know what they are doing and it's very important to me that Blast Skates supports the British skateboard scene. Each of our skateboards is handmade, pressed, shaped and printed. They take time to make and a lot of hard work goes into them. Once they are gone though, that's it—they are gone, we won't make any more."
The first Chronological Series skateboards is available in strictly limited, hand-numbered editions of just 20, available online for £70.
Images courtesy of Blast Skates