Chet Childress: “This board cost me more money hanging out in bars than what I made in royalties”


Figured out it was time for a little update, and since Chet Childress’art is all over Cliché boards and collabs these days, lemme jump on the bandwagon…
On other related skart news, I am proud to announce that a brand new limited edition screen print is semi-currently being sent into the pipelines. And yes, it will be, again, ’90s-related… Sorry. I am old, won’t get any better as years go by I’m afraid. Enjoy Chet’s Memory Screened!


On the chalkboard at Chet Childress’ place in Portland, a few motivational sentences are written down. You know, the usual you would expect from a pro skater: “Keep your head up”. “Do taxes”. “Film tricks. Get tricks.”
But as far removed as the next cookie-cutter, energy drink-chugging wunderkid would be from the redheaded North Carolinian with a beard the size of an decently-sized door mat, there are more unusual statements on Chet’s board. Such as? “Give up on the word Love.”
Well, seen the enthusiasm Luda manifested when time came to talk about art on skateboards in general -with the noblest disdain for his own pro-models, as the dude scratches off his name from them- looks like there’s at least one thing he hasn’t fully given up love for…

DSC_0143Black Label Jeff Grosso Bukowski (2000)
Art by John Lucero

“I just respect Grosso very much, he’s a rad dude who went through so much shit and he’s made it alive. And Bukowski is the drunkest poet I know, and writer, and he’s always been the white trash hero writer for any of us. It’s one of the boards I have hanging on my wall at home -I have none of my pro-models there, that’s fucking tacky. I’ve never been like, “Check me out, here’s me, here’s my name.”

I mean, it’s Grosso, a dude I’ve been looking up to since I was a kid, and Bukowski, who’s the sickest writer ever. I thought this worked out. I was at Black Label when that board came out and I just swooped it quick.”

DSC_0147Designarium T-Moss Pin Tail (2004)
Art by Thomas Campbell

“Those were given to me by my buddy Chuck who works at NHS, he’s the sickest dude. When I bought my house in Portland, I specifically requested to have these cause I’ve always been a fan of Thomas Campell’s and his art. Chuck had these things kinda just hanging out, and I still owe him art for that gift -now it’s in print, Chuck!  I loved the lines and the curves on that board, all that. I took a few skate shots with Thomas when I was in Santa Cruz, he’s a pretty rad dude. He’s always making movies, making art. He’s an inspirational dude.”

DSC_0144One-off Bad Brains stencil (2007)

“I was living in Portland with Al Partanen for a year and a half and we had that huge porch, we were just always making all kinds of junk out there. That was I think two and a half years ago. We’d get baked and make art to pass time, you know?

Al just happened to cut that stencil and he made like three or four boards, but I had to pick that one from him ’cause it’s that all-classic shape, board and colors. I think Al still has one of the boards, Grant Taylor has one, and there’s one floating around somewhere else. We’d put that stencil everywhere around the house. We’d put it on shirts, boards. And then…  You know how it is when you do a stencil too much: it retires itself, it’s just done.”

DSC_0141Black Label Napkins (2009)
Art by Chet Childress

“I wanted to do a board where if you buy that board, you get more of a piece of me. So I got this idea to have each one of these 250 boards come out with something unique. I spent a lot of money at bars getting drunk in coffee shops and bars, just drawing on napkins, in order for every single board to come up with one actual napkin. For sure, it cost me more money hanging out in these places than what I made in royalties (laughs). It was for a very noble cause, though.

The graphic itself is from one of the napkins, it just talks about that little mid-life crisis, getting older and getting crazier by the day. Some people mellow out and other people just stack up all the years of things happening, and they become crazy, or intellectual, or any of these fucking words. ‘Make any sense? I’m more 50-50.”

DSC_0138One-off spray can art board (2009)
Art by Chet Childress

“We had this skate spot in Portland, Pirate Town, which was man-made, there was a ton of graffiti and painting going on, and one day my friend was skating, I wasn’t so into it so I was walking around and found all these rusty spray cans. So I started to line them up and do peace signs, faces. I took photos of it all and brought them to my girlfriend’s home, where me and Jason Adams were just making a bunch of art crap. One of the shots ended up on that board.

For paint, I used plaster for walls and cans of horrible paint. I did two like these, actually three cause they were at an art show and I sold one, so I put a kinda high price on the remaining ones, I didn’t want to sell them. I usually sell art for pennies though, cause I ain’t trying to get rich.”


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Le boardnographe du phonographe

This is an archive for my eponymous monthly page in Skateboarder mag. Plus a few extras few and far between, whenever I get a chance...
Absolutely shameless, unrated boardnography, exposed! -minus the Ebay guilt. Enjoy the visite...

_Seb Carayol
Memory Screened Inc. and subsidiaries' CEO



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