A man who has traveled all over the world creating his art, spreading his good vibes, and living the adventurous lifestyle.
Full name? Age? Where you were born?
My name is Chris Dyer, I’m 31 years young. I grew up in Lima, Peru till age 17 and now base from Montreal, Canada.
What got you into skateboarding and how has it directed your life?
I started skating at age 8, back in 1987, with some school friends. Lima had 1 good skatepark and we’d go there weekly to have fun on the concrete waves. Skateboarding stayed with me the rest of my life and I love it because its is something you can do alone, no need of a team or coach, just an artistic physical expression that allows me to cruise through my urban landscape. The graphics on the boards in the 80’s also where some of my first artistic inspirations and eventually with time I ended up doing skate graphics myself, but with my own personal style and themes.
How did you pick up a knack for drawing and creating art and where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am a creative kid by nature, I get uncomfortable if I am not making something. It’s been this way since very young. I get grounded when exercising Creation. Whatever you do in abundance you eventually get good at. My inspiration comes from everything I experience from people, places, music, toys, moments and of course all the great art out there. I definitely have more inspiration than time to put everything down into images.
How/when did you get hooked up with High Grade Distribution and what has your role been since then?
When I started my freelance art career back in 2004, I already had painted on around 70 broken skateboards and I thought it would be good to sell these images to a brand in the industry. though different brands (like Element for example) loved what I did, it was too different from anything done before so didn’t fit the estetic boxes they had built for themselves.
I found out about Creation Skateboards sinchronistically by getting a sticker from one of it’s ams Geoff Dermer (from BC) who was passing by Montreal. The brand was pretty new so when I submitted my work they went for it. My first series was the best selling one they had yet so I became a regular artist on the brand and still am till this day. By now Ive done like 50 graphics for them, and they tell me I helped create a general image for the graphics on that brand. I also did a few t-shirt designs for Satori as well as a wheel series that remains in their catalog today.
Because of this work I did for them, Craig the owner flew me out to San Francisco every summer to chill with him and the people of the High Grade fam. We became good friends and I got to befriend a lot of the awesome people on the teams. I Love the brands and general vibe of it and behind the curtains, even if humans can have personal struggles as well. I want to keep doing art for them to help the brand get to the next level of success.
I’ve seem some of your self portraits of you hitch hiking. Have you dabbled in that recently or have any good tales from life on the road?
Traveling and hitchhiking where things that helped me wake up from Babylons hypnotic robot dance. Getting away helps you see things from many perspectives and get a rounded view on reality. Ive visited almost 30 different countries on the planet and try to learn from each place.
Though I still cruise around a bit, for shows mostly, I am trying to focus on my art career so I can afford further trips. For now I’m pretty satisfied and can take a bit of a break from constant movement.
Last time I hitchhiked was on my birthday in March. I was in southern Belgium hiking around power-spots with ancient megalithic rocks and ruins and needed to get back to catch my train. Then I was in Hawaii in June, for a visionary art conference, and met a couple of locals that took me around the island checking the nature sites.
Out of all your travels all over the world where have you found the most peace? Where have you found the most chaos? Where did feel the most compelled to paint or create new things?
Hmmm. I guess the most peace I remember on a trip would be at the end of my 6 month trip to Asia. I traveled around Burma on my own, there was this town by a huge lake, with another town built on the lake itself, on stilts, it was super chill. Id rent a motor boat for the day and just cruise around looking at the super interesting culture and stuff. Just being by myself observing life on an alien planet.
The most chaos I’d always find in my hometown of Lima. It really wacks me out. I would have to compare it also with Bangkok in Thailand, pretty chaotic place.
The most compelled to do art. I am always down to do art, I usually at least draw in my sketchbooks on a daily. Some trips I bring an old skate on my back and do little paintings on it as I move around. Then another trip, to Cancun, Mexico in 07 I stayed 2 months at the studio of some artists and I was very productive with them. And then I could take days off to go to the beach or check Mayan ruins. Pretty sweet combination.
I remember seeing photos of a Hawaiian retreat you took. what was that all about and how did it affect your spirit?
Yeah that was a visionary art congress I got flown out to. It was a chill festival revolving around that spiritual colorful kind of art with around 20 of the top representatives of that genre, including Alex Grey and Robert Venosa. It was super fun and I met lots of amazing people. That big island was also very healing for me, especially since I live in a city and don’t get so much nature and ocean time.
I also got a chance to have a little event for the skate scene, at a shop called Oasis. I did some live art and freestyled on boards n stuff. Good vibes.
What do you think humanity can do to save it self / create more awareness for what’s going on?
Well, its a hard question to answer in general. I think we all gotta do different things, and each of us has to find what our particular mission is. No one man can solve all the many problems of our planet. But if we each take a task and pull our weight, I think our odds greatly increase. In a nutshell, just do something, anything, cause if we all contribute a grain of sand we will create a beach of goodness to live on. But if we remain apathetic we will be wiped away by the waves.
What type of music gets you going?
I’d say my favorite kind of music is progressive rock, but I love many kinds of music from hip hop, to reggae, jazz, rock, funk, etc. I love collecting records, I got a decent collection that keeps me busy. There’s lots time for music when you paint all day. I also love listening to books on tape to keep on expanding the mind as I work.
If you could go back in time and kick it with 3 people, who would they be and why?
Dang that’s a tough question…. Leonardo Da Vinci would be super interesting. Mati Klarwein (artist who did the art for Santana’s Abraxas album cover n beyond) would be a treat for sure. Jesus would be cool too,cause Im curious who he really was, maybe a super wise Acene with arch of the covenant super powers?
Are you on any special diets or have any special eating habits others could benefit from?
Well, I’ve been vegetarian for a few years now, though I’ll eat fish every now n then. I try to buy the most organic possible, especially vegetables. On day I skate I’ll drink super food green drinks that fuel my energy. For breakfast I eat oatmeal with maca powder (peruvian root super food) and goji berries (asian power superfood) but then on saturdays I’ll go out and eat greasy fried eaggs n potatoes, coffee n toast. Gotta have a bit of fun too, no?
Probably the most common question you get asked… how long have you been growing them dreads for?
I’ve had dreads for 10 years now. They get pretty heavy and I get sore necks and it screws my balance on a skateboard (not that I have that much balance anyways), so I shorten them a bit when I feel it’s getting too much. Other than that it keeps my head warm in winter, cool in summer (like a turban) and serves as a good pillow on bus rides/flights.
If i can remember right you recently got married, how did that come about and how has married life been?
Yeah I got married in July, it was super powerfully experience. i cried so much. I didst expect that but the ceremony was pretty epic.
Married life is chill, I cant afford a honeymoon for now so life goes on, working and stuff but there is a nice feeling and comfort to know I have found my ideal partner to share my life till I die. I didn’t think it was gonna be that way, it just happened and I feel blessed. She’s from Belgium, I met her on myspace and after doing a show over there she moved to Montreal with me. Super strong spiritual connection.
Now that your married, chilling, and living it up what words of advice do you have for future artists out there who want to create their own skateboard decks or live off of their creations?
Well, I’d recommend to take one day at a time but also work hard and don’t give up. Don’t imitate what others do and be yourself. Develop your personal style and find ways to get it seen by as many people as possible. With some dedication and luck you`ll be able to live the humble artist dream of living off your soul`s creations.
What projects are you currently working on and what can we look forward to seeing?
I am always producing some kind of art or side project. My biggest one these days is a 2 hr documentary that I have been collaborating on for 2.5 years with some cats in Arkansas. It is about my art and life but also about positive and creative people in general, and what we do to make the world a brighter place. A few Satori peeps are interviewed in there like Karl Watson, Ron Allen, Danny Fuenzalida, Nilton Neves, Craig, Alberto Montes, etc. It also has artists like Alex Grey, Andy Howell, Other, and musicians like Jah Sun, Midnite, Sub Swara, etc. So I hope it also brings some light to our underground brands and the intentions behind them.
The movie will be released as a dvd in early November, I hope I can have a few screenings in California. If you or somebody else wanna order it online you can already do it at Positivecreationsmovie.com . It’s 20$ including shipping and I promise you it’s very fun to watch.