When I was a kid, I never understood why adults were so stressed out, and busy all the time. They were mostly all boring. I did know some rad adults that seemed to still have wide eyes, curiosity and hope, but not many. Those were the adults that I gravitated to, and shaped my life. It's easy as an adult to slip into a rut, drudge through your obligations with work, life, and forget about all of the dreams, and hopes we had in the unknown future of youth.
My 8 year old twins, Kai and Eli are a perfect example of hopeful youth. They wake up very early. Every day is the most important thing to ever happen to them, and there is so much to accomplish before it's over. To them, this all seems realistic without the drag of responsibility, and no realistic sense of time. They hope they can do it all, and whatever they don't get to will be done tomorrow, the best day ever.
So what's up with this graphic? Kai and Eli have a pen pal in the military that they write to named Chris. I am sure it makes his day to get notes from a couple of 8 year olds here and there. Their simple outlook on life, excitement for anything new, and positive hope for the future is contagious. For a few days we had a note for Chris sitting on the table waiting to get mailed out. There was a stick figure drawing on the bottom that I kept looking at from Kai. The more times I saw it, the more I loved it. I had been walking around for weeks trying to figure out graphic directions for these amazing new park prototypes. I scanned it in, had Elijah design the tail, and top, and boom! It fit, and felt good. Sometimes graphics seem like decorations, and I am not inspired to do that. I am more concerned by the actual function of the decks. This little drawing just felt like the personality of the deck. Skateboarding is sort of a way of avoiding being an adult. It should be simple. It is what it is, and nothing more than that. When you skate, it brings you back to center, and will allow you to see the world through the curiosity and hope of a kid.
Personally, this graphic drives it home for me on many levels. All we have is Hope. Once you lose that, you have nothing. We have a loose cannon for a president, the world thinks we are nuts. I have been hit with some curve balls causing us to leave NYC, and end up in a place that we don't fit in. That's life, you need to roll with it, and you need hope. Earthwing supported my family for many years allowing me the freedom to spend most of my time with my kids. We all miss that. At least once a day, one or both of my boys ask how Earthwing is doing. They know how much it means to their dad. They try to help with graphics and ideas all the time. Most of it misses the mark completely, and makes no sense at all. Other times they actually seem to know what's up. They always say to me, "I hope Earthwing gets better", and it will. It's been tough for everyone in niche skateboarding. But to them, they mostly just want to see Dad happy, but also miss the time we had before I worked a day-job.
I can't imagine a world where I am not designing skateboards. It's something I have been doing my whole life money or not. There is a real possibility that Earthwing as a brand could snuff out. I will fight as hard, and smart as I can to keep that from happening, but life is life. In case that ever happens, my dream was to collaborate with my sons on skateboards, so I am glad that happened. Hopefully there will be many more years of collaborations with help from them. This experience taught me so much about what is important, and it's not money, a company, popularity, or even success. The world could learn a lot from the wisdom of 8 year olds.