– Who were your inspirations for the story?
My grandpa a bit. He was a master carpenter and I wished I’d spent more time with him learning the practical skills to make cool things. Instead I mostly just lived in my imagination dreaming about things but not really seeing that if I worked hard, learned the skills, I could make the things I thought of real.
The story is fairly fanciful and this idea is not really spelled out in the book but the inspiration for me was that realisation. I meet too many people who think they aren’t creative or who think they can’t get their hands dirty and build something (meaning physically building something or making a book). I think it is important to realise that if you have a good idea you can work towards making it reality.
– Will there be any characters in there that people might recognise?
My dog Monty sets off the story, but probably most of you haven’t met my dog! A lot of my usual characters that I draw a lot are in the book, but they don’t really represent anyone in particular.
“I think it is important to realise that if you have a good idea you can work towards making it reality.”
– What goals do you have for the book?
I think I really just wanted to make the book real. If I’d wanted to make a commercially successful book I think I would have written it a bit differently, maybe told a different story. This book was really more about getting this story out of my head so I could move on to something else.
– How was the creation process in general, fun or a slog? Do you see yourself doing it again in the future?
I loved it! Kind of hard to find time for all the work since I couldn’t stop my other work, but it was enjoyable to see it all come together bit by bit. For this project I worked completely chronologically. Painted all the paintings in order, wrote the story in my head as I was painting. I will for sure do more projects. I have so many ideas.
– Are you doing a limited print run, or will you print more if the demand stays high?
The book is on Amazon right now and probably other online sellers. I just did a limited first printing direct from me that are signed and numbered. I’m going to be shipping those out over the next few days.
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– Outside of Bernie the Bike Builder, what have been some of your favourite projects to work on?
BMX video projects were always fun. A lot of the Fairdale trips we did were super cool and felt like projects because we tried to document them. Our trip to ride the French Alps was great fun. The Mat Hoffman and Lars Ligament animation I did was a big accomplishment. Interviewing Mat, cutting the audio, animating it all… that was a big project since I had never done any of those things before!
– When working on your new book, how much of a badass are you for that downside whip gap at backyard jam?
I drew some posters for the Vans Pro Cup series, I haven’t told anyone this but there’s a downside whip character that is based on photos of me. Just thought it would be funny to sneak my past self into this modern comp.