With an inherent eye for image and design, The Quiet Life released its new ‘Vase’ clothing capsule.
The capsule taps UK artist Nathaniel Jones for his sparse, crisp use of shapes and pattern and subtly detailed illustration style. An elegantly simple line of spring wear—five-panel hats, beach jogger pants, canvas jackets and, of course, long-sleeved t-shirts—is decked out in Nathaniel’s drawings of Greek vases and urns. His keen art history sense is also on display, with each vase decorated with skateboards or cameras—in a knowing nod to the Quiet Life Camera Club—instead of classical Greek Imagery. A skater/artist at heart who’s been melding the two together since his first board in 1995, we hit up Nathaniel to get some more insight on his inspiration and other projects.
How did you link up with The Quiet Life? What do you find inspirational or relatable about the brand?
I discovered The Quiet life a long time ago. I pretty much only used to skate Girl and Chocolate decks and was really into all the art coming out of the ‘art dump.’ I remember ordering a Quiet Life crew sweatshirt and it came with a cool poster with ‘tools of the trade’ written on it, I still have it on my wall. It’s a really simple drawing of a pocket with a pencil, some pens and a scalpel in it but it resonated with me then and still does. I’ve always liked the collaborative nature of the Quiet Life Camera Club and the different artists they feature each season. It’s a great mix of new, young talent and more established dudes.
I remember that poster! So, do you rock the gear yourself?
I do. Outside of my own, the graphics are great and their cap game is second to none.
What’s the idea behind the “Vase” series for The Quiet Life?
On a day out to the museum with my wife, I took some photos of Greek vases with dudes wrestling on them. With everything being so disposable today I really liked the permanency of these artifacts and that they had been used to document what was popular at the time. I thought it would be cool do that with skateboarders. The camera aspect of it came in later when I was thinking about changing ways skateboarding has been documented. So I dropped in some old polaroids and some more modern photographic icons from digital cameras like the macro and portrait symbols. I like the idea of mixing old and new.
You seem to do a lot of digital collage work, such as the stuff you’ve done for Converse and Quartersnacks. What’s the inspiration behind that?
It all starts with the skate photo and the skater, it can be something they are wearing or a sign in the background, the architecture of the spot. Sometimes it’s more obscure/tenuous I’ll mix in images from old adverts or deck graphics they’ve had, or album artwork from songs they’ve had in video parts.
Anything you’re working on now that you’re especially psyched on?
For my 9 to 5 I design the European Santa Cruz Skateboards and Independent Truck Company apparel lines. We have a Santa Cruz quick strike dropping next month that I’m really hyped on. I commissioned Eric Dressen to draw Jason Jessee’s iconic Guadalupe graphic in his style. It’s going on some apparel and they’ll be a limited edition deck signed by both of them.
That sounds awesome. Tell me about Requiem for a Screen. A lot of people have throwback Tumblr/Instagrams where they post old pictures and ads they’re into but yours seems to be more of a kind of design blog or mood board for your inspirations.
It’s just a reaction to things going on in the skate industry. Or I’ll see an old photo pop on Instagram and that will spark something. It started out because I have a hard drive full of loads of different images I’ve saved over the years for inspiration/research. I’d been playing around with Tumblr but didn’t just want to repost other people’s images so started combining them to make something new. So it does two jobs- it’s a mood board and I can play around with layout and design ideas.
What’s next? And any advice for skater/artists looking to bring their work to the skate industry?
Keep an eye out for the May issue of Transworld skate mag for some new Requiem For A Screen stuff. I’ve got a new graphic in the next Quartersnacks drop and I’m working on a new brand that’s launching toward the end of the year. Exciting times. And as for advice – just involve yourself in your local scene, be patient, work hard, and be nice to people.