Do you remember the first time you meet Keenan?
To be perfectly honest... no? I remember him coming around the World Industries office only a few times back then. It was only years later, once he was on Chocolate, that I recall seeing him out and around Los Angeles at night and he was always really cool.
Did you talk with Keenan at all about his first graphic for bLind, did he have any input?
No, not at all. Rodney Mullen was loosely in charge of the board production schedules then and always let the artists know what riders needed new graphics. And I think once the initial mass exodus occurred for Chocolate in 1994, Keenan was bumped up to model status, so I was given the task of coming up with something for him. The only thing I really knew about him was that he was from New York City, so I loosely went with that.
Did you ever go skate with Keenan or any of the World/blind/101 guys back then?
Periodically I'd ditch the drawing table and go skating with Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, circa 1992-1993. Then there were the occasional World Industries skate park days where you'd just see the most ridiculous tricks being thrown down for the time. That was pretty amazing to witness. After a while though the guys would shy away from us "Big Brother types" because their extra-curricular behaviors often found its way into the magazine and they weren't always comfortable with that.
Has Sean Cliver ever skated Lockwood?
No. I'm a yellow-bellied Midwestern kid and the stories about gangsters and whatnot were always sufficient enough to keep me away Luckily, I did get the opportunity to skate places like the Downtown LA Children's Museum and Los Feliz and La Colina schoolyards with Guy Mariano, Rudy Johnson and Gabriel Rodriguez while they were still on Powell-Peralta in 1989/90. That was the tipping point for me in skateboarding when you knew it was going to be changing drastically—and certainly sooner and faster than many of the stalwart industry types suspected.
Is there anything you want to add or say about Keenan?
Unfortunately I never got to know him all that well, but it's an honor for me to have done his first board graphic.