Bite my shiny metal hand, Jim!
Wow. 30 years. That's a long time for a lot of things. For a top selling album, for a mortgage, for you to be so damn emo, or for a small business that may no longer be so small anymore. Thirty years ago we didn't have smartphones or Instagram or Odd Future or The Hundreds or god-forbid World Star. However, thirty years ago we did had have Jim Phillips. Thirty years ago Jim created what is easily one of the top five, all-time-most-recognizable skateboard graphics. Some might even say number one. The Screaming Hand is an icon for skateboarding culture and even for graphic artists abound. It not only withstands the test of time, but it evokes a powerful image that even the most oblivious person can almost recognize as skateboard art.
There's something to be said when you meet someone in your art college years that has the Screaming Hand tattooed on his forearm, skating through campus. It's that instantaneous moment when you know, "This person is probably cool as fuck." You click automatically. Skating with homies is always a great feeling and when you see Phillips' work tattooed on someone at the skate spot, the skateshop, or even at the grocery store, you can't help but be mesmerized how dope it must feel to see tons of people, worldwide, wearing your art--permanently. The ultimate artist's ego stroke. You fucking rocked it, Jim.
In celebration of 30 Screaming Years, artists all over the world have been creating their own rendition of the Screaming Hand including Lister, Meggs, Brad Eastman, Slick and so many more. (Slick's "30 Screaming Decks" is a strong favorite of mine). The 30 Screaming Years Tour currently traveling the U.S. features some heavy-hitters in the art world today and looks to be a great show from all the photos I've seen. My invitation to be part of the traveling gallery must have got lost in the mail (it happens, I totally understand, Jim), but that didn't stop me from creating my "Ode to The Screaming Hand". After seeing this thing done in so many different ways, I had to think of something that would please my own tastes as well as pay homage to the iconic image. What better way than by mashing together this robotic concoction of Futurama's Bender, one of my favorite cartoon icons. If his hand could talk, I'm sure it would be a beer-swilling, cigar-smoking, foul-mouthed jackass just like its owner. I created the drawing, inked it, colored it in Photoshop, and then used a photo from my trip to the Bay Area last year as the backdrop. Man, that trip just keeps paying for itself.
When you see the Screaming Hand, you may not know it was originally created for Santa Cruz's line of skateboard wheels. You may not know who the artist is that created it. You may not know that the hand is based of a dead guy. But more than likely you'll at least know it's skateboard related.
And that is a success in and of itself.
Congratulations on 30 screaming years, Jim!