We’ve been working with this guy for a few years now. Figured it would be a good time to put together a retrospective of our collaboration.
Featured in Thrasher Magazines Canvas section (you can see the article here) Wheeler has been pounding out pencil and ink illustrations for us – pretty much since day one. Scroll down to check out the concept sketches and finished products.
So when I pitched the deck design to you, I think I sent you photos of Spiccoli falling out a van, the Thrasher Prevent this Tragedy shirt, the rabbit kid from Gummo, and the Scooby Doo van. How did you proceed from there?
Welcome to Spurbury
I remember being so amped on this concept when you pitched it! My favorite thing about this board was being able to take all the characters we’ve came up with and put them into the same world, along with other fun characters. It was also rad to take a VW van and subtly reference the Mystery Machine by matching it’s color scheme. I honestly don’t know how I came up with anything past the characters and notes that you sent. I just knew that I wanted to push the details and incorporate everything. I taped a bunch of computer paper together so I could work full size on the sketch, roughly drew in the composition that I had in mind and eventually ended up with what we have now! One of my favorite boards I’ve ever done for sure. I have it hanging above my studio right now!
I remember this one, thought I had this original idea, then after you did this I started seeing other ones around. WTF…
Haha! Right?! I thought that was such a rad idea, too. We thought we were on to something! But now I see it all the time. It’s still a fun design, regardless if its been done already.
On my end this one was a nightmare. It took me like 6 hours to Frankenstein the leaves from other stuff you did into the right shape and then wrap it around the girl. Came out great, but I still haven’t gotten any angry emails about the nudity. Just need one blog post complaining about it on some parenting site and i’m all set.
Stirring the Pot
Dude the way you went about weaving the pot leaf into this design was so good! I wouldn’t have thought to do that. This was probably our most in-depth collaboration. Stoked on how it came out. For a second we thought we were going to have to give her some breast reductive surgery so you could get “Continuous Highs” under her but you figured it out! Also, fun fact, I think this was the first time I’ve ever been commissioned to draw bare boobs.
This one is tough for me. Story goes: I was designing a T-Shirt for Dinosaur Jr’s reunion tour, when I accidentally ended up agreeing to get a puppy from my friend. One of the songs on the reunion album was called Crumble, so the dog ended up with that name. When I picked him up I brought him straight to the lake, and one day when I got home from work he was out there floating all mangled up. He used to ride in the canoe standing on the front bow – and I know this is how it felt in his head. I forget the pitch on this concept?
I remember this being a really important one for you. It was an honor to have been able to do such a fun design that also stood as a memorial piece for Crumble. I’m pretty sure that when you pitched the concept you had mentioned incorporating some Rat Fink , Ed Roth vibes so I slapped a big-ass engine on the canoe and a stick shift. I really enjoyed the way the big burly engine contrasted the quant little canoe while Crumble happily held on for dear life!
Almost where this whole thing started. At the time I asked you for this I was super into that Filthy Mouth Creative insta. My wife busted me copying a bunch of concepts off there to send to you for this sticker, she thought I was building some sort of wanking bin or something.
Cali Girl was such a fun one! I can see where your wife’s skepticism came from though, I always end up with a very questionable search history when finding reference for things like this. This one took me a while to get the sketch down. We did this at a time where I was primarily drawing monsters, skeletons and other brutal stuff so it was hard at first to change gears in to drawing this sexy, smoking chick. I think I drew her lips about 100 times before settling on these ones haha. Stoked on how it came out though. She’s a keeper!
This one was wild man. I was at a bar checking out the shots I took up at Timber Ridge and thinking: oh damn Keep on Truckin’. Did I send you the photo or the Crumb illustration?
Keep on Skatin'
This may be my favorite sticker we’ve done! Yeah, you sent over Crumb’s “Keep on Truckin’” design and it was wild how perfectly that photo of Chance worked with it! My favorite part about designing this was challenging myself to work in Crumb’s style. Incorporating his hatching style and his linework was so much fun. This also reminds me that I’ve gotta relearn FS Hurricanes!