April 2010 archive


In the past, I thought that the English, Australians, and Americans all spoke the same language, but recently I discovered this is not the case at all… Since moving to the United States, I found out that the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is pronounced “Fil-ay O Fish”, not “Fill-itt O Fish”. But for me, the confusion didn’t stop there.

It seems that us Aussies are not only convicts of the southern hemisphere, but we also stole the English language, and ran amuck with it. Inventing strange words was something I didn’t even realize we (Aussies) did, since everyone around me spoke the same dialect too.

Now in America, if I say something like “sookie” or “pash rash”, all I get is that awkward laugh that people do when they have no idea what someone is saying. So to better the communication between Aussies and Yanks, every week I will post an Australian word and its translation, which should help everyone understand what the hell we are bloody talking about.

This week starts with “A”

Aye (ay) – means “what?” or “hey you” depending on the context.

Example – Aye, get off my wave.

Avos (av-oes) – means “avocados” Kinda obvious right? But not at my local fruit shop.

Example – I can’t believe how expensive these avos are.

Arvo (are-voe) – means “afternoon” and usually is combined with the word “beers” and/or “surf” to make “arvo beers”.

Example – After this barrel, I’m gonna get an arvo beer.

Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to next week’s lesson, where we explore the wonderful world of the letter “B”.



Today was the Los Angeles leg of the MAKE IT COUNT contest series, and was held at the P-Rod park in Pacoima. The park is deep in the LA valley, and was a mixture of dry heat, kids amped on skating, and lots of Spanish beauty. The community center next door was teaching “baile folklórico”, a colorful traditional Mexican dance. And across the dusty field, soccer teams in full uniform, competed, with whole families cheering them on. Clusters of friends and family gathered under the shade of the trees to enjoy the day and each other’s company… The Latino world is truly a beautiful experience of family and community.

Here are some photos and portraits I shot of the skate contest.


Ps. The title “La Bamba” is in reference to Ritchie Valens, who was from Pacoima, Ca.



I am a huge fan of ‘zines; I have collected them from artists all over the world. I think there is something special about a little book that is handmade, and full of ideas and concept that perhaps didn’t fit into any other format or function. You don’t need a publishing contract or commercial funding; it’s completely DIY and open to your own interpretation.

This is my latest Zine titled, Mr Phoebus, which is inspired by Sir Edward Elgar, who affectionately nicknamed his Royal Sunbeam bicycle “Mr Phoebus”. It was on his long rides over the English countryside that Edward Elgar found his inspiration to create new melodies and orchestral tunes.

I love my bike, and especially love the way it can make me feel so free. Instead of only printing up a limited edition of 150, I wanted to share this with everyone… Please click the link for a free PDF download of  my newest zine; ‘Mr Phoebus’.



Otto and Spike are part of a growing international voice of artisan manufacturers practicing traditional crafts. Their work resonates with a new generation of consumers looking for products with provenance, and substance.

Otto and Spikes’s products are the result of forty years passionately devoted to knitting, their desire to operate outside the short life cycle of mass production and it’s reliance on disposability, and the skill and ingenuity of their staff.

Their products are beautifully finished and ethically produced from Australian and New Zealand premium surplus lambswool.

Recently I was invited to create a collection for Otto & Spike. Since I love to ride my bike every day, I wanted to design something for people that also share that love. Here are the scarves I recently created, and should be in stores soon for those in Australia, Canada & Japan.



Throughout 2009, Kirk Dianda filmed and edited MAKE IT COUNT, The Element Story. The documentary is a four-part series, that tells the story of the iconic brand and the people that helped shape what it is today.

Element recently released a 200-page photo book, which includes a DVD of the film too (available at elementskateboards.com). The book is jam-packed with imagery from Element’s 20 years of defining moments, including ads, unseen photos, graphics, and behind the scenes photos from the film.

Throughout the production process, I was lucky enough to travel with Kirk while he interviewed this collection of truly inspiring people and shoot behind the scenes photos.

To start things off, we flew to the east coast to shoot a handful of interviews, including Bam and his family in Westchester, PA, Donny Barley in Providence, RI, and Chad Muska in New York, NY.

Donny Barley is an icon who helped pave the way for a new generation of skaters. And through his power and style, he also helped solidify Element as a brand and team to be reckoned with. So it was only obvious that he too would be interviewed for MAKE IT COUNT.

After Pennsylvania and New York, we took the train to Providence, RI, where Donny welcomed us with open arms, gave us a personal tour of downtown and his skate shop, Fountain of Youth, and invited us to his house for an interview. Below are a few pictures from a long day, insightful interview, and overall great experience… Thank you Donny, and your family. We had a blast.



Last night, The Willowz played in LA, and we were lucky enough to go behind the scenes for an amazing show.

With an impressive list of collaborations under their belt, including soundtracks to Michel Gondry’s films “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “The Science of Sleep”, they are a force to be reckoned with. Beyond their stellar discography, Loren Humphrey (drums) also wrote and recorded the tunes for “MAKE IT COUNT”, the Element documentary. And most recently, The Willowz have become the backbone of Element’s webisodes, highlighting the amateur contest series.

Click here to see more behind the scenes imagery and pictures from last night’s show.

For tour dates, check out myspace.com/thewillowz

To purchase their music via iTunes, click HERE

Also check out the music video “Take A Look Around” which was directed by Michel Gondry’s son, Paul.


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