· By Jessica DellaTorre

Russ Pope Skate Shop Day Interview

Russ Pope


We here at AVE love art, coffee, wine and skateboarding which makes us a huge fan of East Coast based artist Russ Pope. To coincide with our Skate Shop Day collection of goods we spoke to the man himself to gather his thoughts on a few of our favorite things. 

AVE: Can you share your first skate shop experience? 

RP: The first skate shop I went to was a toy shop with my dad to buy strips of grip and loose ball bearings for a homemade 70's board he made for me. The first real skate shop I hung out in was Good Clean Fun in Los Osos, CA that was run by Jack Smith, a local Morro Bay legend (was pro in the 70's). I went there every day and hung out, watched videos, stared at and held skateboards, made frozez yogurt runs... Jack got me all my first sponsors and drove us to the spots and contests we couldn't skate or ride bikes to before we had a drivers license. Thanks Jack. 

AVE: In your opinion, why are skate shops important to skateboarding? 

RP: Skate shops are important because they're like community centers or clubhouses... they can be halfway homes, counseling centers, tax and relationship advisors... safe houses... schools... they're super important. 

AVE: When did you start appreciating wine? 

RP: About 10 years ago. I was always a booze or beer guy. Now I really like a glass of wine, sparkling, natural and a fan of prosecco. 

AVE: If we could pour you a glass of your absolute favorite wine what would it be? 

RP: I love a Pet Nat. Or a nice Italian Prosecco... Love the bubbles, feels like a party. 

AVE: Describe your relationship with coffee in three words. 

RP: Coffee is my most favorite drink, morning, noon and night. 

Russ Pope

AVE: What inspires you as an artist? 

RP: People and places, music, travel, architecture, design, the outdoors, plants, color, smells, words... artists inspire me...

AVE: What do you know about Yakima, WA? 

RP: I know very little about Yakima. Yakima to me is John Erickson. I also think of the Yakima tribespeople. 

AVE: Thank you Russ and we look forward to having you visit our fair city someday in the future! 

Russ Pope AVE Artwork