Dave Ackels has been quietly making local skateboard videos in Dayton, Ohio for almost two decades. His Absorb video project finally gives people all over the world a chance to peak in on the local scene and the people who make it what it is. The independent filmmaker discusses MTV, YouTube, company skateboard videos and how they can all coexist peacefully.

, 29 January 2010


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Michael Abramson photographer


Ken Shipley, Tom Lunt and Rob Sevier, working collectively as Numero Group, have set out to close the gap between songs seemingly gone forever and the people who have been waiting years to hear them again. Numero Group serves as an archival record label focusing on reissuing obscure soul, blues and funk recordings that hold a distinct place in the history of recorded music—or at least that’s how it started. From its inception in 2003, Numero Group has grown to include hundreds of titles touching several genres and has released these gems in a variety of mediums, both audio and visual. Their most recognized collection of releases, the Eccentric Soul series, features soul tracks on the verge of extinction from …read on

, 24 December 2009

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Josh J. Holinaty artist


Canadian illustrator Josh J. Holinaty has carved out a niche for himself with a uniquely bizarre style of cartooning. Holinaty’s illustrative talents have landed his work in the pages of Transworld Skateboarding and Snowboarding, Color Magazine and The Globe and Mail, just to name a few. Recently a new collaborative project and some exciting personal work have been keeping things fresh in the midst of an ever-expanding client list.

You just released a graphic novel, We Hate This Place Here; It’s Our Home: Chapter One. Tell me a little bit about that project. How did it come about?

I’ve worked with writer David Berry quite a few times before we started up on the graphic novel. As the arts editor at …read on

, 15 December 2009

Jazz, skateboards, art: if any of these things interest you then you’ll want to get familiar with Ian Johnson’s work. I always thought it would be dope to have an opportunity to ask Ian a few questions about the work he does, I hit him up and he was really cool about it. So put some Charlie Parker on the stereo, check out the interview, look through the gallery, and chill out for a bit.

, 08 December 2009


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Scott Toepfer photographer


When photographer Scott Toepfer took a call from Chuck Ragan, formerly of Hot Water Music, inviting him aboard the bus for the California leg of this year’s Revival Tour, an alternative to accepting didn’t cross Scott’s mind. He was already on the plane. Literally. Nor did he think that one of the bands on tour, The Anderson Family, would make such an impression on him. Scott latched on to the family of musicians and returned with rolls of photographic gold and a new-found respect for the mandolin.

Who are The Anderson Family, to you and to the world?

The Anderson Family is a family bluegrass band from Northern California, Grass Valley I believe. They are exceptional people, and damn fine musicians. …read on

, 07 December 2009

When Don Pendleton offered Level an interview with (SLAP magazine editor and photographer) Mark Whiteley, it was immediately snapped up and slated to be an article. But it was related to Mark’s new book of his photos, so wouldn’t that be a goodstuff? A simple solution came to mind: make it both.

, 06 October 2009


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I’ve met a lot of incredible, talented people over the years through skating. That’s not an exaggeration… skateboarding has always seemed to attract the most talented, unique and friendly people.

Maybe the most remarkable aspect of this is that some of them I’ve never even met in person.

Take Mark Whiteley, for example.

I can’t even remember the first time I saw the SLAP magazine editor’s name or made note of his work. In hindsight, both just seem like they’ve always been part of the skateboarding landscape for me. One of those things you can take for granted if you’re not careful.

But when you stop for a second and examine his work and career, the sum of the parts quickly …read on

, 06 October 2009

Recent Nike SB art department quitter Michael Leon has set up his own studio. The artist, renowned for his repeated recycling of his skull-in-shades icon, has left a trail of excellent work in his wake, including that for the Girl Skateboards group, Rasa Libre and his own Commonwealth Stacks project.

He managed to give Nike SB some good looks in spite of the notorious bureaucracy at 1 Bowerman Drive, so we can only expect this uncaged bird to sing very sweetly.

, 04 September 2009


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Seb Lester artist


How would you measure the success of a type designer? Through widespread coverage, the success of their typefaces, or the subjective quality of their work? Seb Lester’s answers to these illustrious career criteria would be the use of his custom Intel typeface on all of Intel’s branding and product ranges and his development of typefaces used by Barclays Bank, Dell, The Daily Telegraph, GQ, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and the upscale supermarket Waitrose, for starters. Lester’s Neo Sans and Soho Gothic are amongst some of the best selling modern typefaces, holding their own amongst classics such as Helvetica and Futura.

The use of his type is not only huge but continually expanding.

To vent some extra creative steam, he’s …read on

, 22 July 2009

Craftsmen are a different breed. They are meticulous, working hours on end in solidarity, repeating simple processes over and over in search of perfection. They are a patient people.

Jordan Hufnagel is a custom bike builder from Portland, Oregon, one of America’s most bicycle-friendly cities. Hufnagel Cycles, hand built by Jordan, are known for their clean lines. Building everything from Track bikes to Road bikes to Cyclocross bikes, Jordan’s creations are increasing in demand around the globe.

Countless hours of brazing, sanding and polishing materialize into some amazing works of art.

, 10 July 2009