People have been loving the new 'Elements' series graphics so we wanted to take a minute to highlight them and give some back story on how they came to be and how they relate to Bustin History. These graphics stand out for us in particular because they are a little bit outside of our usual street-art style. Most people know Bustin because of our New York themed graphics and graffiti/street-artist collaborations over the years. Our taste over the years was not accident, we were developing boards in NYC for NYC. It was not surprising that our artistic style mirrored the streets, but the full story of why we became who we are is a little more interesting.
When we started making boards almost 20 years ago there weren't many longboard companies on the scene, and nearly ALL of them were located in Southern California. LONGBOARDING WAS BRAND NEW and, at the time, there seemed to be an unspoken rule that oversized boards could ONLY be adorned with pictures of waves or flowers or pinstripes. It made sense because California surf-culture was just hitting mainstream America and kids on the east coast were starting to emulate the bro style everywhere. From Von Dutch trucker hats to brands like Billabong pushing beach vibes to small towns covered with snow, surf culture was what the cool kids were doing.
It was the typical flood pattern of any trend, and we didn't like it. We didn't like the clothes, we didn't like the boards and we didn't like the graphics. SO.... we made our own and we made them for our type of riding and our city. The boards we were making were extremely unusual at the time, which we loved. More importantly we loved riding them and found that the 'push board' styles were created were so much more efficient and effective in the city.
In keeping with our surf-trend resistance, we also leaned in heavy with the graphics. Our boards were covered with graffiti and stencils and weird art that we loved. Our opinion on board art was ANYTHING GOES as long as we liked it and it was original. We wanted to be different. We wanted to know that we and our customers are not easily sold on the latest trend. We were young and we felt like individuality was critical to survival in a world becoming increasingly homogenous.
Almost 20 years later and we STILL feel that way (more than ever in fact). And our graphics continue to reflect an intense desire to be original and different than what is happening in popular culture.
The 'Elements' Series, although cleaner and more simple than many of our other series, still represents our core belief that we are each individuals, made from nature in the same way but designed to think, see and creative differently. We all have our unique grain style, but we exist amongst each other. Our contrast and our overlap is what makes us mankind, and our striving for individuality is what makes us skateboarders.
At a time when the world seems torn with disagreement, we still believe that our elemental nature is to stand together as individuals. A series of graphics is not going to change the world, but we hope that EVERYONE who rides Bustin will find and appreciate more of their own individuality in their daily push.