Vernon Courtlandt Johnson 's Interview - Art of Skateboarding
May 19, 2011 by Matt DeAngelis
VC Johnson is the genius behind the graphics that propelled Powell·Peralta into the stratosphere. His iconic images have inspired countless others to not only draw, but in some cases, to begin skating in the first place.
An enigmatic figure, he disappeared off of the radar for almost 20 years until starting to work with Pocket Pistols a few years ago, and now back in his rightful place, Powell·Peralta.
MD: So how did skateboard graphics fit into a journey of self exploration?
VCJ: They answered to the needs of the soul that chose the body. The soul that inherited, that grabbed the baton in my early 30s had a very different mandate and how it affected the life is fascinating. I can see this in other souls who’ve come to profound turning points in their lives and I’ve shared notes with those souls who have experienced a transformation at the core of being.
I come back to the company interested in a different order and what I see going on now is literally like another lifetime with completely different values.
MD: So this is a new life?
VCJ: This feels like a very different…. a new life. All the old values have changed. New values don’t represent the old values.
VCJ: I felt that George Powell and a lot of other people were calling me to function in some way in their lives and upon considering their sincere requests and gestures I said "there’s nothing in my personal life that measures up to a public mandate like this". I’ve been living a very private life playing the second to my wife, playing background to my wife who’s in the midst of her career …and very private life.
But George has been very sincere and open with me in his invitation to participate in a corporation …I see the company now is a massive end. Before I used to see it as people. PERSONALITIES! Differences! Now I see it as a significant massive end to be involved with.
MD: You did do some graphics with Pocket Pistols...
VCJ: I did.
MD: How was that?
VCJ: It was a karmic thing. I felt like I’d known these souls before and that I needed to pass some time with them and share some things with them. The result was that the company didn’t really get off its feet with my work but I didn’t really care. I had my wife’s blessings to draw and to keep drawing alive on the basis that I work for that company.
The think-tank here determines how designing goes and the direction that designs go. I was on a very long leash when I was with Pocket Pistols and I was allowed to determine a lot more about the thing before it went to print all by myself without a lot of people’s input. But I like think-tanks a lot and this is a most promising think-tank in my life.
MD: So you appreciate the feedback?
VCJ: Yeah. I’ve had my "ya-yas" in terms of manifesting my personal work. EXPRESSING what I need to express…. And there is not that much that I need to express for myself in black and white anymore. I’ve published written works too and that really satisfies the soul ….that I’ve published my instantaneous intelligence in the mojo filter which is a form of … it gives the practitioner a way of knowing themselves in a very elegant fashion.