Andy Mueller (Art Dump)

The Creators Project: Can you briefly tell us how Girl and the Art Dump got started?

Andy Jenkins: It was kind of a slow evolution. Girl Skateboards has been around since 1993. We're lucky to have grown each year since then. With growth comes expansion, bringing in new artists and new ideas for the new brands we start up. None of it shows any signs of slowing down anytime soon, which is good.

You guys are so busy with your own projects that it seems like picking new artists and other creative people would be very difficult to fit into your schedules.

Andy Jenkins: We’re definitely careful about who we choose to bring in, like I had to chase Mueller down to come here.

Andy Mueller: I was trying to remember that whole story...

Andy Jenkins: He was out in Chicago. I loved his work, he was really professional, and we needed someone to handle a new brand, Lakai Footwear. So we tested him out, and it was great. And he decided he was ready for a change, so we got him out here. Most of the other guys are pretty young artists for the most part when they start. We’ve got a lot of kids who come out of CalArts, which is kind of a coincidence, but the school for some reason has brought a lot of really creative people here. And if you actually look back there in the art department, there are lots of skateboarders. They’re all skaters/designers.

I’m surprised you guys don’t make it a job requirement, or maybe you do, and it’s just unspoken?

Andy Jenkins: Yeah, it’s easier for us, because then they come in and understand the foundation of what we’re doing and skateboarding in general. They’re not going to come up with some wacky ideas that just do not fit into what we’re trying to do. So we’ve been lucky that the guys who we’ve brought in here fit really well with what we do. We’re careful about who we bring in. As well as having the in-house guys. There’s always room for freelance, so we kind of leave the door open for that as well.

Design software and technology have evolved a lot since Girl and the Art Dump were founded. How has it changed your the way you work?

Andy Jenkins: Before we got the Macs in here, we would hand-draw everything and then use this big sheet of red plastic film on top of a piece of acrylic where we’d cut out the pattern of what we drew with an X-Acto knife to make our colors for the silk-screening. It was really tedious.

Andy Mueller: It’s so crazy to think it used to be like that. The concept of the board hasn’t changed at all, nothing to do with the physical board has really changed. It’s more like the idea of the kind of artwork that can go on the board has blown up because of technology.