por Tristan Bower

Luxfort is proud to introduce Javier Mendizabal as a Friend of Luxfort. Hailing from Spain, Javier is a renowned professional skateboarder known for his unique style and fearless approach on the skateboard. His skills have pushed boundaries and inspired countless individuals. In addition to his skateboarding prowess, Javier is also an accomplished artist, showcasing his creativity through his very vibrant and unique artwork. In this Q &, we have the privilege of delving into Javier Mendizabal's journey, gaining insights from his experiences, wisdom, and exploring his remarkable artwork.

1. What first drew you to skateboarding, and how did you get started?
I come from a small village in the north of Spain where there has always been a huge surf and skate culture.. so there was an older generation of guys building their own skate wooden little ramps and skating down the hills. I was 12 years old when I saw these guys for the first time and totally freaked out with everything about them..  Not only the skating but also their look, the way they talked..  everything. I knew straight away that was what i wanted to do, so i asked my parents for a skateboard and started skating just in front of my house first and then started meeting some other kids skating around the neighborhood

2. What's been the highlight of your skateboarding career?
I don't know...I think just somehow to make a living from skating for so long ..  being able to live in Europe and travel the world with some of the best skaters–it was a dream come true. Of course.. there has been some moments like having my first cover in the USA or getting the best team award with Cliche.

3. In addition to skateboarding, you're also an accomplished artist. How did you first get into art and painting?
It  was through some other skaters who were already taking photos, painting, making music..  People like Fernando Elvira and Thomas Campbell, who I met when I was a teenager and really influenced me on a more creative path. 
4. Your sense of color is great and your work really commands the viewer's attention when you walk into a room. How did you develop your artistic style? 

I have always loved colors.. even before I started painting. They are everywhere and define everything to me. I also spend a lot of time in the nature, so I guess I get a lot of inspiration from there.. an infinite source of colors and shapes.

5. Your style on a skateboard is often described as very creative and fluid but what two words do you think would best describe your artwork?
 I would love for these same two words to describe my artwork too: creative and fluid. It's always hard to describe your own artwork, but I guess, as you said, colorful will be one way to do it. 

6. Do you see any overlap between skateboarding and art, and if so, how do the two influence each other for you?
Both of them are a way to express yourself, so they are definitely connected. A skate spot can be like a canvas, where you go and do your lines... the tricks you do, the speed you skate, your style defines your skateboarding and yourself–the same way with your colors, the way you use your brushes, the style defines your artwork. I am not sure how they influence each other. I think its just kind of the same thing.. your personality, your thoughts, your dreams, your fears.. everything is in there.

7. What's your creative process when you're staring at a blank canvas? 
I try to draw a much as possible, always carrying my sketch book with me. I draw until I get something that I like or an idea to start painting. This idea can also come from a photo, an experience or even a conversation with a friend. But yeah, I need an idea to start. I sometimes try to start with an empty mind and improvise but I have to force myself to do it. I find it really hard.

8. You've collaborated on many projects over the years. Is there a particular one that is very meaningful or memorable for you? 

Pretty much any of the art residencies where I have participated., just getting out of the studio and the daily routines and spend some days with other artists with the only worry of painting is always the best project possible. I have one exhibition coming now in Mallorca, Spain with 4 other artists where I will go few weeks before to spend time there with them. I can't wait.

9. What are some of your long-term aspirations as an artist, and where do you see your work taking you in the future? 

As I said, I would like my artwork to evolve on a more improvising style, more loose. That's what I am working on. I want to be able to explore different paths,  different materials, formats.. keep playing. 

10. Your favorite city in the world for both skating and artistic inspiration? 

A city for both skating and artistic inspiration could be.. Melbourne, Vancouver, New York, Madrid.. Too many.

Follow Javi on Instagram