Volcom proudly presents a featured artist collaboration with our friend in art, Don PendletonVolcom proudly presents a featured artist collaboration with our friend in art, Don Pendleton
Raised in rural West Virginia or as he calls it, “the middle of nowhere,” Don Pendleton’s introduction to art came from his dad, a steel worker who spent his evenings painting at the kitchen table. “By the time I was 10 or 11,” Don says, “I was sitting right there beside him with my markers and crayons, so, yeah... READ MORE

ABOUT DON PENDLETON

Raised in rural West Virginia or as he calls it, “the middle of nowhere,”Don Pendleton’s introduction to art came from his dad, a steel worker who spent his evenings painting at the kitchen table. “By the time I was 10 or 11,” Don says, “I was sitting right there beside him with my markers and crayons, so, yeah ... art has always been in my life.” But then skateboarding came along. After seeing kids street-skating ona family trip to Virginia Beach in 1985, the spark was lit and skating took over. “Skateboarding was all I cared about,” he says, “more than art, more than anything.” So he chased it: got sponsored, competed, he even skated in demos with Matt Hensley. But as a backup plan to his (by then fading) hopes of becoming a pro skater, Don pursued a degree in Graphic Design. “But even at that point I kind of hated art because I was with all these pretentious people in a college and every teacher told me I wasn’t any good,” he explains, “so, I was like, f--- this—why would I want to spend my life doing this? So I went work at newspapers.”

While working as the news editor at the Beckley-Register Herald, Don answered a classified ad from an Ohio-based skateboard company looking for a graphic designer. That company turned out to be Alien Workshop, one of the most visually innovative and influential brands of the era. It changed everything. “I think I did five or six hundred board graphics while I was at Alien,” he says. And it’s through this work that Don Pendleton’s unmistakable style developed. “It was constant output,” he says. And this output at Alien brought his art not only to the forefront of skateboarding but also to eyeballs all over the world. After Alien, Don spent five years creating the look and feel of Element skateboards before downshifting to focus on his own projects rather than the endless deadlines of skate graphic production. And while many artists have made their contributions to the pantheon of skateboard art, few have produced as much as Don for as long, and with such a singular and recognizable aesthetic. Today, Don lives in Dayton, Ohio, a place where he works in relative peace managing a steady influx of projects and commissions that come to him from places like New York and Los Angeles. With more time for painting, Don has enjoyed numerous gallery showings, a solo museum show in his home state of West Virginia, and all the while continues to produce commercial work for clients ranging from Mountain Dew to Oakley to Pearl Jam—for which his album artwork won a 2014 Grammy Award. “Working with Volcom seemed like a really cool opportunity,” he says, “I’ve followed what they’ve been doing since the beginning.” For the creation of this signature collection, Volcom Creative Director Mike Aho offers this: ”Personally, I’ve been a fan of Don’s work for years—we all have, and this was the perfect way for us to come together.”

THE COLLECTION


“I wanted to do everything in this collection by hand because when I think of Volcom, I think of the early days—the DIY stuff: photocopied, handcut, paste-up stuff, half-tones… so I wanted it to be organic and kind of a tribute to the way I started. We were talking about the origins of skateboarding for me and art and music—so I wanted to take it back and it sorta just felt like that’s what needed to be done.”

Don Pendleton

Set Ascending Direction