stefan1.pngStefan Janoski is a very busy guy: he's a very well-respected pro-skater, he's the second skateboarder ever to have his own line of Nike shoes, and he recently had his first art show in Chelsea. While celebrating the launch of his signature line on NikeID -- which means you can customize your own Stefan Janoski shoes online -- we sat down with skateboarder-cum-artist about his cats, the holidays, and growing up with vintners.

Look at your blue hair! What made you decide on blue?
It was white before and it was driving me crazy. I'm going back slowly to normal. I tried to go sci-fi white, which is a hard process. It was kind of fun for a few hours but then you're that weird guy with long white hair! I'm waiting for it to grow out enough to cut it all off, since I don't want a shaved head.

You're from California, right?
Yeah, I'm from Vacaville.

That's right near Davis.
Yeah! I didn't go to college at Davis, but I built my skateboarding skills at UC Davis, so I'm always like "Yeah, I sort of used to go to college there. I just didn't take any classes." I was actually on a first-name basis with the cop who pepper-sprayed those students! He was on patrol around Davis. He'd be like "Ah, Stefan, you're here again!" He was actually pretty cool. We had a thing going there: he knew I was there and he knew that I was gonna come back. I've still got probably 11 tickets over my years of skating there.

You've got a father who's a vintner. What's that like?
I've just always loved wine. My father's like a mountain man. My stepmother is a botanist and a vintner -- she works in all the Napa wineries, consults in their fields. They used to sell their grapes to different wineries in Napa, but now they make their own. It's pretty new, and great. They just started making rosé. It's some strong stuff. You'll wake up with some purple lips if you drink too much.

Tell us about the shoes. What kinds of materials will they be available in?
They have leather and suede, and you can do both. We might have canvas as well. You can choose between square leather laces and cotton laces. But [the cotton laces] are not an option. You can't choose those! Leather laces are awesome and make it look better. And if you skate, they won't break. I personally put a little drop of superglue on the bow I tie my laces in, tie 'em loose, and don't ever untie them.

Why are there names stitched on the side of the shoe?
I had a cat that recently died named "Bob." So I put Bob on there. And we have a new cat named "Syd," so I put "Syd" and "Bob." They're tribute shoes.

Do you have any big holiday plans?
I have no feelings about the holidays, actually. They mean nothing to me. But my parents love holidays. I totally ignored Thanksgiving, I even didn't remember that it was a holiday, and they called me and asked whether I was coming and I was like, "What? When is it?" But for Christmas I'll go see my parents. My mom will probably have Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas all in an hour just because I'm there. Personally though, I think holidays are for children under 6.

What artists excite you right now?
I don't a know lot about current artists I like Van Gogh, Impressionism. And René Magritte's paintings. And lately I'm into sculpture, so I like Rodin. I know anyone could say that, but as far as "How the fuck did you do that," Rodin is just the shit. I also like  I like skate art -- Ed Templeton, Lance Mountain, and Mark Gonzalez, Chet Childress and Brian Anderson. Skaters and art have always gone together.

Do you have any upcoming projects?
You know, I've just started sharing [my art]. It's a recent thing. Last December I had a show in Chelsea and even people I'm friends with didn't know I do art. It's a little weird, I'm not used to self-promoting. Even recording yourself skateboarding was something I had to learn to do. I've always played music, and done art, and written stuff, but skateboarding was what I showed people. So I'm learning to show.
 





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