What is Skateboarding’s First Coloring Book All About?
The story starts in California’s San Fernando Valley.
Main characters: The brotherly duo of Gantry and Garrett Hill.
The plot: Two 12 year old kids turn to skateboarding after getting fed up with shitty coaches in team sports, as Garrett recalls. The pair sets off into the skate world and ends up under the wing of Jamie Thomas, Zero and the rest of Blackbox Distribution. Here, they learn the inner workings of The Chief’s brain and take note of how he juggles a handful of brands and projects at once.
Over time, the inspiration they gain takes them down the path of embarking on video projects together, the most notable being the Conquer the Concrete video.
Fast forward a tad more and the brothers come up with the Hotshot Handle as a result of the filming missions. Finally, one year later, the brothers strike again and debut skateboarding’s first coloring book, Color-X.
That’s where this story picks up.
But before you quit scrolling because you think I’m crazy for trying to tell you that skateboarding and coloring books correlate, allow me to bring up what the Hill brothers have to say:
Troubled by the fact that the world holds a massive amount of skate photos but only a few ways to engage with them, Color X was created. To give viewers a brand new way to consume skate photography. As Gantry Hill puts it, “There’s this huge archive of incredible skate photos but we felt like there’s only so much interaction you can get out of them. You see them in a magazine, on Instagram, or a poster, etc. By illustrating these iconic photos in color-able form, there’s a new layer of interaction and creativity. You become the artist and have creative control over the page, as well as the freedom to bring it to life the way you see it.”
Now we’re on to something.
A sneak peek at some of the pages validates the idea even further. There’s real photos, shot by real skate photographers of iconic professional skaters. Moreover, there’s actual illustrations in there from the likes of Todd Bratrud, FOS, Aye Jay Morano, and Andrew Braswel.
However, this isn’t just another outlet try to peddle skate photography. Because there’s some science behind it. In production, the Hill brothers learned from art therapists and children’s psychologists about how coloring can be used to help fight stress and anxiety. They found themselves surprised at the number of therapists using coloring-related techniques with their patients. A quick glance at Color-X’s tagged photos on Insta continues the tale of kids and pros alike already with their hands on the pages. From the creativity that skateboarding brings to the streets to the creativity it helps to foster through a set of printed illustrations and activities,
Color-X is making some awesome strides in the way of keeping stoke levels high.
Next up, the Gantry and Garrett Hill have some plans up their sleeves for new collaborations in books 2 & 3. Set to debut in the Fall/Holiday seasons, you can keep up with them until then, here.