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Tactics x Santa Cruz | Artist Spotlight | KyleBunga

We are celebrating 25 years of Tactics with a PNW twist on one of the most iconic graphics in skateboarding brought to you by the one and only KyleBunga. Kyle combined his So-Cal roots with his Oregon upbringing to create the incredible Screaming Hand graphic for our Tactics x Santa Cruz Collection. Kyle is a long-time Tactics employee and even longer time artist, skateboarder, and Santa Cruz fan.

 

 

Join us as we chat with Kyle to learn about his inspirations, his design process, pizza, and how he brought his Screaming Hand graphic to life.


Yo Kyle! First off, tell us who you are and what do you do here at Tactics?

YO! My name is Kyle Robinson (aka KyleBunga) and I’ve been the Manager of Photography for Tactics for about 15 years now. When you're shopping online, and you see all the beautiful images of all the awesome product we carry, that’s me and my team behind that magic.

How long have you been doing illustration and art? What got you into it? Any major inspirations?

Basically my whole life. Being aesthetically driven for as long as I can recall, I have always been drawn (<—pun) to anything that looks cool and fun. Being an 80’s born So-Cal kid, growing up in the 90’s there was no shortage of things that looked rad. Aside from just my nature, I can’t say what actually got me into art, but art is definitely what got me to get into skateboarding.

Around age 8 or 9, I got a Santa Cruz board. I believe it was a green Roskopp Face graphic, and I very much remember that Jim Phillips was the first artist that I had put effort into learning the name of. Alongside other early inspirations like Ed Roth (because I loved Rat Fink) and Robert Crumb (not sure who was letting me read those before I was 10 lol).

How would you describe your art style?

I dabble in many styles, but under the name “KyleBunga” it's for sure classic lowbrow vibes following in the footsteps of skate/surf/punk/rock OG's of the 80’s and 90’s.

What does it mean to you to have your own Screaming Hand graphic printed by Santa Cruz?

It's crazy. Definitely a full circle moment for me. I have been drawing Jim's hand for 30 years now. Getting the opportunity to actually work with Santa Cruz is 100% a bucket list experience.

Can you walk us through the design process for this board and how quickly everything came together?

I mocked it up in about 10 minutes while just brainstorming out loud with a homie. The concept was killer, so I fleshed it out in full detail. I will usually sketch out a crude composition in some light pencil to get an idea of layout and spacing. Maybe even some rough color to get an early palette going and make sure I have good color weight going on. I then tackle my final pencils in red usually, to make inking contrast a bit easier. Final inking is where I dial in all the fine details. From there I will color, which is usually digital in either photoshop or procreate.

 

 

 

What was the inspiration behind the graphic?

Cali born, Oregon raised. So it’s pretty much what my brain looks like.

What’s your favorite Jim Phillips graphic/ piece of all time?

Impossible to answer. Jesse Neptune, Meek Slasher, Roskopp Face to name a few. His body of work as a whole, from fonts to filler graphics, is all prolific.

I’ve noticed a bit of a pizza theme in your work - can you touch on that?

“Wise men say, 'Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.”

What’s next?! Any other major goals or dream projects on the horizon?

Always! Got another Tactics board coming this summer. It’s a complete revamp of the first board I did for Tactics 10 years ago. Hopefully many more boards down the road!

Advice to aspiring artists?

Draw every chance you get, carry a sketchbook and don’t be afraid to sketch mindlessly. As long as your pen is moving, you’re improving.

Thanks for your time, Kyle. We can't wait to see what’s up next for KyleBunga. Cheers!

 

 

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