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Last Year, Crailtap put out an interview on Chocolate’s in-house artist, Carlos Gutierrez. The interview featured Gutierrez’s watercolor portraits of Chocolate’s team in the Talavera series. Since that interview, Chocolate has released a number of series featuring watercolors: the Solitary Animals, Transportation, and Tradiciones series. It wasn’t until the Tradiciones series that we noticed the trend and remembered the interview: "All these boards are being done by one guy!"

Because the interview about Gutierrez featured the Talavera series and showed him working on the Transportation series with brush in hand, we assumed he had also done the work on the Solitary Animals and Tradiciones series and were eager to get confirmation and possibly learn more about the artist behind these unique graphics and board series. The good folks at Chocolate confirmed our suspicions and put us in touch with the man himself.

The following interview is best paired with Crailtap’s interview - more than anything, they’re questions we had while reading the initial interview. Carlos and Chocolate are putting out some amazing boards that will make you think twice about whether you’ll skate a board or hang it up. Chocolate’s newest series featuring Gutierrez’ work is the Tradiciones Series.

It wasn’t until the Tradiciones series that we noticed the trend and remembered the interview: All these boards are being done by one guy!

Your story with Girl is rad. I’m sure hundreds of kids would’ve jumped at the chance to intern with Art Dump. Could You tell us a little bit about the internship and how you ended up working for Chocolate?Hi, thanks for the support. Super glad to be here. I was working in the warehouse and heard they were looking for an intern so I emailed Andy Jenkins and asked if I could join the program. I quit the warehouse and within a couple weeks I was interning. That really was great! It was unpaid, but such an experience. It was during the Girl and Chocolate 20 year shows so there was much to do. Stayed pretty busy during it all. I started getting designs through and then before you know it I was doing them full time for Chocolate.

In the interview, you say you left working at the Girl warehouse for school. Were you studying art? If so, who are your influences? What was your focus? And what were you planning to do after school?Yeah, The first time I left Girl. I went to finish school. I studied Art History and Music. But I didn’t finish! Haha! I was playing a lot of live music at the time. So I left a semester early to go on tour. But I still have plans to finish. Now that I think of it, my focus was music and traveling. I had no idea what I was planning to do after school.

What’s your favorite medium?Whatever I can get my hands on really. I enjoy water color because I never know how the piece will turn out. Ball point pens are cool too. I still love spray paint.

Are there board series that influenced you when you were younger or any that you have hanging up?I don’t have any hanging up right now, because I’m in the middle of moving. But I did have the original Hecox Cars up for a while. All the Andy Jenkins early Girl stuff was incredible. Paolo Diaz art he would bring in for early Chocolate graphics. I was working in the warehouse back then too so early Girl and Chocolate was definitely an inspiration.

We know you did the The Talvera,Transportation, Solitary, and Tradiciones, which are all dope. Which of those four is your favorite and why? Out of those four, I’d say it was the Solitary Animals. It was fun to come up with the sentiments and it was really cool how they just let me do whatever I wanted on those boards. They didn’t come across too well internationally because of the language barrier but that makes them feel even more solitary and alone. I like that.

What was the process like for that series?The process for the Solitary animals came together pretty well. The idea came about when I was thinking about making “anti-greeting cards”. Like so it would be easier to break up with someone or fire someone. Something like that. Like, Good Luck…We Don’t Need You Anymore. So I wrote more and then I put them on that letter board and took photos of them. Then I had to think of it as it would be laid out on a skateboard. So then I thought about certain solitary animals, and how they function better alone. I painted those animals and then put them all together. I like the way they turned out. So did the Art Dumpers around here.

What other work are you proud of? I really enjoyed doing the Folk Saints series and The Calling Card Series. I got to make those with the other Art Dumpers Jeremy Carnahan and Nate Hooper. I like working with the others because they really push me to do the best I can. I really dig the way those turned out and it was fun to see what the other guys versions came out like. We chose the best ones and they became some cool looking skateboards. Super proud of those.

Working for Chocolate must be pretty cool. Can you walk us through a typical day for you? Yes it is pretty cool, and I’m thankful to be here. I mean it's like any other place where we have to show up and go to meetings. But for the most part we’re bouncing ideas off of each other, digging around for inspiration, listening to music, skating to the bathroom. You’d tend to miss that if you don’t have that at a place you’d have to go to everyday. Those are usual parts of the day, but really, every day is different. One day we might be decorating a van for Thrasher King Of The Road and the next day setting up an art show with the Art Dump somewhere. So yeah, we like to keep it interesting.

Anything coming up that we should look out for? Do you have work online?Yeah, I’m excited about The Dreamer series for Chocolate coming out for next Wallride. It’s kind of a play on bootleg Nagel art. It’s my tribute to the swap meet artists everywhere. Yeah you can see stuff, hear music and anything else I do at www.cmglovesyou.com or IG @cmglovesyou.

Favorite Skater(s)?I have to say some of my favorite skaters would be Chico Brenes, Mark Gonzales, Rudy Johnson, Rick Howard, Paolo Diaz, Sean Sheffey, Hosoi. Just to name a few. Power and style. That’s was does it for me.

Advice for young artists out there who want to work in the skate industry? If you love doing it just keep going. Don’t give up, stay positive, be original. Skateboarding is such a great community that you can be yourself in. Make sure you take advantage of that.

Any shout outs or anything you want to add? Shout out to my family, the Girl & Chocolate families, The CMG+We Are The Night family, Thank you for having me. Take care.

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