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What makes a skateboarder up and move from Tempe, Arizona all the way to Berlin, Germany? Certainly not the snow. Andrew McCarthy has managed to adjust to the life of an ex-pat by being a self-employed web designer, skateboarder and artist in one of the most unique cities in the world. Andrew took an unfamiliar route for our artist series and put a pen to paper rather than banging out a graphic with a mouse like he may be used to. We talked to him about learning design on his mom’s work computer, what living in Berlin is like, working on Welcome’s debut full length “Fetish” video, and how often a professional web designer gets to ride his skateboard. His shirt is available now with the rest of our CCS Artist Series.

I’m inspired by the variety in art and design that skateboarding has to offer

Who are you and where are you right now?I’m Andrew and I’m at my parents’ house in Scottsdale, Arizona. I’ve been in the US for like 4 months, kind of an impromptu extended stay, but happy to skip the entire Berlin winter.

How is living in Berlin?It’s wonderful! It’s got the perfect balance of a relaxed, slow-paced city, but with a ton of things to do. A lot of people go there for the weekend-long ragers, but I’m more into riding my bike around some parks and eating ice cream by the canal. There’s some really fun skateparks there too, they’ve built like 3 or 4 in the last few years and they’re all totally different.

What kind of art do you make?I design and build websites for a living, so a lot of what I do is more design than art, but I try to have fun with it. I got into doing motion visuals a little over a year ago, and it’s mainly a release for me to do something the opposite of the structured, considered and functional side of my work.

How did you first get into design?It goes back to playing with KidPix a bunch on the computer at my mom’s office. That program was amazing, all the drawing tools made different sounds and there were some wild tools. I would love to get my hands on it again.

What inspired the Ouroboros t-shirt?I wanted to do something with pen and paper, since I rarely have a chance to do that, and I think drawings look cool on t-shirts. It was the week of the inauguration so I was feeling particularly dreadful. The Ouroboros is said to represent infinity or wholeness, but I always saw it as a hungry snake who’s about to find itself in a pretty disastrous situation.

You did all those amazing graphics for the Welcome Fetish film. How did that come about? Those things usually come down to who you know, and I knew Ryan Lay through skateboarding and school. He was stoked on some stuff I was posting on Instagram and passed my info along to Jason and Shane at Welcome. I was pleasantly surprised to get that email!.

How does skateboarding influence your work?It influences my work by keeping me sane. If I’m stuck on something or feeling in a funk, I go roll around for a couple hours and it’s like a reset. But I’m inspired by the variety in art and design that skateboarding has to offer, especially these days, with companies like Polar, Quasi, and Frog doing some fun boundary pushing.

What is Snarly? Snarly is an app that I made to try and learn iOS development. That stuffs hard, it took me about a year to make. It’s a skate spot app that lets you save and find spots in a really simple and intuitive way

Do you have a favorite artist that influences your work?This guy I went to university with, Ken Al-Shatti, was a big inspiration for getting into motion visuals. His work is really beautiful.

If you could only order one thing from Taco Bell for the rest of your life, what would it be? That would have to be the Double Decker Taco®, a harmonious marriage of soft and crunchy.

Do you have any memories of the CCS catalog? I remember ordering a ton of World Industries and Birdhouse gear, everything like 2 sizes too big.

What’s next for you?I just turned 30 and feeling like it’s time to start really taking care of myself or I’ll be regretting it big time. I’m getting into juicing and fixing my diet, so that I can stay mentally healthy, keep skating and having fun.

Where can people find more about your work?You can find me at: http://andrevv.com or on Instagram: @andrevvm.

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