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One of the highest compliments you can pay an artist today is to say their work is recognizable. In a media landscape that is in a constant state of emergency, it’s truly an achievement when an artist can reach the surface and stay afloat. Lucas Beaufort first caught our attention probably much the same way he caught yours - with the whimsical paintings he’s done on skate and snowboard magazines and photos. He’s remained current the same way anyone who’s successful does - by working his ass off. From the sounds of this interview, networking, hard work, and a passion for skating all played a major role in Beaufort’s success. It’s no surprise that Beaufort, a self-described “passionate workaholic,” has been busy working on something entirely new. Lucas recently dropped DEVOTED, a skate documentary that focuses on skate media from the 90’s to 2000, 2000 to 2016, and then looks to the future of skateboard media. Filming DEVOTED took Beaufort across the globe to Europe, Japan, and Australia to meet some of the biggest influencers in skateboard media. We had a chance to catch up with Lucas to talk to him about his art career, Devoted, and his plans for the future. Read all about Lucas in the interview below.

Lucas Beaufort Interview

What’s up, Lucas! How’s it going and what have you been up to?It’s pretty hectic now, I’ve just released my documentary on skateboard media called DEVOTED. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years now and it’s such a good feeling to share it with the world.

How’d you get into skateboarding?I don’t know why but when I was 4 or 5 I was already attracted to skateboards. My mum bought my brother and myself some plastic boards, and we kept shredding the road on our knees.My mum was bummed because we destroyed all our cloths. So I had to quit skateboarding hahaha. At the age of 13 years old I got back on a skateboard and never stopped since then.

What type of skateboarding did you do when you were younger? What were the spots like that you skated?It was only the street. I started to skate in the 90’s (south east of France) and we had no skateparks, so the street was our playground. Even now I prefer to skate the street, I don’t like to be limited by walls.

How long have you been painting/illustrating, and making art?I started pretty late, I was 27 and I’m 36 now. I don’t know why I started, it was random. What I know is that I needed it, I needed to express something deep in my heart. Now it’s more important than anything, there’s not a day without drawing something, it’s a big addiction.

The artwork you did on magazine covers was where most of our readers saw your work first. What was your first magazine cover/photo painting, and how did the first one come about and what inspired you to do it?The first cover I’ve painted was a Vice magazine. You can see the original photo and what I did on it. This big open mouth with red lisptick was so intriguing. This cover was in my desk for a month and everytime I was looking at it I thought that the girl was talking to me : « paint me » she was saying. So I took acrylic paint and did this weird couple. Then I sent it to Vice and they gave me a subscription.

Has it always been your goal to showcase your work in the skate/snow industry?Well, it’s my world, I grew up surrounded by it. I spent my life with a board on my feet so it makes sense to collaborate with brands from the skate or snowboard industry.

You have a very recognizable style. When and how did you first develop that style?There’s a whole world living in my head since I’m a kid. This world is populated with monsters that used to frighten me. Growing up, these monsters became my friends and now I just draw them. I didn’t create a recognizable style, I just draw my imaginary friends.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?Being an artist, you have to be honest with yourself. You have to be a hard worker. There’s not a single day without me drawing and painting. It’s more than a passion, I’m obsessed with this so it’s not work for me. I hope the aspiring artists can be as passionate as I am, and I’m sure that they will succeed in what they love. They just have to believe in what they like.

Devoted, your documentary premiered in June 2017. How was the premiere, and how can we watch it?The video premiere was released in an independent theater, a very cool place on Fairfax avenue in Los Angeles called Silent Theater. I was very impressed and couldn’t wait to release the documentary. The night was the best night I ever had so far. People were very into the documentary and I was lucky that they loved it and to have all their positive comments at the end. The documentary is now available online for free.

What were some of the biggest challenges of putting together a documentary?The biggest challenge was probably being able to meet all the legends of skateboarding. I’m not a famous director, this was my first production so I had no example to show them. But all the people I interviewed were very sincere and we had a great time talking together. It was like a dream to meet all these guys. Filming, editing, producing the video by myself was quite a big challenge but I love challenges so I’m stoked I did it.

What inspired you to make Devoted?I grew up in the 80s-90s loving skateboarding and the skate culture. The magazines were our only way to find out what was going on, the pros, the tricks…Now I still love magazines. I've painted on magazine covers since 7 years and every month I receive magazines at home from all over the world. I also use the social media and get a lot of info from there. So I was wondering if the print media will still exist in a few years facing the power of the internet. This is why I decided to interview all the publications I could to get their feelings from a professional point of view.

What did you learn about skateboarder’s opinions about print? Did you find most skaters had the same feelings and relationship with print that you did?I was impressed but not surprised that all the people I interviewed were totally into the magazines too. They had the same feeling as I had. Everyone was nostalgic thinking of that time when they were kids and couldn’t wait to get the new issue of their favorite magazines. We all did the same, put pictures on our walls, Reading the magazines cover to cover… they were all fans and still are.

What’s next for you? What are some projects we should look out for?I have a new video documentary in mind, but it’s too soon to give some information now. I will start filming early 2018. I always have three to five current projects going on, I’m a passionate workaholic.

Anything you’d like to add? Any memories of the CCS Catalog?CCS catalog was a big deal when I was a kid. I was into every detail, each product was important.​You can check my stuff on Instagram at lucas_beaufort.

Lucas Beaufort Interview
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