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Welcome Skateboards and its creator Jason Celaya, "officially" titled the Minister of Magic, has been one of most interesting stories in skateboarding in recent memory. From Welcome decks’ distinctive shapes to the pastel colors mixed with occult imagery on their decks and apparel, Welcome has been firmly doing whatever they want and have been proven successful doing so. We recently coaxed Jason into an interview with us where among discussion of religion and Taylor Swift, we talked about the past, present and future of Welcome Skateboards. The future of which includes a full length video slated to be released this October.

You seem to follow your own path versus following trends within the industry. Is that on purpose? Part of some master plan? I want what I want. I’m trying to be the greatest brand ever. Skateboarding is subjective of course, but the greatest at least in our minds. If I was a consumer or a kid, I’m trying to make what I would want. I don’t care as much about the marketing stuff as I do about making something great that you can hold.

Have you been surprised by the growth? Yes, on one hand because we do something different and when I started it six years ago, small brands were not popular and it was the opposite of what was popular in every single way. So that part surprises me; that we are what we are. It’s pretty mind-blowing. Then on the other hand, we are trying to do something great and we think it’s great, everyone that works here and skates for us thinks it’s great. Therefore I think it resonates with some people.

Now that you are no longer the new kid on the block, how do you feel about Welcome’s impact, now that it is more established, going forward? We evolved so much from where we started, we are always changing and I think we’ll always stay changing as long as there’s passion in it. Every season we try to blow away the season before, at least in our heads, so when we are working on something, if it’s not better than the one we just put out then we start all over. It’s a contest against us, and that’s the driver… I want to be David Bowie… David Bowie is always great because he evolved, but it’s still coming from an authentic place so I don’t see how that can be a bad thing ever.

What do you see in the future for Welcome Skateboards? We have a full length video this year. We are shooting it low key. Long term, I want to be doing stuff more rad than we are doing now.

What inspires your artwork for the brand? Life experience and music. It sounds really dumb but I’ve lived through some shit, and had a lot of different things outside of skateboarding to draw from. No pun intended.

Do you have a favorite graphic you’ve created? It changes all the time, but right now it’s called the Haunted Horse.

We love your re-issue Chris Miller graphic, how did that come about? He rides for us and he owns the rights to all his art. He drew the "Faces" art when he was a kid. On the 80s shape we did, we combined two old Miller boards from the 80s. It’s a little bit of a hybrid.

There are a lot of animals mixed together in your graphics, if you could combine two animals in real life, what would you mix together? I wouldn’t wanna make this as a graphic, but I think it would be sick to mix a silverback gorilla with a tiger. That would be ferocious. I don’t know which parts would go where, but that would be sick.

Do you have any memories of the CCS catalogs? Yes, I’ve always loved them. What I would do is go through the pages of them and then I would go through each page and I would circle my favorite board. Then I had a playoff in my head and I would go through that and see which one I liked best and then have a champion.

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