Bear Walker fans include Billie Eilish and his latest designs are about Pokémon, but what makes this famous skateboarder stand out?
Everyone finds their way into their art in different ways, which, for Bear Walker, was the culmination of many of his “random passions”. In this way, he found love for skateboarding, popular art and culture as well as his training to become a carpenter. You see, Walker makes skateboard collections, handmade and absolutely stunning to hang on gallery walls as well as to decorate rooms. This is modern art for the audience to enjoy.
Today, Walker is best known for crafting artistic skateboards, which are carved from wood before being spray-painted, etched, refined, depending on the design. Walker’s latest project is a series of skateboards Pokémon for collectible with limited edition officially licensed by Nintendo. These custom-designed special edition Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu deck designs are now available in the US and first in the UK from the Pokémon Center. “Fans are going crazy for Raichu,” Walker said excitedly.
Bear Walker’s inspiration
After studying graphic design at university, Walker took a job designing custom signs and props, and it was in one of these projects that he was inspired to create creative techniques. and tools into something more personal. “So I carved that first skateboard just for myself.”
Walker only makes 25 pieces a year and has a two-year order waiting list. So it’s no surprise that he’s been quite busy; His clients include actor Jason Momoa, ‘Shazam!’ stars Zachary Levi and Billie Eilish as owners of great collections. But he retains a genuine sense of his creations and shares, his limited edition skates are produced in pairs, “one for play and one for wall”.
Walker’s work blends traditional Pop Art with modern textured sculpture. “I always try to find ways to be creative by creating different textures and having different highlights and gaps of color,” he explains how surfing as a child and his love of skateboard influenced How is his job…”
Pop culture, collectibles and art go hand in hand, and in 2023, it looks like art is more accessible, possessive, and coveted than ever. “I feel like we’re in a new renaissance for that sort of thing,” Walker commented. “We’ve gotten to this point, I feel like in the early 2000s, when mass production and convenience were so saturated, and I think slowly, over the last five or 10 years, the handmade stuff, Customization has become more appreciated.”
Now the kids of the ’90s have grown up and bought art and collectibles that are reminiscent of their childhood but in a unique and creative way. “Nostalgia is making people spend a lot of money on things that remind them of their childhood,” says Walker. Pokémon is one of the favorite cartoon characters of many people in the 90s as well as children today.
Walker says his collectors are looking for something that reminds them of their childhood but in a unique way. For him, it’s the “small imperfections” that make the difference.