Element Skateboards

Skateboarding was my gateway to design.

While many of our projects go through a rigorous new business and discovery pipeline, sometimes it’s as simple as this. Though we’re a small team, we have some very different interests. Some of us are screen printing at midnight, or perfecting breakfast sandwiches at noon, or writing musicals, or making tie-dye cool again. We all love snacks, though.

Sometimes, those passions collide with the right opportunity.

Tim Gough, who accidentally broke into advertising after years of channeling his love of art into his love for other things like music and skateboarding, had maintained a decade-long relationship with Element when they reached out with this one. This was the process, according to Tim:

You make cool shit. Put some cool shit on a skateboard and we’ll give you money.

The company, based in Irvine, California, is as committed to the environment as they are to their sport, and in addition to using sustainable materials and responsible practices, they honor nature through their Spirit Animal collection. The illustrations were inspired by the creature that represents each featured rider, including Olympic skater Nyjah Huston.


Tim put some cool shit on a skateboard and got paid for it, proving the importance of making stuff you love and being the kind of partner you’d want to work with.


Illustration/Design: Tim Gough/Dirty Hands LLC