There is something very personal and meaningful when you receive a gift that someone has handmade. (Unless it’s Aunt Verna’s yellow bird sweater. Sorry, Aunt Verna.) An artists, a craftsman, a visionary made something out of raw materials, formed it with thought and care, and then gave it you—a gift from their soul.
At Red Panda Boards, we hand-draw all of our boards. Then, we bring the artwork into digital tools to produce the finished artwork sent to the printer. It is then applied to the decks and bought by you.
This is a dream come true. We grew up wanting to create art that people would enjoy. It was the designs of the legendary Jim Phillips and VC Johnson that drew us to skateboarding in the first place. Now, our boards are being ridden all over the country, and our designs are out in the public eye.
Why do we emphasis hand drawn? Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that A.I. art has exploded. People are turning to computer’s to create works that humans once made all by themselves.
But here’s the secret: these programs can only create by recreating. I’ll explain: A.I. has to have input to make anything. So the A.I. programs are scouring the internet, pulling pieces of art from human artists, and then combining them into new pieces of art—all in the blink of the eye.
This raises a lot of ethical and legal questions, but I digress.
The desire to use A.I. comes from the twin desires to save money and to save time. We get it. Hiring and paying artists for artwork is expensive and it is time consuming.
But the idea that everything in life should be instant only leads to unhealthy lives. Think of this way: imagine eating just McDonald’s food all day every day. What happens to your health? It goes down. Actually, you will eventually die an early death if you do it for too long.
The same goes with A.I. art: instant, cheap art will lead to spiritual and emotional malnutrition. This sounds extreme and far fetched. And hile some laugh at us, they won’t be laughing in a two to three years as this “revolution” devastates the lives of true artists—the source of A.I. art in the first place.
Remember, a lot of people ignored those who said social media and smartphone addiction would deeply impact mental health…and now we are seeing the impact in real numbers.
All that to say, we create our boards by hand. They are drawn by a human hand. The boards are made by human hands. The boards are printed by human hands. They are shipped by human hands.
And they are ridden by human beings, not computers, not robots.