An interview with Simon True…

I first heard about Simon True when i was flicking through a skateboard magazine years ago and stumbled across an ad for Heroin Skateboards, featuring a board with some his graphics on it. I noticed the name at the bottom, but didn’t recognize it. A few years later the same name cropped up again when i was looking for a t-shirt on E-bay. I found a sick looking one with a cartoon of Bill Cosby on it. I didn’t buy the shirt in the end, but once again noted the name. A few more years passed and i found myself living in Yokohama city in Japan. I was looking for a place to display some drawings i was tinkering about with and, as i didn’t really know that many people out there at the time, i decided to contact Fos (the owner of Heroin Skateboards, who doesn’t know me from adam) via myspace to see if he could help. He couldn’t give me the name of anybody to talk to about sticking my pictures on a wall, but told me to look out for  someone called “the mighty Simon True” who apparently was living in the same city as me. It turned out he was also working for the same company as me, but our paths had yet to cross. Eventually, of course, they did and i was able to witness the genius of Mr True first hand. A man who skates how he wants, draws what he wants, and is a truly unique character.

So, presenting to you (or reminding you about), Mr Simon True:

BxOxTxC: Name, Age, Shoe size, Occupation?

Simon True: Simon John True, U.S.10.5, Headmistress

I had the dubious pleasure of working for the same company as you in Yokohama. How did you wind up living in Japan?

Started seeing a little Japanese lady while I was living in London. We lived in Camden Town together for a good bit and used to come out to Japan for a visit about once a year.

I couldn’t fault the concrete and the weather and the food here so I moved out. The missis stayed on in London for a while and joined me a few months later.

I know this is an obvious and slightly daft question, but can you give people an idea of what living in Japan is like?

There’s no central heating.

How would you best describe your art?

Shitty. Self indulging. Inexplainable. Washed up.

I’ve noticed a lot of optical illusions in your drawings and paintings. What’s that all about?

Well there’s no central heating here. So I’m always dreaming about radiators.. erm. Oh yeah!, I’m crap at Maths but when I was at school there were lots of MC Escher prints on the wall in the classroom where we did Maths, so I suppose that’s it. I used to like the one with the water flowing upwards. I used to have arguments with this nutter because he couldn’t see anything wrong or impossible about it.

Recently you seem to be doing a lot of paintings on photographs. Is it for an exhibition? Who takes the photos?

It’s for an exhibition in Tokyo this summer, if the gallery stays in business. The photographer is Akira Somekamera from Osaka. He’s the only real hardcore artist (Van Gogh lifestyle) I know. His photo’s are amazing. It sort of looks like everything he photographs is suspended in formaldahyde or however the hell you spell it.

Why is it that so many people know about your work despite you not having a website or blog like everybody else who’s ever drawn a picture?

I reckon Flickr is the best way to show artwork on the web.

I think people know my work from stuff I did with Slam City Skates in the late 90’s and the mag coverage of The Side Effects of Urethane and of course Heroin Skateboards. There’s probably other random sources but those are the main three I think.

Last one. What artists do you admire?

My friend Nick Lowndes who I went to uni with in Manchester, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Pablo Picasso, Lee Quinones, Vincent Van Gogh, Neil Blender, Rocky May True, Sue Roy True and Scott Thomas.

Anything you’d like to add?

457,836,485.65 quid and 887,746,357,636.66 quid and put it in my Barclays.

No, really. I don’t want this interview to mislead people. The truth is that it sounds like I’m an artist and known and all that shit, but I’m in no way making a living from it. There’s no way I could support myself let alone my family on selling my paintings or graphics. I’ve got a few pikey jobs teaching English in a pikey(but good pikey) Junior High School and in pikey companies teaching business conversation English. That’s what I do. I’m not complaining though. I sort of like it because I’m under no pressure at all. I don’t have to paint or draw. I’ve kind of sacked it off anyway. I just feel like skating. Have you seen Stevie Williams’ penthouse in LA?

Bet you didn’t know he’s from Rochdale!

Cheers Simon, It’s been a pleasure.

Right then, that’s that. My first sketchly thrown together interview with an artist (though he claims he ain’t one.). Simon was kind enough to give me a few designs for T-shirts, which will go on sale at the Skullduggery Gallery opening tomorrow night in Derby. Check out the picture below for peep at his design, or google his name for some other rad stuff. If thats not enough, click the link below for his photostream on flickr.

Simon true on flickr

Heroin Skateboards


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1 Response to “An interview with Simon True…”


  1. 1 Nick Lowndes February 20, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Great work Si True from your old pals nick and julie lowndes x


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