I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Jim Phillips’ work long before I even knew his name. Born in San Jose, graduated from California College of Arts & Crafts (which is a mere stone’s throw away from where I presently live.) and going on to become the art director for Santa Cruz skateboards for many years. If I had to guess, I would say he was the man responsible for three quarters of the total graphics load that the skateboard industry was producing in the late 80’s… not to dismiss or diminish his contributions to the art of surf culture and that of rock posters. Even before I ever hopped on a board I remember seeing decals with his designs on them. I had no idea that what I was looking at had anything to do with skateboarding or any other subculture for that matter. They were just so potent and effective all on their own. His screaming blue hand is an iconic graphic, just as relevant and definitive now as it was back then. I cannot easily count how many artists & designers have directly referenced his work as a way of tipping their hat to him.