Interview with Liane Plant of Valkyrie Skates

We love to see girls involved in skateboarding and even more so when they create and add to the scene/industry too. When we came across Liane Plant this week (following her show at CSM LDN), we just had to get in touch and ask her about her skate life, influences, creative passions and her rad work with Valkyrie Skates.

BHow and where did your love for skateboarding begin?

My artwork has always been influenced by skateboarding, growing up I was the kid that used to make stencils & draw Toy Machine monsters on other peoples skateboards.
We lived in a tight knit community where everyone would cut school and skate. My Dad worked at a metal factory & made us a custom rail & we had a mini ramp that was held together by bricks & would slide around every time you’d skate it.

I was always drawing as a kid, I remember vividly seeing a Volcomics skateboarding rat that Jim Phillips had drawn & I sat home and tried to copy it, I think I still have it today, it actually really sucked but I thought I did a decent job at the time. I found his style mesmerising and to this day he is still one of my favourite artists.
As I grew older I began to draw a lot more & read a lot of comics & go see more art, I was inspired by Michael Sieben Steve Caballero & Travis Millard, seeing skateboarders making art inspired me to make my own. I left school knowing that I wanted to draw loads so I did B-tech art & design & we used to draw and skate everyday.

How did you make your art/skate dream a reality? Who were you biggest artistic influences in the skate world?

I went on to study graphic design at Central Saint Martins & moved down to London. I learnt how to screen print & in my final year I helped out at Lovenskate, & interned at Puck studio printing & being a vinyl girl. By this point I was picking up different techniques of working in different mediums, I bought a copy of Disposable skateboard bible, the Bold graphics & strong neon colour palettes of the 80s inspired me to revive the craft that had largely been over thrown by heat transfer print. I rounded up my buddy Ralph as he was studying product design at CSM & was the go to wood guy, we sat down & came up with a bunch of ideas & influences the main theme being rejuvenation of old technique, rebirth & awakening from the dead. We decided to create a skateboard company that would bring back all the qualities of skateboarding that had slowly became lost  & in danger of being overthrown by big budget companies & overseas manufacture.

And so we have the birth of Valkyrie Skates right? Can you tell us more about this venture, what you guys set out to do and your hopes for the future..

Yes! We started to create handmade, hand shaped skateboards that are reminiscent of an earlier time in skateboarding where the focal point of a graphic was the print & the craftsmanship that was conducted in the process, we didn’t want to  be dictated by Adobe Illustrator & heat transfer prints. We selected each piece of wood at a local timber merchant & Ralph created some templates & shaped them by hand.

I then used Norse mythology as a basis of a narrative within all our boards. It is then designed & printed using a silkscreen process. One board could have up to seven prints so we would be up all night but the outcome felt so worth it, each board is different to the next.  In Norse mythology Valkyries are the maidens of Odin who search the battlefield for the souls of the bravest warriors, which are then taken up to Valhallah and trained to fight in the apocalyptic battle of Ragnorok. The theme of immortality and rebirth is at the core of Valkyrie & supports our intention of rejuvenating traditional processes.

For the future, hopefully we’ll be expanding & pushing out concave boards, along with a load of challenging prints. The dream is to get everyone hyped on our skateboards & bring back the craft. It would also be awesome to collaborate with other artists on a series, working with Skinner would be a dream, I also love Jay Howell, Dennis McNett & Lucas Beaufort.

Awesome! We wish you all the best, it’s great to see someone with so much genuine passion and motivation! Before you go, we wanna ask you a few little quick fire questions…

Who are your all time favourite skaters?Lizze Armanto is killing it for the girls, I also love Chris Haslam, David Gonzalez, Sean Malto, the Gonz.

What are your favourite skate brands? In particular what do you prefer to skate in? Specific fave skate shoe etc?Creature, Heroin, Santacruz, Mishka usually anything with eyeballs, skulls or screaming hands.

Lastly, what are your favourite vintage ads/collabs or designs you felt really inspired by? 



Published by Em Ledger

Real life person with far too many feelings. Survivin & Thrivin blog & podcast, one half of Poor Lass zine & podcast

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