We had the good fortune of connecting with Smiley One and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Smiley, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve been surrounded by the skateboarding and street culture since i was a kid. As many other kids out there we want to either film the same videos that we use to watch before skating, shooting magazine photos or design skateboards graphics. In my personal case i picked the 3 of them and as an adult i thankfully made a living of this.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
First off, thanks so much for hitting me up with the opportunity to appear in the shoutout series. Well, i’,m a visual and street artist born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. Currently living between Los Angeles, CA and San Jose, Costa Rica. Mainly influenced by everything related to the 90’s skateboarding culture, 90’s animated TV shows/cartoons, hip hop culture and punk rock music. Proudly skating and making art since a small kid. As many other artist i was always curious about a lot of art related fields, where i began learning about photography, filmmaking and design among others. Nowadays i use to make my living mainly of designing full time, many times for things that influenced me as a kid, like skateboarding companies and music bands. Others just painting on the streets or eating cheeseburgers with my friends after a skate session. The path has not been easy at all and i might say that persistence is key as any arts field is a really difficult and even expensive path to follow and if you are just like me who’s coming from a non rich family things can turn even harder. You really gotta love what you do so it will never be seen as failure but a long way to run, where at the end of the day you just hold tight, enjoy the ride, hope for the best, look back and see how much you learn day by day.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hahahaha I’m loving this question so so much and find it a little hard, too. It depends of many things as which your interests are. But you are saying the guy is already one of my friends so I may say he/she likes the same things I do and we share a few of the same lifestyle. I’m a proud jungle monkey straight outta the land of the mountains, forests and beaches so we gotta go to eat some Gallo Pinto with salza lizano and Coffee straight up. We might visit some of my friends skateshops around my town so you will feel part of the family. It might be sunny but can turn rainy anytime. So we might expect whatever speaking about weather, anyways…. We might go to find some spots to paint and let some art in the country…. believe me, one of the most precious things you can bring to a graffiti writer/street artist is finding somewhere to paint their art as part of the trip. On weekend i might set up a skate session with my friends in town and make some good stuff after it where we can even have a good time. i’m a constant traveler so i know how it feels in both sides of the coin when you are in another country and everybody shows up and you have an unbelievable time and when you also arrive and everybody is gone and it feels not good at all. I never want people to live that experience by my side. That’s why i’m always down for my friends….. Beaches, Mountains, Streets… you name it…. if not ask my friend Sayuh how we do !!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To Sheep Skateboards, all the friends that i keep since the early 00’s who are still playing PS1 and Nintendo 64 with and basically anyone who has helped me to shape the person i currently am since day one. Alban R.I.P ,