As I worked on incorporating the local skate and surf culture into my art, something that came up was Volkswagon having its place in the Santa Cruz lifestyle. As these were also part of my childhood, and my first car was a VW Bug, it was easy to connect with. In fact, many of the series are based on personal experiences.
Volkswagens are notorious for catching fire, which is how “Optimism” was inspired. “Locals Only” comes from the idea that growing up, we are taught to respect locals in the water, when actually the ocean has its own locals. A family member of mine had someone use a scouring pad on her car thinking that if it would clean pots and pans it would by all means clean the car. Which it didn’t. This is where “Car Wash” originated. “Drag Race” is meant to be an oxymoron. In 1959 VW buses only had between 25 - 36 horsepower, so in reality it would take days to get through a race of that kind. But a friend of mine installed a Porsche motor thus was able to burn out. This also led to the piece, “To the Beach.”
Keeping it local was a great way to connect to the community and use models who are long time Santa Cruzians.