Nike SB for size? x Keith Watts – Interview


Following the launch of the innovative ‘fit to move’ campaign, Nike SB link up with Size? to create a unique installation at the brands Carnaby Street store.

To celebrate the collections release, London based artist Keith Watts was called upon to create a series of animations featuring UK team riders – Chris Jones, Casper Brooker and Tom Harrison. The animations (which you can see over on ourinstagram) are set at some of London’s most iconic skate spots and showcase key pieces from the release, highlighting the collections focus on mobility.

We recently caught up with Keith to talk about his history in illustration, skateboarding and his approach to the project;

Tell us a bit about yourself.  Has illustration always been a big part of your life?

I have always drawn, so from a very young age I knew that was all I wanted to do.  It was at Art College that I became fully aware of illustration and that I would be an illustrator.  So yes, illustration has always been a big part of my life even before I knew what it was.  After college I did an illustration degree, then bought a secondhand mac, learnt Photoshop etc and got to work on various projects with friends, most notably a t-shirt company which was big in Japan for a bit and built an underground following but folded after a few years.  Afterwards I did 10 years as a storyboard artist and have illustrated for numerous publications including The Guardian, Financial Times, Icon & Esquire.  Currently I am working on my blog the visual diary of Keith Watts, I’m involved in a clothing label – the days, which we have a launch for at Beach on brick lane on the 14th august and I design for my wife’s print project – yourtype.

What inspires you to draw?

Everything and anything, sometimes the more mundane the subject matter the better.  Drawing for me is more a ‘need’ than a ‘want’, I am inspired by my surroundings, my interests or a good brief.  Lots of what I do is to a lesser or greater extent to do with documenting the passing of time or our passing through a space.

Skateboarding has appeared in your personal project “visual diary of Keith Watts’. Could you tell us a bit more about the project and how skateboarding fits in?

The visual diary of Keith Watts is on tumblr and gets an update when I get time to draw something for it.  It was conceived as a place for my reportage illustration and as such is an ever expanding blog of my day to day life, presenting the detritus of modern life which surround us all in a super detailed illustrations.  The viewer is invited to watch my life unfold through these drawings, often showing them objects, which are a part of their life too, which they have never taken the time to really look closely at.  Skateboarding is there because it is part of my life.



Is skateboarding an interest of yours?

Yep, I grew up skateboarding, it’s culture definitely nurtured my creative endeavours throughout my formative years and is still influencing me today, although it is harder to make time for it these days, with work & family commitments.  It’s still one of the best feelings to get out for a skate, preferably early morning at an empty skatepark with a few close friends. It is great to just roll for a bit and work through my limited bag of tricks, it’s not about being good anymore, but just about having fun.

How did the collaboration with Nike SB come about?

My style is well suited to stop frame animation and I’ve worked on a few motion pieces in the past including a self directed skateboard project with lik down, animating some of a 4 minute section of a scene video they were making.  Nike SB approached via Stem Agency who rep me as they knew I was a skater and thought my style suited the elements of the new range.

Talk us through your usual approach to a project. Was it any different for the Nike SB project?

It always starts with a brief, a discussion or an idea rattling around in my head, sometimes a combination of the 3, the Nike animation is a good example of this.  I had been working on the animated skate sequences for a personal piece when the opportunity to pitch this concept to Nike SB presented itself.  Generally I start by drawing from life wherever possible, in that sense the Nike SB project was no different.  I stood at the end of Shadwell DLR platform for 5 hours and drew most of the cityscape after my first meet with the guys at Nike.  I invented the foreground from photographic reference.  Once I’ve drawn everything I scan the components and put the piece together in Photoshop.



The collection is named “fit to move”, how did you incorporate the theme of movement into your work?

The notion of movement is inherent in an animation, skateboarding is obviously all about movement too, whether nailing a trick or just pushing through the city streets.  My style can look like there is a kind of kinetic energy held within the textures of shaded areas and often the line looks quite fluid or quite broken up sitting as a part of the whole image.  The notion of movement was a pre-requisite of the brief so I was mindful of it as I drew everything, the theme was there, I just presented it within the artwork I produced.

The Nike SB project is slightly different to your usual work, what was the most challenging thing about this project?

I thought the animation would be, but working with Sam at wheelhouse from frames supplied by Nike made it a breeze.

The difficult part was working on the 2GB photoshop file I had to create for the cityscape mural.  I had to scan the 15 pages of drawings at double the resolution I normally use for a print job, compose the scene, and tweak elements to better fit the space.  My mac had a midlife crisis throughout this, I spent 10 minutes every hour getting a save in before the next crash. Then it took 3 hours to save the final colour image (mostly to do with finding a format & compression options that would neither crash photoshop nor compromise quality) & a further 8 hours to upload it to a file sharing site.  I’ve watched too many progress bars not progressing in the last few weeks but the end result is definitely worth the hard work.

You can check the animations at the Size? and Nike SB concept store on Carnaby Street now along with ‘Fit To Move’ collection. You can shop the collection over at nike.com and size.co.uk

We would like to thanks Keith Watts for his time. Be sure to visit the visualdiaryofkeithwatts.tumblr.com for more great work.



Words: Kieran Sills

Imagery courtesy of Nike SB



size? Basics Summer 2014 Collection


Sitting alongside some of the biggest names in footwear and street wear, size? have been developing their own apparel collections for just under a decade now. This Summer sees the second season of their in house range, as they release a selection of basic essentials.

In any wardrobe it is important to balance branded pieces with clean, versatile clothing and size? have you covered with their latest offering. Each piece is crafted from premium, lightweight materials and arrives in a muted colour palette of navy, grey and white. The release features curved hem and striped tees, double lined mesh vest and shorts, as well as lightweight long sleeves.

The easy to wear pieces are designed to form a foundation for any outfit, to allow the wearer to add or take away layers to fit their own style.

The size? Summer Basics collection is available now at www.size.co.uk


PUMA x Size? ‘Wilderness Pack’ Drop 1

PUMA link up with yet another big name as they present the Wilderness pack for summer 2014. We take a look at drop one from the German shoe giants collaboration with size?, as they release details on the R698 ‘Sahara’ and XS850 ‘ Inner City’.

With a range of high profile releases behind them this year already, the first drop in the Wilderness Pack offers something slightly different as they take inspiration from harsh terrain environments.

Inspired by the barren desert, the R698 ‘Sahara’ resembles the dry landscape through its use of suede on the upper and sand speckled midsole. The shoe features high levels of detailing throughout including a leather toe box, as well as blue and cacti green colour accents on the inner and heel tab.

The XS850 is another 90’s re-issue, originally released as a running shoe. The shoe provides maximum stability and comfort, with design features that equips the wearer for survival in the street. The black leather upper and 3M mesh combines with the yellow inner and green tab detailing to reflect the city landscape.

The PUMA x Size? ‘Wilderness Pack’ drop one will be available in-store at Size? from the 21st of June and other selected retailers from the 12th of July. Keep an eye out for information on the second drop to follow!

(click images to enlarge)



Nike SB x size? Carnaby Street Launch


Last Thursday (27th Feb) we headed down to launch party for the Nike SB space at Size? Carnaby Street, to get more of a feel for the store.

The night had a great vibe and crowd, with drinks flowing, all the canapés you could eat and good music playing. New product, as well as SB classics were on show in the spacious store, designed to create an easy, laid back shopping experience.

Nike SB and Size? recruited the artistic direction of Stevie Gee to add his own personal touch to the evening with his work on the walls, as well as his main attraction…the wheel of fortune!  It was great to see the store entirely focused around skateboarding and designed with its customers in mind.

We would like to thanks Nike SB and Size? for inviting us up to the event! If you haven’t been down to the store yet, be sure to check it out!