Unconscious Inspiration – Soy Panday Interview
Soy Panday, together with Vivien Feil, founded Magenta Skateboards and is the man behind the artworks of Bordeaux based company. That’s why we sneaked our way to his living room via skype, where he welcomed us with a friendly smile and a gentle voice, for a little chat about art, skateboarding and everything in between.
Hi Soy, how did you get into art? Did you teach yourself?
I was always drawing. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist, but then I was more interested in skating. When the time came to choose an art school, you had to send drawings. You had to have the file ready, and I didn’t have anything. All I was doing, was drawing my stuff during class. I stopped listening to the teacher and drawed. If I was smarter that time, that’s what I should have sent to the art school. But studies can also change the way you look at things. Maybe I wouldn’t do the same if I learned how to draw. Maybe I would look more to what all the other people already doing.
I read that Gustav Klimt is your favorite artist. Is the Magenta flower inspired by the Art Nouveau?
Actually no, it was inspired by a painting of a flower like that at a friends place. I don’t think anyone famous did that painting. Maybe a friend of his family. I’ve always been interested in what’s organic. I think that everything is growing naturally, and I think humanity is still growing. It’s still in… I don’t know exactly in what stage humanity is, but it’s there and it’s growing. Thanks to a few people. I think some people change minds. They help the evolution. Creative People, people who express themselves, that are not afraid to speak of their mind, or show their differencies, or the way they look at the world. And that’s the meaning of the different color leaf. It’s an individual that is part of a whole, and it’s bringing it’s own color, it’s own look at the world. So it’s about how you can positively impact society with what you believe in.
Art is very interesting, because it allows you to analyze yourself
Magenta is a lot about traveling, meeting people. I think doing art is the complete opposite, being at home by yourself. What´s the advantage of art, compared to skateboarding and the other way round?
Art is very interesting, because it allows you to analyze yourself. You draw something, and it’s gonna be different than what someone else draws. You don’t exactly know where it’s coming from. You have this vague idea what you want to draw and then you think: „Why am I drawing this? What does it mean about myself?“. The first time I did a drawing of an animal with geometric forms, it wasn’t a conscious decision. It was just like, that’s the way it looks good. I liked it and I did a bunch, and then I involved some human beings. And looking at all of this was like, what does that mean? Why am I drawing this, and other people are not? It means that I must be thinking about this. It’s pretty much a puzzle about yourself that you’re exploring. It’s pretty much an expedition of your subconscious. And then you can look at it, and write, that this thing for me means this. Geometric forms for me represent the language of the nature. Cause everything can be described in mathematic terms. Physic, mathematic and geometry, this is for me the language of nature. First it was still unconscious for me. But then I realized what it means and what I’m trying to say. Understanding my own subconscious and my own feels of interests.
So you´re not really planing your artwork?
After that, you start doing it more. The more you analyze, the more you understand yourself, your own language and symbols. And little by little, it’s shaping your understanding of what you’re trying to express. So it gets clearer and clearer. It’s always like a working progress. And for Magenta I’m not the only one, I talk to Vivien a lot about this. It’s something we usually decide together. What it is we want to talk about, what is the best way to communicate certain ideas. And Vivien’s mind is more on point than mine. Mine’s maybe more poetic, or metaphorical and maybe harder to read. Vivien’s influence is a bit more direct, so the mix is usually interesting. It’s a ping pong of ideas between me and him and that’s super interesting and funny. We always talk about some deep shit, because it’s funny trying to understand another nature of reality and stuff like that, like debating on what’s life and what’s reality. And then trying to put that into drawings.
How about the pro boards for Magenta? What input do you get from the riders?
It’s pretty funny, cause the riders don’t see the graphic before it’s out. It’s always a surprise.
They don’t have any influence in the graphics?
Not really, no! For some particular boards, maybe I talk to the rider, but usually it’s a surprise.
And they always liked it?
Yeah, I think so. [laughs] They are always stoked on it. It’s the same with the filmer who is editing their video parts. A lot of times, the riders are really eager to see the results, cause they know which tricks they’ve done, and they have their own vision and stuff, but they have the respect for the video editor. Like when you make a video with (Takahiro) Morita, you just sit back and wait, and you’re like, what is he kinda come up with? It’s exciting, and when you see it, your head just explodes. I’m also trying to do that, trying to have them stoked on the art stuff.
How do you work? Late night, with red wine, or do you get up early in the morning? And where do you get your inspirations from?
I watch a lot of images on the internet. One way for ideas is to experiment with different images and build a new image out of several images that you’ve collected in your memory. So you can merge them together in a certain way to make a new idea. In terms of time… I mean, I’m working everyday on this. I wake up and start drawing on stuff. I don’t really have a routine , I don’t really keep track of time or have a certain time for doing it.
Magenta is growing really well. You did a lot of different stuff, videos, cooperations. What is planed next?
Next year is the fifth anniversary, it’s a big feast for us! At first we didn’t even know if we’re gonna last for that long. We had no idea what was going on. Maybe we’re gonna do two series and loose all our money. But we have grown up, we have a lot more ideas for the future, it’s exciting. We’re gonna do some artwork and videopremieres next year to celebrate. Then we just want to do more the stuff that we’re interested in. We’re just trying to get more money to make more stuff. I haven’t been richer then when we started, I’m still pretty much as poor. Basically I’m not really interested in money either, I don’t have a strong interest in money. I see money as a tool to do more things. Actually I never tried to get any money in my life pretty much, I didn’t care about it. But we’re going to do a lot more clothing in the future, another line of clothing that´s more sort of designed. It’s a different field of things we’re interested in.
What do you want to achieve with Magenta in the future?
Bring sudden values to the world to make it more peaceful and respectful and to go in a better direction than it’s going right now. I don’t want to guide, cause we don’t know more than other people, but I think we can contribute to that. If you have a voice and people are interested in what you’re saying, it’s like, now we can express what we see, and maybe you agree with us and you can follow us. I think we see a lot of criticism nowadays, even in most of the art. It’s showing what is bad. Every movie is about showing the faults of society. But not that many are trying to bring positive solutions. I think we are trying to do that more. Here it’s positive and I think that’s where we have to go. Trying to be constructive and positive!
Good luck for that and thanks for the interview Soy!