Chris Dyer is a visionary skateboard and street artist based in Montreal whose talent is extraordinarily brilliant. Each piece of art he produces has a world of its own – there are literally details within details in every square inch. Chris showcases his talent by producing skateboarding graphics for Creation Skateboards, and in 2004, he launched his own brand called Positive Creations. Since then, Chris has been enhancing peoples imaginations by synthesizing skateboarding, spirituality, and street art into one cohesive body of work. His art has been exhibited in museums and festivals all over the world, culminating in the publishing of his own 256-page hard cover book and a full feature documentary of his life (click here to watch). His hard work truly reveals the beautiful journey life has to offer, expressing his concept of oneness through diverse mediums. The Get Born Crew had a chance to ask him some questions about his own personal journey and how it has inspired him to create.
What is your background like? Have you always lived in Canada?
Well, I was born in Ottawa, but moved to Lima, Peru at age 4, where I lived till age 17, so most of my youth I grew up in a totally different latino culture. My parents still live down there and I visit every now n then. These days I live in Montreal, and though I travel much, I will probably call it my home till the day I die.
When did you start getting interested in skateboarding?
First time I skated was in 1986, sitting down on a board, going down a little hill. So fun! That Christmas my dad bought me my own board (a bootleg Powell, cause you couldn’t get imported boards in Peru back then) and I have been skating ever since. Still enjoy it, even if I never had much skills on it.
Who are the HOH dudes, do you still skate with any of them?
The HOH (Hood of Heritage) was the gang of friends I had back in the 90’s when I moved to Ottawa. Though we all skated, it was more about getting wasted n breaking shit. After I moved to Montreal I stopped seeing them. I don’t think any of them still skate, as they’re doing the whole work/wife/baby business. I am married, and work (my art) tons, but still skate when I am able.
Are any of them featured in the first skate video series you made? What year did those come out?
Yeah, the “Skate or Bail” Trilogy was all about them. Those were put together between 1998 and 2000, with a pound shop video camera and 2 VCRs.
How did you manage to work so hard on your art work while living a party lifestyle through your college days?
I have always been naturally creative at all stages of my life, good or bad. I cannot experience life without expressing it at the same time. It’s what helps me digest it all, learn n make the most of every experience.
Who is Carlos Sanchez?
Carlos was born in the bush of northern Onterrible. I was getting away from my debaucherous life by going tree planting and I changed my name as to be able to reinvent myself. It just seemed to fit me better in that reality and then I kept on using that name for a few more years as I hitchhiked across Canada, the states, Mexico and later Hawaii. I’d say Carlos Sanchez is the dirtiest of hippies.
How did becoming a tree planter influence your work?
Well tree planting gave me the chance to re-evaluate my life and turn back onto a more positive spiritual path. Nature and the influence of more conscious people got me off my self-destructive tendencies. All of that change then was translated into new art, where I had something different to say. Art that was deeper and soulful.
When did you start Positive Creations? What was your meaning behind it?
Positive Creations came around that same time, 2003, and it was just what I decided to call my webpage. I felt “Chris Dyer” was too normal n boring. With time the name became the name of my clothing brand and movie, book, and pretty much every product I come out with. The name is self explanatory and anybody who is feeling the vibes of that can be part of this movement.
Is there a theme you are portraying through your art?
There are many themes I touch, like the spirituality I find in skateboarding. Also the oneness between all cultures, races, religions, countries, etc. I want to build bridges between movements if possible. Bring positive spiritual perspectives to skate art, street art and anything else that influences me as a city boy.
What feeds your spirituality?
I don’t know if anything can feed spirituality as everything is spirit. Can spirit feed itself? Or is it just what it is, in all of its infinite disguises. I guess its just a perspective on reality. I see everything as God n spirit, from a Buddha statue to a PBR can, from a gorgeous landscape to a Nintendo cartridge, so everything is good in a way. I just strive to keep evolving into my potential as the world does too, so there is more balance and less suffering. I guess that is my motivation, but I am grateful for everything no matter what bumps come in life.