Donovan Strain. You might not recognize his name, but if you follow skateboarding's coverage, you are familiar with Buttery Ass Mondays, his video series at The Berrics that are now over. He is creative on a level that is so out there, that when I first saw his videos I did not know if this was some crazy guy talking or if there was actually some reason among his words. He is just insanely creative and you cannot help but listen to what he says. His street-awareness lessons are hilarious (proof), and it is a pleasure to share his vision here. Should I add that he is an insane skater too? Double hardflips? Switch bluntslide bigspint out? "Shit, son…"
Hi Donovan, are you down to do a quick interview?
Haha, my responses might be slow but shoot!
No worries at all. What is going on this Saturday night?
Gonna go check out a new camera for sale. Need a fresh one for my new website. Then go skating my neighborhood.
Are you involved in any new video projects now that you've stopped working with The Berrics? Is it still going to be about teaching the young guns how to hustle?
My videos on my site will be based around skating, creativity, like my animations and such, and street awareness, I guess you could say. That shit you ain't never gonna learn in school typa shit.
Brilliant, because a lot of kids miss the lessons. You also had a clothing range coming out, is it still in line? What is/ was the name?
It was called Downtown. It was gonna be done with The Berrics, but now that I'm not there anymore, that ended. But really, Downtown was what I had to settle on, and all the ideas behind it. My original name and product ideas were a lot different. More raw and they wouldn't allow it. But the people behind the website I'm starting want to help me get my original idea back in motion. After things start off with the site, I'll get the line up again, but how I really wanted it to be.
Pretty dope. You kinda popularized the term 'buttery', isn't it? How does it make you feel that kids say it more often than 'please'?
Haha! The word been around forever. I used it in my YouTube vid that got The Berrics attention, and they asked me to make 2 sample videos of something like I did and just teach something. So, one was how to make a butteryass tee, and one was how to make that paper. They watched them and said: OK, change how to make that paper to how to make that butteryass paper, that'll be the word for everything from now on.
So that was that. I never really used it too often other than for the title, I'm over it though now. My new site is "butteryass" word free. Gotta get something fresh out there.
Interesting, but yes, you have to be always one step ahead. What else is going on with your life, you mentioned that collecting swords and skateboarding were your main interests, is there anything else you dig?
My animations are fun. They take a lot of work but I like art.
You live in downtown LA, right? Do you travel often and would you see yourself living anywhere else?
I just moved out of my apartment to go more places. Finally going to San Francisco again, I'm super hyped! I haven't been there in months and it's the best downtown to skate around.
Yes, and the places are all within reach with a skateboard. We're almost done, two more questions. First, which skaters do you look up to, and who are your sponsors now?
Umm… I look up to the locals that skated my city when I was a kid. They skated for fun an fucked so much shit up, they were from a different time, when skating was raw as fuck. I started in 96 and these dudes were like 3 or 4 years older and ripping up my neighborhood. I wanna skate like them, more than a "filming conscious" skater, you know? City, Thunder and Hubba been keeping me on a board and grinding, super hyped on them!
There you go, thanks Don! To the readers, I would really suggest you to start checking his videos here and then going backwards, you won't even know what hit you.
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