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Lucas Beaufort interview - Devoted documentary

02.10.2017 / Toimitus

Devoted is a video documentary on printed skateboard media. We interviewed Lucas Beaufort, french artist and video maker, who is behind Devoted. 

"DEVOTED" - documentary on skateboard media. from The LB Project on Vimeo.

Lucas himself

What’s your background with skateboarding?

I always loved skateboarding. When I was three years old, my mum bought me a small plastic boards and we used to roll on our knees. But we kept toring our pants so my mum decided we needed to stop. It’s only ten years later, at the age of 13 that I got my very fisrt real board. I never stopped since then.

When did art came part of your life and what is it’s relationship with skateboarding? 

I started to paint pretty late. I was 26 years old and I didn’t know what to get my brother for Christmas. I wanted something personnal. I Drew him a big illustration. Everyone in the family loved it and they all encouraged me to start painting. That’s what I did and I loved it.

It’s been 10 years now that I paint every single day.

As I love skate magazines, I painted on a magazine cover and sent it to the publication (Vice), they loved it and offered me a subscription. Now, I receive magazines from all over the world every month at home. I love to paint on skate photos.  I add my little monsters in the scenery. This makes me feel like I was part of the action the day the photo was taken.

What was the first skateboard magazine that you remember? 

It was a zine from Toulouse in France. I was 13 years old. This is how I discovered that we could make some tricks with a skateboard. I didn’t know we could jump with it.

What does printed magazine means to you in 2017? 

I still love printed magazines. Of course I get a lot of info from the web now but I still love to flip a magazine. What I would suggest to a publication would be to have a high quality content and maybe to have less issues per year in order to make the best magazine they can that people will want to keep as a coffee table book.

Do you prefer reading and watching photos from screen or from printed magazine ?

I love photography so of course I love watching photos from printed magazines. In addition, I love to paint on these photos which I couldn’t do if they were not printed.

But I also enjoy to get information from the social media. The difference is that on the web the photos do not need to be as good as in a printed magazine.

What do think about books compared to magazines? 

I wish magazines would look more and more like books. I think that to survive, the printed publications need to be different from the web content. They need to look as beautiful as possible, as a book.

We have no idea who these guys are...

Do you read other magazines than skateboard magazine? 

I am passionate about travelling so I enjoy looking at geography magazines where the photos are most of the time amazing. It gives me inspiration.

When you think about magazines, do you care most about photos, words or layouts?  

Photos are definitely important but words are more important to me. When I see a skate mag with only good phorographie I feel like they were to lazy to write a story. The layout is also very important because it gives personality to a magazine.

Keith Hufnagel

What’s the best skateboard magazine ever, in your opinion? 

Color magazine. It’s a Canadian skateboard publication, unfortunately this magazine died a few years ago.

When did you get the idea start making documentary about skateboard magazines? 

I receive at home many skateboard magazines from all over the world. I have a subscription to each one of them because I paint what I call « Recovers », by adding my characters on the photo of the cover. I had this feeling that it was more and more difficult for printed publications to hang in there because of all the information you can get instantly on the social media and internet. So I was interested in getting the professionals’ opinion about that.

Alex Irvine

Devoted includes almost all big names in skateboard industry. Was it difficult to get access to interview everyone?

It was quite tough to connect with some people I interviewed. I had to re Schedule Interviews. I remember driving like 3 hours to meet somebody then 5 minutes before the meeting I receive a text : "sorry I’m not here today". It was hard but it was so important to me to have their opinion and to make them part of my project. that I made everything possible to meet them. I never take no for an answer. Thrasher magazine was really hard to make it happen. Had to go in San Francisco with no appointment (even if I tried to get one) to make it happen. I was waiting for people outside of the building asking if I can talk to Tony Vitello ? People were like : "dude, you need an appointment"! It was a nightmare, ahahaha!

Was there someone that you would have liked to interview but it didn’t happen for one reason or another? 

I didn’t get Jim Thiebaud. I met him in San Francisco at the very beginning of the project. He loved the idea but he wanted to wait. I didn’t get a chance to meet him again later. I feel like I would never let the chance to make it happen again. Next time I’ll do it right away.

Who was the most interesting people to interview? 

I was honored to meet and to interview all the people who are part of the documentary. If I have to make a top three list, I would say Marc Johnson, Skin Phillips and Michael Burnett.

Every interview I did lasted about 2 hours so I have an amazing content from each. It was very hard to decide what parts to select for the documentary. 

How did you arrange funding for Devoted? 

Some brands like Adidas, Active, Turbokolor, to mention a few, believed in the project even before I started it. So it’s important that people still support some projects that are strong and gather all of us.

Any new projects on mind after this one? 

Of course, I’m always working on something new. Stay tuned on my Instagram account (@lucas_beaufort). I’ll start filming a new documentary early 2018 about kids.

Text: Mikko Kempas Photos: Lucas Beaufort

Trent Wahey / Slam magazine

Josh Friedberg 


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