Jason Filipow and I met at a skateboard contest in 1986. I dug his style on a skateboard and also soon realized that he was one of the only other people at my school who made stencils. We bonded over skateboarding, punk music, and art. We have been friends ever since. The picture of Jason in the sunglasses was taken in 1988 in Washington D.C. I hand drew the Bad Brains tee with a sharpie by me mixing graphics from their ROIR cassette release and their third album I Against I. I gave Jason the shirt because he said he liked it.
Fast forward to 2004 and I hired Jason to come work for my design studio, and to help me as a fine art assistant. Jason’s help has been invaluable to my progression for many reasons. Since 1986 we have shared a love of many of the same art processes and frequently discussed art theory. I trusted Jason’s opinion, and many aspects of my art evolution were critiqued by Jason. Jason also helped with collage and stencil work that allowed me the freedom to work as a fine artist and graphic designer simultaneously. Without an assistant of Jason’s calibre, aspects of my art or design would have suffered due to lack of time for both. Like George Martin was the guy behind the scenes helping the Beatles sound amazing, Jason has been the guy behind the scenes helping me realize my potential. Well, Tomorrow is Jason’s last day as my full time assistant. He is going to go out on his own to realize his potential as an artist and designer. I can only hope that Jason will achieve all of his dreams to the extent he has helped me achieve mine. As a coincidence, but a fitting twenty year landmark, Jason’s last project for me involves helping to prepare a 12 by 14 foot Obey Bad Brains tribute mural. Jason and I have both said that we do the same things we did in high school, just bigger, and now we get paid for it. Thanks for everything Jason. I’ll miss having a co-worker I have so much history with, who can finish my sentences with Big Lebowski, Spinal Tap, Fargo, or Dodgeball quotes. Good luck.