Nothing For The Grave: Jamie Lynn's Asymbol Mural December 12 2014, 0 Comments « Back to Blog
He is one of those photos where the edges are blurry with movement and the subject perfectly clear, everyone and everything in constant motion while he holds a strangely still center. Despite what folk’s think that they know, around him there is a calm. This man, a snowboard legend, an accomplished artist, a musician, doesn't think about what's going to happen or what has happened, he just lives. Jamie Lynn is a cat; he comes and goes as he pleases, actions are reflex and instinct. That is why he is still here and why there are, after two decades in this industry, still things to say about him.
“Maximum fun is the plan. I don’t really think about what needs to happen or why, it’s just a matter of living a completely full and fun life. Not knowing makes it interesting, it keeps me moving forward.”
Lynn's art is a large part of the core Asymbol quiver, now and in the beginning. His work makes up a good chunk of the original collection put together by Travis Rice and Mike Parillo back in 2009. Inviting him to the new spot in Jackson to paint a wall was the next step, the result, vibrating color and dreamy visions. Jamie’s art, very much like his board riding and music making, sends it off of the map that he himself has designed. There are nods to his roots and swings towards a fence that only he sees, the rules, whether he knows them or not, don't really seem to apply. The mural puts all of life’s driving elements, mountains, sun, snow, water, on a linear plane. His simple, harmoneous approach to color and subject is a companion to his snowboarding style, visceral and classic. After all of these years Jamie is still true to these basic ingredients.
"When I was young there was this neighbor kid who had a cat that was sick. I watched him try in many ways to kill it. He hung it up, kicked it, and finally drowned it in a sack. It was fucked up, probably the worst thing I had seen at that point. After that I just found myself harboring wounded cats. They would just show up and I’d nurse them back to health. That's partially the reason that I paint them. Cats just do what they want. Mine usually end up lying down on top of what I am trying to paint, or putting them selves directly in my view so that I have to draw them. They demand attention."
As he hits the 20-year mark of riding for Libtech the time is ripe for digging into Jamie's mind a little bit. He is the keeper of snowboarding’s evolution, he has seen and done more in 20 years than some will do in a lifetime. Sitting with him and listening to his stories is like gathering around a campfire with those that came before as they share our collective history. Almost immediately all of the questions I had planned on asking went out the window along with any hope of a traditional interview. Jamie quietly rejects conventional methods, which isn’t to say that he won’t share everything with you. He does. Nestled deep in rambling off topic conversations were nuggets of information that if put together make a strange sort narration.
“My grandpa Floyd always said, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” Some of what I do its brilliance, some of it, bullshit. I just go with it.”
Jamie travels with a skateboard, a small backpack, and a guitar. And that is all that anyone really needs to know about what matters to him. The first stop for him was a skate session with Bryan Iguchi that didn't end until blood was drawn. Lynn skates like a demon on fire embracing the burn, pain does not stop him. When he's not on wheels he has his guitar in hand. There was music for everything, he is constantly strumming.
"Music is just as important as the art expression for me. I have been playing with Wes Makepeace (*Tittyfish* front man), which is amazing. He has the most amazing voice, which lets me focus on playing guitar. Tittyfish is like a variety show with an evolving line- up, most of us have been playing together off and on for a while."
The process of getting Jamie to Jackson, pinning him down for a proper interview, and the subsequent crafting of this article were illuminating experiences. Jamie is like smoke. If you grab at it or try to capture it in any way it disperses. Every conversation with him, despite any efforts to the contrary, take on a Confucius like form. One sentence from him on any topic is concise and clear enough to end the entire conversation. We never talked about snowboarding, but by the time he left I understood the sport better than I ever have. I suppose that I understand quite a few things better thanks to him. It all just goes off the rails when Jamie is around. You have to just go with it. If I forgot to ask him about his life long career in the industry it was because it seemed irrelevant in the face of his current existence, his band, his art, traveling, story telling. When the time came to start the mural, Jamie worked tirelessly, sometimes as late as 3am. What I thought was going to be a rock star experience was more like hanging out with your grandpa in his work shed. He tinkers; you drink whiskey and get high off of spray can fumes.
On the way to the airport I told him about a quote I had just heard. “The richest places on the planet are the graveyards. That’s where everybody takes their dreams, their wishes, and they die there, undone.” To this he said, “I am leaving nothing for the grave. I am going to spend every part of myself before I get there.”