Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Morning Playlist: Michael Leon

I have looked up to this weeks feature for quite a few years now, so when he graciously agreed to do a Monday Morning Playlist feature and short interview you can imagine my excitement.

Skateboarding and design have always been in Michael Leon's blood. Michael designed his first pro model deck for New Deal while in high school. The CalArts graduate continued to pursue his love for skate and design contributing graphics and art direction to some of the industry prominent players including Fourstar Clothing, Element Skateboards, Girl Skateboards, Stussy, DC, Arkitip and Nike SB. Michael is also responsible for co-founding Commonwealth Stacks and Rasa Libre Skateboards. If you think that is an impressive resume he also founded Michael Leon Studio as an outlet for personal works which he balances when he not handling his full time gig as the Design Director of Nike SB in Portland, Oregon.

Michael has been with Nike for four years - initially helping develop Nike's Tech Pack which eventually morphed into Nike Sportswear (NSW). While NSW was evolving Michael took a change of scenery working on packaging and titles for 'Nothing But The Truth'. As a result he made the transition from NSW and joined the Nike Skateboarding Division which continues to evolve, solidifying Nike as one of the key players in the skateboarding industry.

5 things I don’t leave home without are…


The best kept secret of Portland is...

If there is one, let me know

When I am away from the office you can usually find me…

On a motorcycle

If I wasn't designing or skating I would be…


My favorite book is...

The Brand Gap (Marty Neumeier)

My favorite spot to hang out on the Nike Campus is…

The smoking area

An artist that inspires me is...

Gabriel Orozco

My favorite pro skater is...

Julien Stranger

The most underrated skater in my opinion is...

Matt Beach

What best thing about working at Nike is...

Air miles

The first thought that came to my head when Eric Koston joined Nike SB was ...

Can’t wait to work on something together

My favorite skateboard graphic is...

Girl Rick Howard ‘Graphic Loading...’

The best words of advice I ever received were...

Do one thing and be the best at it.

While those words of advice sink in and resonate check out Michael's Monday Morning Playlist.

1. Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself - Morrissey
2. Coming In From The Cold – The Delgados
3. Inside Looking Out – The Animals
4. The Four Horsemen – Aphrodite’s Child
5. Traveling Tragition – Tyrannosaurus Rex
6. California Saga (The Beaks of Eagles) - Beach Boys
7. I Hope I Know You – The Clientele
8. Accidents Will Happen – Elvis Costello
9. That’s Entertainment - The Jam
10. RU Lonely – Graham Coxon
11. Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
12. Zombies – Care of Cell 44
13. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

14. The End Of The World - Skeeter Davis

You can download the playlist here.

(photo via Michael Leon)