This post is an excerpt from my Daily Fix article, “Six Creativity Lessons From Bones Brigade Legendary Skateboarders.”
Recently, Stacy Peralta, a legendary skater of the 1970s now working as a filmmaker, produced a documentary film about the Bones Brigade, the legendary Powell Peralta skateboarding team that produced some of the biggest innovators in skateboarding history.
In watching the “The Bones Brigade: An Autobiography” documentary, I was as intrigued and entertained by their stories, passion, and creativity as I was back in the 1980s.
The creativity, passion, and fun that the young guys showed in their work back then still shine in what they do today.
For example, take a look at Rodney Mullen.
Rodney Mullen is known as the godfather of street skating. During the 11 years that he was a freestyle skater, he won every contest he entered except one (thirty-five out of thirty-six). Later, as freestyle skating died out, he turned his attention to street skating and invented tricks that are staples of modern street skating. For example, he invented the flatground ollie, which transformed street skating, as well as the kickflip, the heelflip… and this list could go on. Today, Rodney skates, gives TED talks about creativity and skating, and heads up the Almost Skateboarding company.
How do you get to be this good? One reason is the constant practicing… even now as an adult, as a professional, as a legend. Every night, he practices for two hours. No matter what. The habit of constant practice began when he was a child and now, he continues it. As he said in a Huck Magazine interview when asked about his two hours:
It’s not because I’m so structured that I have to be this way or that way, or that I’ve got to be better. That’s a huge part of it but the whole time thing, it’s more representative of ‘don’t be weak’. That’s how I look at it. It may be overstated but that’s a lot of who I am and what I expect from myself. Like, on a rainy day, or when you feel tired or a little bit sick, the guys I respect are the ones who go out and do it anyway. Not because I think I will get better – it’s just a commitment to what’s made me. Skateboarding helped me discover who I was and become who I always wanted to be. Just free. The time stuff is just a commitment to that.
Of the six legendary skateboarders in Powell Peralta’s Bones Brigade, Mullen is the undisputedly most eloquent one. His thoughts about creativity were recently captured in a TEDx talk called, “How Context Shapes Content.”If you have time, check it out below.