Student Spotlight: Auden Lincoln-Vogel ’09

Students of Phillips Academy love trying to be original, be it with music taste or one-of-a-kind clothes and objects – especially if they are personalized. Auden Lincoln-Vogel ’09 has presented not only the PA community, but also the world with the opportunity to own a mode of transportation unlike any other: custom, hand-painted skateboards. The skateboard decks he designs and creates are not just distinct–they are stunning. The more time we spend at PA, the less our peers’ accomplishments surprise us. Lincoln-Vogel’s work is an exception. We should commend not only his capacity to create, but also his ability to surprise. Q: How and when did you begin painting skateboards? A: Well, I began skateboarding after/during freshman year. I started some spray paint art on decks using stencils. On the side, I began designing boards. Then, lower year, I found out about this website where you can design your own skateboards, so I began uploading my designs to the site ( Q: How long does it typically take to design and create a new skateboard? A: It could take a few hours or maybe even a few days, it really depends on my mood. Q: Do you want to turn your business into a franchise as you grow older? Or is it merely a hobby? A: Yeah, I’ve kind of been trying to do that with the skateboards, but it is hard because not that many people know about them yet, so I haven’t exactly been profiting much. Maybe this interview will get me some more business from PA students. That’d be great. Q: Have you ever considered expanding your JYRAF designs outside of just skateboards (clothing, posters, shoes, etc.)? A: Most of the shirts I wear I screen-print myself so I would definitely go beyond my own wardrobe and try and make some money off of my clothing designs. Q: Where can PA students purchase one of your custom-made decks and for how much? A: They’re all about $45, the normal price for a skateboard deck. The originality is definitely worth it! Q: What inspires you to create specific designs? A: Boredom, I guess would be one. [Laughs] It’s hard to say exactly what inspires me, it’s usually just me doodling in class and coming out with a cool design. Sometimes, a specific object inspires me. Like gnomes—that’s been a pretty recent aspect of my designs. I also try and experiment with different mediums and find one I like. If you create something out of boredom, it usually contains more meaning because it’s not like you’re trying to produce art, it just kind of happens. Q: Which design of yours are you most proud of? Describe it and explain why. A: It’s hard to say because I generally don’t love every aspect of [any one of] my designs. I’m thinking my favorite is the deck I most recently made called Trapped, which is an interpretive and somewhat abstract, picture of a man. I really like it because I made it with pastels, which I’m ot used to working with. It was a very pleasant surprise.