SO, ANGELO, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHEN YOU STARTED ART OF ROLLING, AND WHY?
My name is Angelo Ferrer, it feels like I’ve been skating forever now – about 17 years. I was around when all the guys everyone now calls an OG were skating but only difference I was about 10 yrs old at the time. I guess you can say I’ve been around this sport all my life. Growing up in NYC was a huge benefit because I was around some of the best skaters to come from N.Y.C and I’ve personally witnessed some of the biggest stunts in my day.
I had a goal and dream to become a well-known skater in the industry. But when push came to shove I realized that the picture was bigger then what I could accomplish or achieve in the skate world. I had been doing stunts and huge hammers since I was young and never really got any coverage or expose. The one time I did I ended up on a DVD cover along with a profile. It showed me that I had what it takes to skate with the best but also showed me that I had never been exposed and that there must be other kids with crazy talent who just never had someone dedicated to filming them.
Through that experience I started photographing the tricks my friends did and putting them on the internet to show everyone and help present them to the world. After 2 years of taking photos of skating I wanted to do something bigger, so I had the idea to make a book. While looking into the book idea I decided to get my feet wet by by doing a ‘zine. So we came up with the name ART OF ROLLING MAGAZINE for issue 1. That was the beginning of everything and with each issue we’ve pretty much covered a lot of the content that was planned for the book.
IS ART OF ROLLING IN PRINT AS WELL AS ONLINE? ZINE STYLE?
We started the first issue in black and white so we could print it. Everyone said, “Oh wow! You should print it in color and we’ll help you and chip in on the cost!” So Issue 2 was put in color and nobody at all helped us with printing costs, so we decided to put it online so everyone could see it.
Over the past few issues the cost of printing a magazine would be around $12/issue for me personally and nobody is going to by a $12/issue mag so I would not even be able to break even. But being in NYC brings in a lot of views. It seems everyone wants to know what’s going on in the Big Apple so our issues were originally getting 10,000 views. By Issue 4 we were getting an average of 25,000 views and now on Issue 6 we got a total of 65,000 views so we’re really excited to see what Issue 7 will bring in as far as views go.
Right now I’d rather keep the magazine online because any money we do generate can go back into the company and back into the skate scene here in NYC. One of the biggest things we take pride in is that we give back to our scene in many ways, so having an online magazine gives us some revenue to help continue to do what we love to do.
WHY GO TO ALL THE TROUBLE OF CREATING A MAGAZINE; IT’S A LOT OF WORK!
Good question. We are dedicated to exposing the talent here in NYC. From almost every angle it doesn’t pay off financially to do what we are doing. But from a personal standpoint, I feel it is right to give something to our skaters here in NYC. If we don’t do this then who will? I grew up feeling part of something bigger; I wasn’t just a skater I was an NYC skater.
Growing up watching all the talent come and go and how it never got documented was painful, and it’s a big part of why NYC fell off the map for a few years. So if I can personally do something for the city then it would be this. I hope to continue this magazine for as long as I can. I have also picked up quite a few skills I would never have thought I was interested in, like layouts, photoshop, typography, etc. I basically had no skills prior to the making of the magazine so with each issue I learn something new about the art of making a magazine.
Also we take great pride in being productive in and outside of skating, My wife and I are both parents to an amazing baby boy named London. My wife takes part in this strenuous lifestyle of going to school 6 days a week and has come to be in the top 3 students in her collage. She was recently asked by NASA to do test studies for their space program. So, if we’re dealing with hard work every day than we might as well deal with the pressure from something we both love.
WHAT MAKES ART OF ROLLING DIFFERENT?
Well, for starters the magazine is run and worked on by one person. All photos, layouts, graphics, fonts, etc are done by me unless otherwise stated. We’re not a company with a staff dedicated to each area. Also we cover one STATE whereas other magazines cover everywhere. One main reason why we don’t cover other states is because I personally don’t like the politics game. I like being in charge of the coverage because if I did other states the states wouldn’t be documented correctly. They would be someone’s friends in the pictures, so the coverage wouldn’t accurate. By documenting one state I am able to cover the younger guys, the new guys, the older skaters and the legends and present them all as a whole accurately without any favors taking place.
HOW MANY ISSUES HAVE COME OUT NOW? WHAT’S NEXT – WHERE DO YOU WANT TO TAKE ART OF ROLLING IN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO?
Issue 7 just came out. This was the winter issue and has been a challenge. Every issue brings a great deal of pressure and stress and just when the issue drops it starts all over again. So as a future goal I am trying to stress less over the dropping of each issue. I want to have no pressure so I can freely work without feeling a deadline about to occur. Our future goals are to raise enough money so that we can print because I work so hard on each issue I feel it’s a shame it can’t make it into people’s hands. I have this dream that in the future the people we document nowadays will have a record of what they did and how they started. Unlike the past of NYC it’s hard to find much written documentation of what happened.
THROUGH CREATE ORIGINALS, I ROLL NY, ART OF ROLLING, TRUTH 2, ETC. – THE NYC SCENE HAS REALLY GOTTEN ITS SHIT TOGETHER OVER THE LAST YEAR OR TWO. WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE BEING INVOLVED IN THAT?
First off I think Victor Callendar got the ball rolling because he started a alliance between all skaters within New York. Before he steped in, N.Y.C was a crew kind of state but now everyone is united. People like Victor and Craig from IROLLNY created a platform for people to look at and observe what’s going on in NYC and to start caring. Otherwise Truth 2 or Create Originals would just be a company coming from NYC and that’s about it. But with a platform and people like Victor and Craig, these companies now have the backing and support from all of NYC.
Some people do things to help better themselves and some people do things to help better their scene. With companies like Rolling Film Media, Skeptic, Evo Tek, Dipskate, Imagyne, ODNY, Wheels In Motion, and IROLLNY the standard objective is to help promote the NYC scene and all of its inhabitants. Being involved in all of this has set the bar high in how we go about presenting our content. We take great pride in showing what goes on here and make sure we put stuff out that will be amazing now and still look amazing 10 yrs down the line.
WHAT MAKES THE NYC SCENE WHAT IT IS?
People might not understand, but NYC is street skating. That is what it is. We have the power to jump on a train and head anywhere in NYC to skate in a matter of an hour. And we also have the option to not take any trains and skate from spot to spot all day. That is real street skating. Right now we have a united state of things right now. If someone says lets sesh here then you can believe it that 50+ people will show up. Everyone backs each other up and represents their state with everything they got. What that means is when you skate with other skaters it’s a family.
It’s not like when you see 40 skateboarders in a skatepark but none of them are saying what’s up or cheering for each other. Right now we’ve got the big family vibe and a great sense of belonging. We are witnessing each other grow and helping each other out along the way. And our sport is thriving here; this is the only part of the world where rollerbladers outnumber other action sports.
One of the things many people don’t understand when they come in from other places is that they go to the known skate spots mostly located in Manhattan. But the best skate spots in NYC are located in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens. In each borough you have a variety of spots that can be compared to anywhere in the world. The big misconception is that in most NYC video’s you only see the same spots so people tend to want to skate there. Our magazine is a great testament to how many spots we have here.
We’re more than happy to show anyone a great time in NYC; doesn’t matter if you’re the best or a beginner. If you ever come out to NYC make sure to hit us up for any info or directions to the best spots in the world.
ANY SHOUT OUT’S?
I’d like to give a shout out to my family because without them I would not be able to continue. Also like to give a shout out to all the companies and skaters out there who do this for the love because there is no other reason to be wasting precious life unless you’re doing this for the love. If skating becomes too much of a hassle and not fun anymore then make sure you fill your life with something that brings the same feelings. Because we are all getting older each day and our shelf life can only last so long so fill your life with great memories so you can look back one day and have no regrets.
Alex Nunez – Savannah: While being one of the best skaters to come from NYC, Alex also has the skills to be among the best skaters in the world, which he’s proven through his countless years. Everyone who has witnessed Alex skate clearly sees that there is a force to be reckoned with. This picture shows me that even when the clouds are gray and everything isn’t looking all sunshine there lies the inner will in Alex to bring something to the table and not only make it look good but make it look perfect and turn a cloudy day into a beautiful shot.
Wake Schepman – 180 over Railing at Flat Lines Skate comp: This picture is of Wake with his Dad observing him. It brings me back to the time when my parents’ support was all I ever needed. You can bet Wake’s Dad take great pride in his son’s activity and would support him in any of his interests he chosses, but aren’t we glad Wake choose skating.
Lets Roll NY Times Square: This day was great! Victor had thrown so many good Lets Roll NY sessions but for some reason having all the pro’s and skaters from other states joining our ranks got the session into a full on memory to never forget. Lets Roll NY Times SQ was a skater’s dream – thrashing through thousands of people 200+ skaters deep, jumping over taxi’s, startling police horses, and overall representing the sport we love to the masses. We took this group picture while being told we could not have skates on the staircase. If you know how skaters are, we asked for one last trick and made sure we went out with a bang! (Should have seen the whole Times Sq face expressions as we cheered and roared.)
Jon Ortiz – 540 Grab Medspin; Damian Michalski – Soul: While shooting both the Jon Ortiz and Damian Michalski photos I couldn’t help but notice how two generations of skaters have been documented in a world where this kind of stuff happens everyday. I was lucky enough to capture Jon’s old school flawless skill in dropping a 540 medspin with a beatifull backdrop of the city skyline. And than there’s Damian’s true talent and completely dominating skill to hit anything thrown in front of him. I am pretty sure Damian’s trick is the first and last time anyone has hit that spot and I’m pretty sure no other sport but pakour can handle such an obstacle.
Dave Ngo – Gap at the infamous Battery Park: While shooting in NYC has its perks it also has its downfalls. I must say that shooting around N.Y.C you can almost put yourself in as much danger as the skater who is doing the tricks. In this photo you can see Dave flying in the air landing his trick. But what you don’t see is the waves crashing into the 1 foot wide plank of wood that I’m on top of all while not being able to see where Dave was coming from and being hit with wave after wave of ocean water (and not knowing how to swim). But I managed to get a really one of a kind photo!
Art of Rolling founder Angelo Ferrer at Pier 62