Welcome to the second piece of content in a long string of content dedicated to THERE & UNITY Skateboards. Today our very own Lea Isabell Uhle meets the wonderful Marbie. People say, don’t meet your idols but I think there are some exceptions to that rule. Anyway, you will be seeing a lot more Marbie and reading a lot more by Lea because tomorrow we have another little interview coming by her with Kien Caples. For now though, it is all Marbie. Enjoy!
Interview by Lea Isabell Uhle.
Intro by Roland Hoogwater.
All photos by Norma Ibarra a.k.a La Pir0.
Where do you live and how is it to skate there?
Right now I live in Oakland, California. The skate scene is definitely the reason that I moved there just because there’s been a really big skate community for a while. There’s just happy skateboarding, most of the people I run into are nice and we have a lot of good spots. We have Rock Ridge which is our community center where we go every single day to skate and hang out. It’s our version of public space since we don’t have a lot of parks, etc. here in the U.S. I used to live in Wisconsin where I started transitioning and picked up skateboarding again after an injury. The move was really important to me though.
I saw that you’re doing some other cool things besides skateboarding, like beautiful art pieces. Do activities like that help when you are injured for example?
Thank you, yeah, I have a lot of creative outlets. And some of it comes from the need to constantly be doing something. When I’m hurt I shift over to something else rather than skating for a while. I get bored easily so I usually rotate between art, music, or just random stuff like fingerboarding or playing video games.
What inspires you the most in your art, skating.. life in general?
I’m not completely sure. I feel like it comes naturally since it’s such a necessity for me to always create and evolve. No matter what, I’ll always keep creating and expressing myself. Something that also inspires me is my friends and generally relationships with people. The whole life experience, I guess. Also how I’m feeling leaks into it sometimes. With skating it’s growing up and watching many different skaters who inspire me.
Do you feel like your art and skateboarding affect each other?
They kind of have to because I do them both so much. I’ve been starting to do more design stuff as well.
Is there anything you have as kind of a ‘goal’ with your art that you haven’t done yet?
I guess having a solo exhibition. I did one in my small hometown a long time ago but it felt good to have a reason to make bigger paintings. My biggest dream is an artist residency and I might be doing that in Italy in spring!
I saw that you were traveling for the video, was this your first time in Europe?
This was my second time here actually! We went to Milan, Paris, and Barcelona in 2020, that video was called ‘Euro There’ and this new one is just called ‘Euro There 2’. I really liked Milan since it was the first place I visited here. Everything looked so cool especially since I had no particular expectations. The second time I only went to Copenhagen and Malmö which was nice since we were in such a big group.
How was the feeling in the group? To me, it looked like you had a lot of fun and that it was inclusive.
We all love each other, it was lovely to see everyone and be in the same place. It feels like you’re in a weird skate dream, being around great people and getting to know others.
What did you like the most on tour?
Not really having any particular tasks but rather being able to roam around and explore the cities. Having this sense of freedom and possibility was really nice. We just walked around, skated, and had a good time.
What’s the biggest difference you recognize between Europe and America?
For me, the biggest difference in architecture at least is that there are way more places to skate in Europe. It’s very flat in the U.S. and we have fewer public spaces. It seems way more laid back in a lot of the cities I’ve been to. There are spots in southern California too but not many. There’s more like a handful of famous ones that everyone goes to. Maybe wherever you grow up you find it harder to find spots there.
Do you feel a difference in the community between the countries?
Mostly in Copenhagen since basically the whole world of skateboarding was there. It was like seeing the internet in real life since I saw so many people I’d only seen online before (laughs).
Do you have a tool or object you missed that you wished you would’ve taken with you on your trip to Europe?
My massage tool and balm that my friend made for sure. Especially after getting sore from skating.
Would you ever come back to Europe and if so, where would you like to go?
I would love to come back and see Berlin next time!