todd francis | los angeles, ca

always great to catch up with the one and only todd francis.  a native angelino, francis grew up a few short blocks from where he lives today; a quiet welcoming street of 50′s era homes with grassy yards and mature leafy trees—just a few blocks from the bustle that is both venice and santa monica.

upon entering his home, visitors are ushered to the backyard and studio workspace, where it’s clear the artist that Complex Magazine called one of the “Top 10 Skateboard Artists” right now, is most in his element.  an illustrator by trade – francis is somewhat of a legend in the skateboard industry; his graphics are both revered and highly collectible, gracing countless board series’ for the likes of antihero, real, stereo, element, atlas and many more.  with his signature pen & ink sketches, francis’ topics generally revolve around that which he is most passionate; the dichotomy that is man vs. nature—with particular emphasis on storytelling, preserving the environment and ending reliance on foreign oil.

francis’ studio space is a warm, sunlit studio.  a large rectangular pine and plexiglass table dominates the space—and only upon closer investigation does one realize that this actually houses his 9ft. python snake.  (the small padlocks on the the outside of the box and the oven-mitt handling gloves hanging on the wall, all suddenly make sense.)  assorted t-shirts, favorite skateboard decks and photos from his gigs as “coach todd” for his daughters’ softball team, dot the studio.  an upper loft above the space serves as storage for this boards thru the years; a collection that’s also the subject of an upcoming eponymous coffee table book, featuring his work.  when probed about this exciting launch, it’s clear he is both humbled and honored.

when we arrived at the studio, todd was working on a small sketch; a pigeon—one of his frequent subjects.  we asked what it was for, and he said he had received an email yesterday from a fan, inquiring where to buy pigeon prints—but francis doesn’t sell pigeon prints (he does sell select pieces at equal dist.).  he instead plans to send the fan the original sketch; a gesture that makes us both smile and wish we were a fly on the wallpaper for the shipment’s arrival.  we know the fan will be thrilled and it’s this unique brand of appreciation makes this artist one of a kind.  that’s the one and only todd francis.

keep up with todd francis on his website

purchase prints and decks at equal dist.

Studio Photography via the amazing Amber B Dianda.  Visit her website at

 Source:  Complex Magazine

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