Cole Montminy: Never Felt Better

By Reuben Barrack

It’s easy to feel unmotivated in quarantine while battling an injury and not being able to skate to the fullest extent of your capabilities. For Cole Montminy, he’s kept his mind active by focusing on his artistic processes, continuing to bring us lots of (heart)felt artwork that we at the mag are happy to share with you all. We took some time to pick Cole’s brain and see how he’s healing up, discuss his recent collabs within the skate industry, as well as all of his post-pandemic plans on the horizon. This expression may be a bit cliche and hackneyed, but Cole is truly cut and sewn from a different cloth!

Self-portrait on Felt, October 2020. That stache is uncanny!

What’s going on Cole! How’s everything treating you in the Bay?

Life is pretty chill. Working on some art stuff, stretching, trying to heal up from an ankle injury, remembering to drink enough water. Yeh :,)

Are you still exfoliating with avocados on the regular?

I wish! I used to work at a cafe and after closing I’d bring all the browning leftover avocados and rub myself down. Too pricey to buy my own avo for that now.

“I’d bring all the browning leftover avocados and rub myself down”

Has this given you more time to focus on your work?

Without a doubt, I’m really lucky to have some indoor hobbies to pour my mind into the past year. It’s been hard not seeing friends and family and I feel like that’s kinda taking something away from my art. Excited to hug my humans again.

Speaking of which, how did you get into making your style of art? Did you experiment with other mediums initially?

I got into making felt things after finding a needle felting kit at SCRAP (an art reuse place in SF). I used to mainly focus on drawing, but I’m moving towards soft fabric-y things and incorporating those into my videos.

Shot of the storyboard on fabric and loop for ‘Saxophone and Duck’ from February 2021.

What has the biggest influence on your art? Where do you draw inspiration from?

I really like quilts, dolls, anything soft and has some human touch in it. Pre-covid I worked at a thrift shop and I found so much inspiring and confusing junk. It’s cool to think of the life an object had before you crossed paths with it.

“It’s cool to think of the life an object had before you crossed paths with it”

Which short are you most proud of? Which one took the most amount of time to finalize?

I’m always a little bit disappointed after animating something, it’s hard for me to spend so much time on something and not hate it. That being said I’ve been having fun animating with wool lately. I made a lil short called ‘a special feeling’ that made me happy. Puppetry stuff usually takes the most time because puppetry is so tiring and soul sucking, this weird 8 minute puppetry film thing took me about a year and makes no sense.

Tell us a little bit about the process of creating stop motion. What’s the most challenging part?

For stop motion, I’ll usually start making a character or a set or something. If I’m making a video just for myself I’ll usually just improvise and hope it works out. I hate dealing with computers, they bring out the ugliest side of me.

Have you been skating at all? Learn anything new?

I haven’t! It sucks! My ankle’s been a lil weird the past year or so. Finally taking the time to exercise it and make it less sucky. I roll around Oakland on my cruiser board sometimes just to feel that sweet feeling again. When I was last skating I was getting into transition, I want to be able to skate when I’m older so it feels like a good idea now.

What do you like to skate the most and how does that influence your bag of tricks?

I love any wally-able object, and manual pads, and pole jams, and the sunset district of San Francisco on a foggy day. I don’t have many tricks but I love flinging my board and body around and hoping I land something. It’s like telling a joke but a lil more fun and dangerous.

“I don’t have many tricks but I love flinging my board and body around and hoping I land something”

Cole flings his board and body with an NBD at Pier 7, no hope needed.

Any trends or aspects of skating that you can’t stand?

Cool guying, being a lame human but a sick skater! I don’t care if a human is sick at skating, if you’re not compassionate I don’t want to spend time with you. That being said, I’m guilty of being stoned at a skatepark and avoiding eye contact/conversation with anyone. I’m sorry.

“I don’t care if a human is sick at skating, if you’re not compassionate I don’t want to spend time with you”

Congrats again on your recent collab with FA! How did that opportunity come about?

My friend Reggie (CEO of corporate skateboards) showed his friends Julian and Jason a weird felt portrait I did. They let me make a few of the class photos and they were stoked, so I finished the rest. 

What else have you been working on lately? Any new projects in the works?

I’m in school right now, staring at a screen a few days a week. But besides that I’m working on a few video projects. I play around on my guitar every once in a while. Trying to make a quilt too but it’s hard and I’m too sloppy.

You’ve also sewn clothing, what’s the last garment you altered?

I have a few stretch waisted pants that I keep patching up but my butt keeps falling through. Those are a constant, but just the usual hemming and fixing buttons and what not. I’m not getting a bunch of new clothes like I used to, seems like I’m not as excited to go out and try and look pretty these days.

Staying cozy for the holidays, crafted in December 2020. Life’s a trip during a pandemic, hard to know exactly when we’ll be back to normal but let’s find out together.

Once things settle down, where’s the first place you plan on traveling to?

I want to go to Japan, India, New York, and Mexico City. I haven’t travelled too much but I feel so stagnant here in California.

What has your experience working with brands and doing other freelance animation work taught you? 

Never be afraid of asking for what you deserve from a company, especially if they are chill financially. If someone wants to pay you in exposure you can tell them that’s rude, and if you take those opportunities you let them think that kinda thing is okay.

“Never be afraid of asking for what you deserve from a company, especially if they are chill financially”

Anything else you’d like to mention? Words of advice for any young skaters with an interest in the arts?

Focus on having fun and don’t let social media clout dictate whether you feel validated! If you have fun doing something then you’re good at it.

Hard at work from home, behind the scenes.
Photo: Stanciell

Follow @coach_loves_you on Instagram for all up to date visuals.

For a chance to win a sweater made by Cole himself, DM him on Instagram with a copy of your receipt from donating to any of these following organizations:

@redcanarysong

@napawf_atl

AIWA (Asian Immigrant Women Advocates)

@asianmentalhealthcollective

Submissions end March 25th, 2021, see this post for more details.

You can also view more work by Cole on his personal Vimeo account, here

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