We met talented artist Joe Flores, at his booth during last week's Surf Expo in Florida. An artist having their own booth at a trade show is unique, so we caught up with him to learn a little more about what it is he does... What is your name and when did you start making art? Joe Flores and Ive been making art for some time now. I started doing it seriously about 10 years ago or so, in high school. Why did you start making art? I've always felt the need to express myself in a visual manner. I've tried music and such, yet I always seems to go back to art. I love the process of bringin something into reality from my ideas either with a brush, pen or wrenches and a welder. I just really enjoy it. What are some of your favorite moments in your career? I think whenever Im able to make pieces live at a show or party is one of my favorite moments. I think when I met Stan Sakai, a comics hero of mine, at comic-con and he made a "hey nice stuff" comment at some of my work, I felt then I was doing the right thing. This last surf expo was fun too. I really enjoy an interactive audience and tons of "passersby" is always fun. What do you think is the future of your industry? In the future, the versatility of the surf/skate/art industry will allow a new genration of artists and craftsman to push, meld and grow into other bigtime "countercultures" and mainstream industries not yet fully realized (Kustom auto, autosport, contemporary art etc.). I can definitely see that now in my other automotive projects, where the kids like me, who were (and now still) personalizing their boards years ago, are growing up bringing that aesthetic to more adult toys. Likewise, fashion,skate etc. companies are prescribing to "old-school" design. I mean , my hot rod truck looks eerily similar to skateboards and bicycles I had years ago. hehe... Id like to think that my generation will not only grow in an already huge and established industry. But also add a new look and feel that will remain timeless as well. If you could, what is one thing would you do differently? I think I would've put my work out sooner and kept more of it during my time at school and abroad. I think now more then ever, it's important to get the word out on yourself/ideas before you miss any opportunities. That and having a robust amount of work show dedication in my own strange thought process. What is the next big project you have planned? Im doing a proper series of decks here soon as well as a new sticker lineup for late fall/winter. Ill also be at Anime weekend Atlanta this month. Ill have booth there with Hellmouse studio. I also have an old Toyota Hilux I'll be restoring with a wood bed made from reclaimed skate decks.