Unstrapped: Sean Genovese and The Wandering Murder of Future Deads

Pro snowboarder, co-owner of Dinosaurs Will Die, and a contributing brain behind Think Thank Productions, Sean Genovese has dedicated much of his creativity to snowboarding. After years of conceptualizing snowboard movies, running a company, and stacking footage, Sean is taking a step in another direction, and this time it’s just for him. A little over a year ago, images started popping up on Sean’s Instagram account [@seangenovese] of some crude line drawings of humanoid-lizard-people. Meet Sean’s new creation, The Wandering Murder of Future Deads.

TWMFD came from sticker requests. Sean and his partner at DWD, Jeff Keenan, get a lot of letters asking for stickers, and they reply to each one personally. Sean has always drawn a little character on each letter. These characters developed into a traveling gang, getting sent out to lucky recipients in Europe, South America, Japan, and all corners of North America. When a friend’s birthday came up, Sean decided to put some watercolor to one of the drawings and make it a birthday present. Thus the first Future Dead was born. He quickly took the project up as a routine, adding a new drawing to the crew every day. We were wondering about the origin of the project, so we thought we’d ask. Pull up your Instagram, search #wanderingmurderoffuturedeads, and stay tuned.

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Are the drawings all of the same guy, or are they individuals?

They’re all individuals. They all look the same, but no different than if you stripped most of us down. You know, brown eyes, we’re all about the same height. There are a few differences in some, like some of their eyes are closer together. Some have bigger hands. They’re all not meant to be the same guy, or even the same style. They’re kind of like a hybrid of a lizard, a human, and a bird because they got those little beaks, and then the claw feet, but then they got scales. And then they got the basic shape of a human, right?

Are you getting inspiration from your friends, or your family members, or are they just your little imaginary friends? One will have a hatchet, another will have some guns, or another will have some binoculars or something.

Yeah it’s like, if you’ve been hanging around me, I pull from everyday deals I have going on. It could be the most minute little thing that just gets exaggerated. For example, I went to one of our buddies kid’s birthday parties, with kids all around, and they’re just swimmin’ in the pool being insane. Two-foot little animals. Birth control, I like to call ‘em. So the drawing has the guy in a pool with kids hanging all around him.

Can you explain the hashtag?

That’s the crew of paintings. The murder is the fact that I think they’re like a lizard-bird-human thing, so the bird part of it, like a murder of crows. It’s a huge gang, a huge murder. And wandering because they were getting sent out. At one point I’m getting rid of all of ‘em. They’re gonna hang together for a while until a certain point and then they’ll be gone. They’ll be off going everywhere. Which is kind of cool, because when I decided to make it into a hashtag, I thought that when they are out all over the place and people take pictures of them on Instagram, you can start to see where these things are at and where they’re going.

Because it’s the murder I want volume. I want to do an overwhelming amount of these, just ‘cause they’re really fun to do and it’s attainable. It’s just a matter of putting the time aside to do it, which for me is being able to take a break and being able to do something strictly for myself.

There is no way of fucking those up, you know? I make those for myself. Those things are like writing in a journal for me. Every single one has a story to some extent that I can reference back to something that’s happened or some sort of influence, and then they’re just going out there.

I call them Future Deads, because, well, that’s the human part. It’s a real artsy cliché, but we’re all born dying. It’s Future Deads. Everyone’s gonna die. And I don’t think that’s something to be scared of. I can’t really speak for other cultures, but in North American culture, death is something that we really fight non-stop. It scares the shit out of people. You do what you can to avoid it. Some people, it paralyzes them just trying to avoid it. You need to get out there and just do! Just do anything. Go travel. Don’t be scared of traveling. Be safe, but don’t be scared. And that’s why all of the names end in an “ing.” They’re all a verb. They’re all an action. It’s like the saying, “your actions define you.” You can dress like a skateboarder or a snowboarder, but if you don’t skate or snowboard, you’re not a skateboarder or a snowboarder, right? By snowboarding you are a snowboarder.

They get a little loose sometimes, where it’s like “birthday partying” or like a very non-action word with an action ending on it just because everyone’s out there doing it. And that reflects where I’m at this time of year. The hustle, the grinding, getting stuff on the computer for the final stages of Dino or company stuff. Just the final lockdown before winter starts, and it definitely reflects in those guys.

They were in a show recently, right?

Yeah, that was not very intentional. The plan is to do as many as possible and then maybe do something next year, but I had a friend who was doing a show and asked if I wanted to be a part of it. So those ten are probably the least diary-style pieces because I did those more off the theme of the show. He called it “Pantlers and Pelts.” It’s just a name, he said it was just words that he mashed together and sounded cool.

For some reason when he said pantlers I just thought of pleather, like fake leather, fake antlers. People do their hands like Bullwinkle and pretend they’re a moose, so I did a bunch of guys like that. And I did a few guys that were off in the woods.

I’m not usually like this with most graphics I’ve done. I’m not scared of profanity and violence or anything with knives and blood and everything. It’s not something I would do personally, but when it’s on paper as a drawing I don’t think its weird. It’s like Tom and Jerry chasing each other down shooting each other. But for some reason I didn’t want to draw dead animals, like as a dead animal hat on this guys head. So instead I just put real beavers on their hats with the tails coming down the back sitting on these guy’s heads. I thought it was pretty funny. I just didn’t want to glorify dead animals. I don’t know if it’s taken a turn for the future ones that I’ll do, but they have a light hearted feel, like they’re just out there doing their thing.

A lot of skate and snowboarders have moved on to pursue their art, just taking a step for themselves. Is that kind of the direction you’re going in?

I’d say, yeah, I’ve always been doing it, but I think I understand the marketing side of it more now. Through the years of doing Dino I have another approach at how to create something. In creating these Future Deads, instead of doing just one or two and being like, “Oh, cool,” I have an idea. I’m letting it brew, and I’m creating something that has an idea behind it that can make you think a little. It’s something to do that I enjoy, and that runs parallel to what I’m already doing. It’s cool to make them and it’s rad that other people are into it as well.

The Unstrapped web series explores the creative pursuits of snowboarders beyond snowboarding. We are a society of creative individuals expressing ourselves in myriad ways beyond just strapping in. Whether it’s making art, building a house, or something that just adds a different perspective to life, we all find our passions and add them to the collage.

Photos: Courtesy Sean Genovese


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