From The Giant: The Definitive Obey Giant Site
Andy Howell's roots in the alternative sports industry developed during the seven years he spent circumnavigating the globe as a professional skateboarder beginning in 1988. He formed friendships with emerging artists, magazine groups and action sports focused companies around the world. His travels have taken him to cities around the globe for skateboarding and art, including Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, London, LA, San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Florence, Amsterdam, and many more. Howell enjoyed the opportunity to meet, skateboard, and connect with artists from many diverse cultures in his travels, which has created a network of peers around the world. His creativity has always been a core element along with his history in skateboarding.
During his career as a top professional skateboarder Howell received his Arts degree and co-founded New Deal Skateboards, Element Skateboards, 411, and Giant Distribution. As Creative Director at New Deal, Howell was the prime force in ushering in the still prevalent trend of graffiti and cartoon influenced graphics for skateboards and t-shirts. His "Big Deals" were the first baggy jeans designed specifically for the boardsports industries, starting a trend that caught on like wildfire and became the trademark of action sports. Howell then moved on to found and direct Sophisto Clothing, MTN, Girly Things Clothing, Freedom Video, and Rowdy Industries.
Howell has art directed for an eclectic array of companies including Freeworld Entertainment, Casio G-Shock, Vans, Inc., Tornado Skateboard Wheels, Rhythm Skateboards, and Times Mirror's Teen Active Network. He has created extensive clothing lines and textile designs as well as branding and communications packages for a number of high profile companies including New Balance, TON, No Fear, SMP, Sophitso, MTN, and Girly Things. Howell designed a collection of shoes for international active sports giant K2 Sports, Inc. His work has been featured in magazine reviews including; The FACE (UK), R.A.D. (UK), Sky (UK), Women's Wear Daily (NYC), UHF, SPIN, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, WARP, Time Out (NYC), Art Direction, Communication Arts, HOW, MINT (Microsoft Online), SPIV (Turner Online), Big Brother, Skateboarder, Lodown (Berlin), DosDedos (Poland), Seventeen, Sassy, VIBE, Rolling Stone, The Source, EYE, Photo, and Slap, among others. He has been featured in a number of books documenting the lifestyle and creative elements of contemporary art movements. His video and design work has been used for classroom study at the School of Cinema and Television at USC San Diego. Howell creates illustrations and paintings that are displayed on skateboards, snowboards, t-shirts, posters, print ads, flyers, catalogs, storefronts, at art shows, and on the street. He has shown his illustration and fine art work in London, New York, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Tokyo, in notable galleries such as The Alleged Gallery (NYC), The Candide, The Art Institute of Atlanta, The Art Institute Gallery of San Diego, ModArt, Dysfunctional London, Move 2, EightThreeEight, and Space 1026.