This week I got the chance to interview pro-skater Nora Vasconcellos after watching the inspiring new digital short, "Nora," (above) which is about her journey from being a kid who loved to skate to being the first woman on the Adidas global skate team. The film gives us a look at what it’s like to be a woman within the predominantly male skate world. Nora kicks ass and doesn’t let anything hold her back. I saw Nora skate this past summer at a competition, and she is super talented. She has become a skate icon and is an inspiration to many.
What do you love the most about skating?
I love how happy it makes me. Whether I’m skating alone or with friends, it always makes me feel good. I tend to always be in a better mood after skating.
What has it been like so far to be a part of the adidas Skateboarding global team?
It has been unreal. To get to travel alongside guys I have always admired has been incredible. I love going on trips and feeling like I have known the team forever when really it has just been a year.
What piece of advice do you have to give to other young girls who are part of a male-dominated industry?
Just to be yourself and work hard…really hard. Do not be discouraged by other people’s opinions and insecurities. It is so rewarding to get to do what you love, even when you think things aren’t working out.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
My parents are one of my greatest influences. My dad taught me the power of humor and how to be creative everyday. My mom showed me the power of perseverance and taught me to put my best effort into everything I did. I know that I wouldn’t be who I am without them and I still enjoy their influence and advice.
As an inspiration to many, what message do you hope to convey to others?
I believe if you are unapologetically yourself and work hard, you can achieve anything you want. Especially if you do it with a good attitude. I think in this day and age with social media, it is easy to feel bad for yourself but positivity is power.
When did you compete in your first skate competition? I think I was around 12-13. I believe it was a Volcom Wild In the Parks contest at Skaters Edge in Taunton, MA.
What’s your favorite trick to do and how long did it take you to learn it? My favorite trick is probably a backside air and it took me a few years to learn it. It’s funny how mental skateboarding is and how some things just “click”.
On a typical day, how many hours do you spend skating?
I don’t skate everyday. I wish I could. Today for instance. I’m taking it easy because I bruised my heel yesterday. A huge part of being a skateboarder is taking care of yourself and knowing when you need to rest your body.
In the new short film “Nora”, we learn that you are an artist as well as a skater. What inspires your drawings?
Growing up my dad had a home studio as he is a freelance illustrator. He and my mom are very artistic and it was very natural for us to be drawing or painting. Growing up, I read a lot of Shel Silverstein and I think I’m definitely inspired by his penwork. I like to create art when I am too tired to skate or at night when I am trying to unwind.
Apart from skating, what would you like to be doing as an artist in the future?
I’m working on some products with adidas including my art, which is extremely exciting. I would love to do more art shows and make more product with my sponsors. It’s really wonderful to have people enjoy my art as much as I love creating it.
When you’re not skating or drawing, what are your favorite things to do?
Spending time with my friends and family is a huge part of my life. I love to go to the movies and go dancing. Singing karaoke is one of my favorite pastimes. I also really enjoy surfing and riding my bike.