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The Method Makers interview with Paul Escolar

Artwork by Paul Escolar that says "Method Makers" and has a drawing of a broken beer bottle laying in front of the text.

The following is an interview that Paul Escolar for The Method Makers in 2018. The interview was online for a few years, but disappeared after a big update to their site in 2021. Sadly, Paul passed away a few months later. I recently reached out to The Method Makers to see if we could try to get this interview back online, and a TMM contributor was able to find the original emails. Below is the unedited interview with Paul Escolar.

-Name, where ur from, how you know Tsyonsyn

Name is Paul Escolar, from Alameda. I know Chons from the old party days in the 2000’s when he was doing “The Fcks” DJ Gigs in San Hoe w/ Cellus. They all thought they were going to be the next Trap Daft Punk, and I believed it too – Still do. Good times, good times…

-I googled you and you are really fucking good at yo-yoing – do you still do that? How’d you get into that and where can I see that live?

I am currently “retired” from that scene, but I was sponsored and worked for Duncan Toys for over 15 years, now I just do occasional contracted design work for them. I’m also known for creating most of the standard and fundamental modern yo-yo tricks kids do today. I also demonstrated, and judged contests all over and ran one of the most prestigious events in the country for the last few years out at Golden Gate park. Believe it or not the Pre/Post Parties I through for that community were lit af.  I got into yo-yos since I was a kid – been throwing for 20 years. I don’t film or play yo-yo in public these days, but if you want a private lesson, come holla at me, haha. Also dead serious about all of this and I can go on and on about yo-yo’s, but its lightweight square shit, even to me, so lets just talk about art!

-Were really impressed with your illustration work. How long have you been drawing, and how did you develop the style of work that you create?

I appreciate the compliment and It’s/I’M totally still a work in progress, still learning and experimenting a bit every day. I’ve been drawing since I was a Kid, I went to the Academy of Art for Art Direction in Advertising but at the end of all that I just ended up wanting to illustrate, do graphics, and work on personal art. Still not sure where I’m going with it but stoked to see where it takes me. So far the waves have been amazing.

-Do you do any work in the street (Tag, Throws, scribe etc)

Unfortunately, I have never done any work in the street. It seemed intimidating to me back then, but I always paid attention and have mad respect for anyone who gets up everywhere. I slap stickers around sometimes, but I’ve always been low key discouraged since there’s such talented community of Artists that already exist in that world. I just enjoy being a spectator and fan, but I’m open to mural work at this point in my life. Holla for any plug on commissions and ill throw in a yo-yo lesson, lol.  Also, side note – I’m too lazy to be carrying around markers, and cans and shit.

-How would you describe your style of work?

Hmmm, Alot of the shit I share is very personal and emotional… at least conceptually. But from an aesthetic stand point maybe its considered “Low Brow Graphic Illustrations”?, I’m not sure about labels. Under the visual surface of it all; it is very social, emotional and self narrative. I try to tell what’s going on in my mind or what I’m going through in my life with one image that hopefully tells the whole story.

-Are there any major influences in the artwork that you create?

I find inspiration and influence in everything; Music, movies, fashion, etc. As Far as art, there are way too many to name. My favorite modern artist of all time is Matisse, but I’ve taken alot of my inspiration and influence from Barry Mcgee, R.Crumb, ESPO, Mike Giant, The Hernandez Brothers, Geoff Mcfetridge, and Others…. maybe it’s visible in my aesthetic?

-Where do you create most of your work? (In your Studio, Coffee shop, etc.) Can you share photos of where you create if possible, and describe what we’re looking at in these photos?

I work from home, in private, in solitude… I zone out and zen the fuck out. Most of my illustrations are part of a very meditative and cathartic process, I keep those sessions pretty low-key but sometimes I have my sketchbooks and computer when i’m at a coffee shop or chill bar, and I’ll just get it out. The times I’m out of my batcave, wandering or partying, I’m just keeping tabs, taking mental notes of things I see, taking actual notes for ideas, and staying inspired by everything and anything. The end result is some* of the work I share on Instagram, but most of the time I just be hoarding alot of it to myself.

-What inspired that piece you drew of Tsyonsyn – shits fucking hilarious!

It was his birthday, I missed the party and I wanted to let him know that i’m not an asshole, so I drew him into the most offensive caricature ever, oopsies! Accurate tho, no? hahaha.

-Tell us a joke.

I was just actually about to google “What’s a funny joke?”, haha. fuck it.

-Ask us 1 question.

If Method Makers was a a 4th Gen iPod (The one with just the scroll wheel) what would be the 5 top played songs in the iTunes playlist? Also, “What’s your poison?”

-Would you be open to do collaborative projects with us? Art shows, Prints, apparel production, air guitar band?

ALWAYS! I fuck with everybody making whatever, whenevers. As long as I keep moving, and making shit, I’m happy. Prints, Shirts, Shows – sure. Air Guitar Band? – Fuck it, …I’ll play bass. let’s sesh!

Right on for reaching out to me Neal and The Method Makers, really excited on joining the band. I really appreciate it everything!


Images above were drawn by Paul Escolar. The original interview, “Family Ties With Paul Escolar”, was first published on Thanks to The Method Makers for finding the original email and allowing me to publish it here.

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Slow Streets, a new clip video of responsive counterweight tricks

A man hiding behind a small christmas tree.

Slow Streets” is a brand new yo-yo video that was shot on Sanchez Street in San Francisco. It was edited by Edition Yo-Yos and features one of my original songs.

Unlike my other clip videos, this one focuses entirely on “responsive counterweight” tricks. This style combines elements of freehand yo-yoing with modern responsive play. For this video, I’m exclusively using a Doc Pop Edition Thing, by Toybania and myself.

“Slow Streets” yo-yo clip video

If you enjoyed Slow Streets, then you should also check out this episode of PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog for behind the scenes footage with Edition Yo-Yos and trick tutorial for Floops.

Behind the scenes episode of PopCast

The Thing is now available on my store too:

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What Makes Doblé Yo-Yos Special?

A view of the Doble Arial from the side, so you can see the thin axle connecting the two yo-yo halves.

Inspired by #FixedAxleFebruary and some of the questions I got during our last YoIP! Virtual Yo-Yo Club, I put together an episode about the Ariel Yo-Yo by Doblé. This is one of my favorite yo-yos in my collection, up there with the Doblé Titania, which I hope to do an episode about in the future. 

In this video we also have a clip from Nate Martsolf about his Fixed Axle February Contest

For the yo-yo history nerds, I’m attaching a few more images of the Ariel, along with website screenshots, archived links, and patent drawings. Enjoy. 

A screenshot from Doble's website. It shows a photo of an Arial yo-yo and the text says 

"The Ariel fixed axle yo-yo features a patented friction system, a .078 inch diameter music wire axle, and a conventional twisted cotton string (tether). This design allows for long sleep times, superb control, and extended tether life. The Ariel weighs approximately 57 grams (depending on wood type and finish), and is balanced to eliminate the cg offsets caused by wood grain density variations. The Ariel has been unofficially slept for 60 seconds, breaking the world record of 52 seconds for fixed axle yo-yos.

    The unique design and performance features are covered under U.S. Patent Numbers 5,254.027, 5,389,029, and 6,066,024. The Ariel is returned to the hand from the sleep condition the same way as other yo-yos, by a slight jerk of the tether, creating a momentary slackening. There is a transition in frictional drag torque as the tether is lapped into loops spiraled between the brass lapper disks. The tether cross section changes from circular to an oval shape resulting in an increase of pressure between the tether and the lapper disks. This phenomenon allows for very low frictional drag torque during the sleep condition and the transition to high frictional drag torque during the recovery from sleep. All the surfaces interfacing with the tether are smooth, resulting in long tether life. Another innovative feature is the hub, which is a material with high mechanical stability. This material allows for a small diameter axle to be press fit into the hub, with the capability of adjusting the gap between the body halves by rotating the two body halves relative to each other while pushing or pulling. This allows an adjustment of the skimming pressure between the lapper disks and the tether. This gap adjustment allows an optimization of frictional drag torque to either maximize sleep time or increase looping ability. The interior surfaces making contact with the tether are smooth and thus will not grind up the tether as conventional yo-yos having radial ribs to provide friction. It is recommended that, now and then, the tether be removed and paraffin wax applied to the interior tip of the tether. This is best achieved by rubbing the wooden tip of a pencil on a bar of paraffin wax and then inserting the wood portion tip of the pencil into the loop at the end of the tether and rotate the pencil to transfer the wax to the tether. Your Doble yo-yo will perform smoother and the string life will be extended."
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Moon Rock Editions Now Available

A photo of the Moon Rock edition Shawn Exploder on the rocky surface of the moon. The yo-yo appears as if it is floating. Earth can be seen in the background.

Moon Rock White is a unique anodizing that my manufacturer offers. This special finish gives the yo-yo a velvety feel and looks a bit like porcelain. It’s a really unique look and I’m excited to be offering two of my favorite yo-yos, the Icarus and the Shawn Exploder in this Moon Rock White edition.

A photo of a rocky surface, like that of the moon, with 4 white yo-yos laying on the surface. There are two Moon Rock edition Icarus, and two Moon Rock edition Shawn Exploders.

As an extra note, this MRW edition Shawn Exploder is manufactured in 7068 aluminum (instead of 7075) and is a few grams lighter than the standard edition. So this is a special treat for folks who like lighter yo-yos, or if you are just a huge fan of the SE and want to see how different weights can effect its play.

This special edition comes with a special edition yo-yo bag and a ten pack of my PopString in a special all white and gold color. I’ve also restocked other items on my store, including a few gold plated Executive yo-yos, which make an excellent gift for the CEO in your life who also happens to yo-yo.

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PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog: The Matrix

This episode of the PopCast yo-yo vlog teaches how to do the Matrix with style and flow. This trick is a little over 20 years old, and it’s one of my more popular tricks. I feel like most yo-yoers know how to do the Matrix, but they might not know how to put it together in a way that flows.

So I talk about how to link “alpha” style moves together smoothly, and I also tell the crazy story of a yo-yo that “melts too easily”. I hope you enjoy this episode!

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The Worlds Smallest Unresponsive Yo-Yo

Worlds Smallest Yo-Yo

The Mini-Panzer is the smallest unresponsive yo-yo in history. It’s machined in brass, but available with gold or silver plating. It is .7″ tall, weighs 21.5 grams, and has the smallest bearing you’ve ever seen.

This video isn’t sponsored content, I just thought it was a cool yo-yo. I bought mine from YoYoExpert, but I think Yo-Yo Store Rewind has some too. Available on some sites here:

It’s worth noting that B!ST made an EVEN SMALLER yo-yo back in 2012, but his appears to be responsive. I don’t think it ever made it to the market either, but it looks amazing.

Parts of the audio in this video came from a Hainbach soundpack.

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Yo-Yo Illustrations by Titifreak

I recently found some rad yo-yo-themed illustrations by Titifreak from the early 2000s. These feature Black, Glasseye, Steve Brown, and myself.

Titifreak is an amazing artist and a fantastic yo-yoer. He’s been a big inspiration to me in many ways.

I remember being excited about the 2004 World Yo-Yo Contest because Titi and his brother, Whip, would be there. When I walked through the doors of the WYYC, I spotted Titi’s table and I ran over. He had this amazing shirt design of a yo-yo with flying wings on it. I said “this would make an amazing yo-yo”.

Someone behind me replied “I have a tattoo gun in my hotel room” and ten minutes later I was getting my first tattoo.

You can see more of that tattoo footage on this “Worlds Documentary” video I just shared:

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Midwest Invasion and other classic clip videos

World Yo-Yo Contest logo by Whip

Last week I went digging through some old CDs and trying to rip any old videos/albums I might not have seen in a while. I came across a bunch of videos from Daniel R. which I couldn’t find online anywhere else. With Dan’s permission, I’ve uploaded them to youtube.

Worlds” is a clip video documenting the 2004 World Yo-Yo Contest in Orlando, Florida. It also documents my first tattoo experience!

Midwest Invasion” is a monster of a clip video featuring several of my favorite players from back in the day. Seth Peterson, Dave Poyzer, Abe “The Gravedigga”, John Russeth, Paul Yath, Schalicto, Alex Berengeul, and many more. This was probably shot around 2004 in Minneapolis.

I don’t know much about “Yo-Yo Clips 2″, but Schalicto says it was shot on real film. Neat! It features several Minneapolis players including Schalicto, Alex Ulrich, and Matt Schmidt.

Juggs” is a parody of Cops. It imagines oppressive jugglers outlawing anything non-juggling related, including yo-yos. It’s a bit weird, so I’m sharing it here, but it’s not listed publicly on my youtube.

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Save Deth Volume 2: Doctor Popular segment

The Save Deth videos, by Dave Poyzer and Seth Peterson, are fantastic time-capsules of yo-yo culture. Inspired by skate videos, Save Deth wanted to make high quality videos that captured the style of each yo-yo player. I really was excited about recording my segment for Save Deth Volume 2, but when the day came to record the segment in SF, everything was running later than expected and I had a hard stop that I had to get to. So I think my clip looks a little more rushed and sloppy than many of the other pros…. but I guess that I’m also known as being a little more sloppy in style too, so maybe this captures the day just right?

Here it is:

If you view the on Youtube, you can see a timeline showing what trick is playing for each part of the video. A few highlights for me are the “Gerbil Wheel” at :23 in, which might be the first time that counterweight move was documented. You can also see a bunch of my favorite moves documented here, like the Overhand 1.5 Whip, The Sabering Dismount, the Bicycle Kick Rejection, and some Astro-Style counterweight tricks.

At 1:03 I grab a coffee and start doing some one-handed tricks. This may seem kind of random, but I’ve been wanting to do a one-handed Artistic Performance routine in the World Yo-Yo Contest for many years. The idea would be I’d bring a cup of coffee on stage with me and do tricks with the non-coffee hand. I never fleshed it out much further than what you see though.

Artist: So Many Wizards
Song: "My Friends Are Nice"
Notes: The concept of this video was to show what goes into making a Save Deth video. Behind the scenes shots, bloopers and really good yo-yoing. Yo-yos used are the Yes, Absolutely The End and YoYo Jam + Doc Pop Bolt. Shot in San Francisco California, May 2009.

If you want to see the rest of the videos from Save Deth Volume II, you can go to