Llanelli, South Wales
Years creating surf art: I’ve always been creating art and so when I started surfing aged 18 I naturally began to focus on surf related artwork. When I was in school I did Art GCSE and knew I wanted to be an artist after that, my parents completely supported me and always bought me the materials I needed even when they probably couldn’t afford to. I’ve been pursuing it as a career ever since I decided to study Illustration in University about 5/6 years ago. I’ve kind of put all my eggs in one basket with this – it means everything to me and is exactly what I want to do.
Is being a female surf artist come with its own set of challenges? I guess one difficulty I do think of is the fact that actually so many women are creating surf art now and sometimes it feels a little saturated … I’m really happy to see so many women following this passion, it’s inspiring but it’s also a challenge to be unique and to express myself in a way that is true to myself and not too influenced by what I’m seeing online.
Do you surf as well? I do, I mostly surf my 8ft mid length board shaped by Andy from Seduction Surfboards (it’s beautiful), but my boyfriend and I basically share boards which means I also get to surf his 9ft longboard and fish, also shaped by Andy. For a while it was my biggest passion, which I’m really pleased about because it helped me to get to the level I’m at now where I can really see the progress every time I surf, and it’s not always just a struggle! But, illustration and art have definitely taken over and I find myself thinking about creating artwork every single day! Luckily the two passions work quite well together.
Surf art goals? I’d like to get to a place where I feel like my surf related artwork truly represents how I view surfing and how it makes me feel. My goal is to be at peace with the art I create and to start seeing it in more places, not just my sketchbook or screen. To have it exhibited or in magazines and to collaborate with other creative people.
What do you love/hate (you choose!) about surf culture as it pertains to women surfers? I hate feeling self conscious…or like I need to prove myself in the water when surrounded by guys, prove that I am good enough to be there-especially when the waves are bigger. But I also kind of love the feeling when I do surf really well, sometimes better than the other guys in the water, which is probably an ego thing and also the competitive side in me showing.
How has your surfing/art life affected the rest of your life on land? Well, I grew up by the sea and have essentially chosen where to live based on being close to the sea and being able to surf. My boyfriend is a really inspiring and creative surfer and also always wanted to live by the sea. This has meant us spending several summers on the west coast of France and now moving to Portugal. We live in our van which was built around the necessity of storing surfboards and also being a space where I could do my artwork. We’ve never considered moving inland and we always come up with creative projects quite often influenced by surfing and art…so I think it’s had a pretty profound impact on our life on land.