Thursday, May 16, 2013
I recently realised I haven’t posted anything here since July last year. I’m not sure if anyone has even noticed, but regardless I thought it was high time to do something about it. Since my last post things have been extremely busy with work, family and as much surfing as I can fit in before our next baby arrives in 5 weeks (admittedly it’s getting pretty tricky by this point!).
There has been the occasional sketch though—this one was for online magazine Sea Stoke. The article I was asked to illustrate examines the plight of seahorses in Cambodia. I love surf publications that look a little deeper into what it means to be a surfer (or simply someone who loves the ocean). So I was honoured to be involved in this issue. Issue #3 is coming up soon, an illustration for which I’m currently working on—stay tuned to see the results... hopefully in less than a year :)
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Pactimo creates limited edition custom cycling apparel from their Colorado base. They approached me with the idea of producing some Australian/Surf-inspired kits to add to their already impressive designer gallery. Naturally I was stoked!
The first design to roll off the line is inspired by some of my favourite Australian surf breaks. Check out the gear here. To celebrate its release, Pactimo are offering the Surf apparel at 20% off for a limited time — what better excuse to treat yourself to some cycling goodness before they run out?
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I'm honoured to be featured on Liquid Salt this week, amongst some pretty illustrious company. Not sure how I managed to sneak in but I'm stoked! Big alohas and mahalo to the editor Glenn for tracking me down.
You can read my interview here.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Originally inspired by a section in Thomas Campbell's Sprout, we recently visited Sri Lanka — specifically Arugam Bay. Naturally expectations were high. But like all real-life surf trips (as opposed to the ones you see edited in movies) the forces of nature don't always come together in the way one would hope. In our case, this meant that some of the breaks we (well, mostly I) wanted to surf weren't working at all, and the others, while fun, weren't performing to their full potential. After traveling for thousands of kilometres to surf it's a bit disheartening to know that for whatever reason, you'd lucked out.
Despite this, we had a great time. What surprised me most was firstly the number of stoked surfers we met in the water who came from landlocked countries, who either only surfed once a year or who were complete novices, absolutely charging. The second surprise was how amazing the local people were: genuinely friendly, funny, hospitable and with freakish memories — after a few days you couldn't help but feel you were friends with everyone in town.
Even though we did manage to get some fun waves, at the end of the day I still think that on the surf front, we missed out. But as this trip proved to me, sometimes it's ok to get skunked.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It's been a while since I posted anything here... The day job has been really hectic of late, involving scooting back and forth across the ditch (for the uninitiated that means going to New Zealand — land of the long white cloud and the world's best ice cream). So I haven't had much time to do any drawing, let alone post about not doing any drawing.
However, good mate Azza has been busy shaping me an Old Salty model pig. I decided to go with a pretty traditional colourway, but wanted to spice up the fin. I have a couple of metres of Mambo fabric with a Reg Mombassa print that I procured from an outlet sale about 10 years ago, and have been wondering what to do with it ever since. I reckon it's been put to pretty good use here! Now I just have to decide what to do with the rest of it...
Monday, March 12, 2012
You might be wondering how a post about shelving made its way here. How are shelves surf-related? If I may draw a slightly long bow...
Ever since a very small person came to live with us, it's become increasingly imperative that we get some adjustable storage. And what better than custom-made shelves constructed from 60-year old reclaimed timber and industrial steel? The whole process was such a labour of love that it seemed only fitting to document the final construction.
And the relevance to surfing? The wood originates a stone's throw from MR's home break. The builder Kyal is a shredder in his own right. And the shelves are now home to, among other things, our precious collection of The Surfer's Journal — safely out of reach of tiny hands (and mouths).
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
As well as old-school aficionados, Sealegged caters for shortboard enthusiasts with the Fat Kid — but don't let the name fool you, this thing is more like 'phat with a ph' than Norm from Life Be In It (remember him?).
Sunday, January 8, 2012
If you're looking for an all-conditions longboard the Ten Pin is a good start — lighter than a log but tough enough to withstand a few knocks. And hopefully a board you can get your piggies over (mmmmm, there's that bacon again).
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Azza has been shaping various longboards for a while now, but there are some shapes that are requested more frequently. The Captain's Log is, as the name suggests, a heavy single-fin longboard, perfect for navigating with style through little peelers.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A while ago I designed some 'shaped by' decals for Azza Frost of Sealegged. With production steadily increasing, there are now some models based on the most popular designs, and I've created logos for each. Over the next few days I'll post them all, but here's the first: Quadzilla. A four-finned shred sled that tears through the surf like a giant reptile on the rampage.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I don't normally write film reviews — there's probably a good reason why I became a designer instead of a writer — but I wanted to have a go, in support of Manufacturing Stoke. The director Pierce Kavanagh is surfing's answer to Michael Moore — the movie can be hard to watch at times, but it's something I think every surfer should see. Anyway. Here I go...
Manufacturing Stoke (directed by Pierce Michael Kavanagh, misfit pictures)
Rob Machado, Dan Malloy, Kassia Meador and Alex Knost do not appear in this film. The first surfer featured is 9-year old Tiara Thompson: an environmentally-aware, frothing girl-grom from California. And that is perhaps the most refreshing aspect of Manufacturing Stoke — it is one of very few independent films not relying on 'in-crowd' surfers to garner appeal. In fact, the lack of prominent surfers and locations makes this almost an anti-surf film. If sponsored shredders are the tip of the surfing iceberg, Manufacturing Stoke goes below the surface to bring up a colourful and varied cast of pioneers and commentators including the eccentric and inspirational Carl Ekstrom, Richard Kenvin, Jon Wegener and others.
For the first part of the movie, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching an episode of Grumpy Old Men — grey-haired blokes with a malibu-chip on their shoulder about an industry that is partly responsible for propelling the planet towards environmental doom. And you could also be forgiven for thinking that the man behind it all is Grubby Clark. But as the film rolls on it becomes apparent that there is a future for surfing — and it's getting progressively greener. The old guard are graciously handing the baton to a new breed of environmentally conscious independent surfers, shapers and manufacturers like Danny Hess, Lucas Dirkse, Ed Lewis, and Clay Peterson of Marko Foam. As the focus shifts to this new generation, the outlook seems increasingly positive. Here are a growing group of modern-day pioneers whose innovations are starting the next big and much-needed change to the surf industry paradigm — what some commentators are labeling surfing's true renaissance. It's an exciting time to be a surfer, and Manufacturing Stoke gives us a peek into future possibilities.
Manufacturing Stoke's production values follow the lead of pictures by directors like Jason Baffa and Thomas Campbell — with plenty of atmosphere, sensitive camera work, a palpable story-line and a bespoke soundtrack. But it's the film's core message that makes it so different, and so challenging. This is not the sort of movie you put on to fill the background. It demands concentration and a willingness to look at your own surfing habits in the cold green light of environmental responsibility.
Much like the nature of the youthful surfers featured, Manufacturing Stoke asks hard questions and urges you to answer them. While it provides an insight into how the industry is changing for the better, at the end of the day it is up to individuals to make responsible choices and change their own habits at a personal level. There's no neat-and-tidy happy ending here, but the education that this film provides brings us one step closer.
Monday, November 28, 2011
I made this little drawing in honour of Manufacturing Stoke, a new documentary by Pierce Kavanagh of Misfit Pictures, exploring sustainability in surfing. As someone who finds joy in the ocean, this is an issue close to home. For more info check the official website, or visit thesurfnetwork.com to download the film.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I first heard the above phrase during a recent conversation with a shaper I greatly respect. After 40 years of shaping (and many more of surfing) this is how he sums up his fin configuration of choice. I love it. So much so that I'm going to try to draw a different version of this every week (or so). This is version #1.
Monday, August 29, 2011
This weekend Café Nest is holding their annual art exhibition, with artists from all around the traps. This year the theme is Spring. While the phrases in these paintings are obviously derived from The 12 Days of Christmas, and therefore aren't technically spring-themed, I figure Spring is the season wherein these birds were created. And so it stands to reason that without Spring, there wouldn't be a 12 Days of Christmas (as we know it at least). I'm convinced anyway!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Recently I contributed an article on Australian colloquialisms to design journal Bbetween issue 4, which was launched on Friday. The format has changed a bit in print, but I thought I'd share my original submission here. Goodonya mates!
When I got hitched, among many bonuses were a father in-law with a penchant for dinky-di discourse, and a husband in possession of an Australian Slang dictionary. Looking through it, I was surprised that it contained so many idioms I'd never heard of — and made me wonder who, if anyone, ever used them in real life.
I was duly informed that my father in-law was keeping the vernacular dream alive. And the very same week I saw evidence of this when, unprompted, he managed to legitimately slip at least three of the phrases in question into a conversation.
It was like attending an accidental master-class in Speaking Australian. And much like when you have your eye on a new car, when you've noticed it once, you begin to see it everywhere you go.
What I also began to see was a 'vernacular gap' between our generations. From that initial exposure I'm not ashamed to admit I've found myself using more of this language in daily conversation. But the number of people in post-boomer generations who do this seems to be dwindling. And as we grow older, it seems more and more of this colourful and unique mode of expression is being relegated to the dusty archives of history. In a world where Western culture seems to grow more homogenous by the minute, language is one of the last bastions of cultural individuality.
So I implore you: help keep our national lingo's heart beating.
Without these colloquialisms, how will we be able to enjoy a dog's eye and dead horse at the footy? And how will any young hopeful have a successful romantic liaison without first having a dad and dave, before donning his best bag of fruit? Even if he ends up on his Pat Malone, he'll still be able to pick up the dog and bone and call his china plate for some degree of consolation.
It'll be impossible to have a Captain Cook out the window, weighing up the pros and cons of hanging around the house in yesterday's Reg Grundys, or hitting the frog and toad and finding somewhere better to hang around (hopefully not just in aforementioned Grundys).
If you're completely baffled by the last few sentences, the adjacent chart might help make sense of them. But these are just the tip of the locutionary iceberg. It will take a continual cross-generational effort to keep our linguistic fires burning. We can start by trying to incorporate at least one 'Australianism' into our daily conversation, or better still, introduce someone else to the treasures of fair-dinkum Aussie expression. If we all pitch in, one day we won't need a visual reference guide to understand, embrace and avail ourselves of our own precious colloquialisms — and we can avoid the danger of becoming a linguistic facsimile of every other Western culture.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Magic Sam is the name of the board on which Nat Young won the 1966 World Championships at San Diego. The board was a revolutionary 9'4", and is said to have "ushered in the shortboard revolution".
We've recently acquired our own Magic Sam. He's not quite 9'4" long, but by our estimation he took exactly 9 months and 4 days to create. Which I think is pretty magic.