For most professional surfers, the waves they catch are their canvases. For these six surfers who paint, though, it is a real canvas that is a source of both inspiration and income.
The 32-year-old surfer, skater, musician, and painter from Sydney's northern beaches has a good claim to be surfing's highest paid artist with his comic-strip-style canvas creations that are now collectibles all around the world. He also lends his designs to his sponsor Volcom's clothes as well as his own Vampirate surfboard label. "I never ever painted for the money, and still don't," Ozzie told GrindTV. "It still blows me away the amounts of money people pay for something that I can't stop myself from doing."
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Maud Le Car
Born in the French Caribbean on Saint Martin but now residing in Hossegor, on the southwest coast of France, Maud Le Car is currently plying her trade on the ASP Qualifying Series. While hanging on to her dream of qualifying for the World Championship Tour, her second passion is art. "I love to paint, spray, and draw. I am painting a lot on surfboards, canvas, or skateboards recently to vary my creativity," she told GrindTV. Le Car did her first art show in 2013 and apart from her own striking boards, her work can also be seen on her French pro surfer boyfriend Joan Duru's sticks.
Mike Losness is a San Clemente, California, professional, NSSA champion, and someone who has spent the last decade traveling the world as a freesurfer. All the while the smooth goofyfooter was documenting his travels, painting with an abstract approach on a mixed medium of acrylic fiberglass and resin. He has created art for signature skateboards and boardshorts and was also responsible for two year’s worth of Hawaiian Triple Crown posters and artwork.
In 1980, at age 20, Davey Miller arrived on North Shore of Oahu, and over the course of the next decade he established himself as one of its best underground surfers and hardest chargers. He placed in the finals at huge Pipeline and Sunset Beach, and was a standout at Waimea. However, his art was always present. "I was a painter before I ever started surfing, and I never stopped,” he says on his website. He is most famous for his wave paintings, canvases that sell for huge sums. "I call it simplistic, realistic, and kinda mystic. That might sound kinda corny, but I try to make it more like you would really see it. I go more believable so you can travel through the piece, instead of being overwhelmed with everything in it. That is my approach."
Otis Carey is a professional surfer from Sydney's Northern Beaches who earns money from both surfing and multi-media art. The indigenous Australian has been in the news recently after being at the center of a racism row and for suing media mogul Rupert Murdoch, but it is his art that he wants to be remembered for. His own tumbler is the best showcase of his paintings, and he has exhibited his work in both Australia and Los Angeles.
Mike Doyle is one of the true legends of surfing. The 1968 world champion and Duke Kahanamoku contest winner is also credited with inventing both the snowboard and soft-top surfboard. In addition to his competitive surfing pedigree and innovative legacy, Mike has spent the last 20 years painting scenes of the ocean with the flavor of Baja, amassing an incredible body of work. "Painting has always been my passion," he says on his website. "I’m going through the process again; work hard, work smart, and, more than anything, love what you are doing or drop it. I’ve found if you don’t like what you’re doing, you are going to sabotage yourself anyway."
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