Lifestyle Artist Drew Brophy has been a professional artist for over 25 years. He says that “It’s my job to make things look cool.” A longtime provider of art for SKINIT, Drew creates over 100 new art pieces a year, many of which make it into the Skinit catalog.
Brophy is best known for surfing big waves and painting surfboards. He is often credited with being the artist that changed the way surfboards were painted in the late 1990’s and has influenced an entire generation of artists with his distinct style. But there’s another side to him and that’s one of being in love with nature and gardening.
Drew Brophy’s newest Skinit designs are bright and cheerful and come from paintings he created in his San Clemente, California studio. Drew’s inspiration for the “Sun and Fun” collection was drawn from his lush backyard, which he has grown into a mini-jungle.
We caught up with Drew and asked him a few questions about being a surf artist, his life of travel and the “Sun and Fun” collection of paintings:
As a surf artist, many of your paintings depict the surf and beach life. But the six new paintings in your “Sun and Fun” collection are more playful and childlike. Why?
Most adults are oblivious to the fun that’s found in nature. If you really take the time to watch a ladybug, you’ll see a little personality that’s cruising around your garden in its own little universe. Kids see things that most adults miss. They are fascinated by any little thing that moves; a firefly, a stick bug blending into a tree trunk and bumble bees.
This art was painted from what I think is a child’s point of view, with the wonder of what’s unique about plants and little creatures that make you happy when you look at them. Reminds me of when I was a little kid.
Most of your paintings are big. Your “Sun and Fun” paintings are on 45″ x 24″ birch wood. Why do you prefer to paint big paintings over smaller ones?
I just like the way they look! And, it’s easier for me to get more detail on a big surface.
What medium did you use for these paintings?
Uni Posca paint pens and acrylics. I use Poscas for most of my art.
Do most of your paintings have some deep meaning?
No, I paint what I love, which is surfing, nature and simplicity. What can be simpler than a little shack on the beach in a warm place with great waves? It’s an idea that anyone who enjoys the coastline can relate to.
You often will paint an entire collection of large paintings in a week that would take some artists 6 months to do. How do you pull that off?
Sometimes I carry around ideas with me for years, and then I get the chance to paint them. I’m extremely focused and efficient. Once I get started on a painting, I keep going until it’s finished, often forgetting to stop to eat or go home.
You recently took a five month trip across country. How do you leave your studio and your business for that long?
My family and I take 2-3 months off every year to travel the world. This time, we decided to see the U.S. and took five months to explore 26 states and visit family on the East Coast. Though we were having fun, we also found business everywhere we went. Some of it was pre-planned, such as me painting a 61′ wall mural in South Carolina, and giving a painting workshop in Florida. But, with most of my work being licensed, as long as I have wifi, I can work from anywhere.
Gandhi said “My life is my message.” What’s the message you want to give the world with your art and your life?
I want to show people that they can live a great life making art. What I’ve been doing for the past 25 years is all pretty selfish – I want to surf and travel and make art, using the one thing that I’m good at.
My message is to take your strengths and passions and meld them together to make a nice life. That’s all.
Drew Brophy’s designs are available in a variety of skins. Check them out HERE.
Want to know more? You can view Drew Brophy’s artwork and biography at www.drewbrophy.com.