Behind the Scenes…

Drew Brophy Photo Ocean Beach NorCal SUP Every time a big swell is on its way, I begin to plan on where to go and try to get all my work done.

Even though I have organized my life to be free, sometimes I feel guilty leaving my wife and son for the pursuit of surfing big waves.  This past week was one of those times.

The swell was coming and I needed to be at the right place at the right time, but I was not sure where to go.  It was already Saturday afternoon and I was determined not to miss another great swell.

I usually head South to Blacks or Mexico, because I know my way around, but the swell would not arrive there until a full day later and it would be a lot smaller.  It was going to be hitting up north in the morning and the weather was going to be beautiful, sunny skies, 70 degree temps, and off shore winds.

What to do?

A couple years ago I met new friends surfing in Puerto Escondido, Ian and Haley.  They live in NorCal, they love big waves, and most of all they love Mavericks. They are normal guys like me, not pros and not burned-out old surfers with bad attitudes, but guys with their shit together, who CHARGE.  I decided to reach out and send Ian a message, asking him what was up and where was he was surfing the swell.

Ian and Haley Norcal Ocean Beach SUP

Haley and Ian, Ocean Beach

He sent a short reply: “START DRIVING NOW!”

Ian lives in Ocean Beach, San Francisco, and it is an 7 hour drive for me.

Believe it or not I do not connect with too many people, I often do everything alone. My wife is awesome; she pushes me to reach out to friends and not do so many things on my own.  She encouraged me to go and helped me to get ready.  While she was packing water and food for me, I was busy loading up the essentials on the roof of my van:

  • A 10’6″ Ron House Gun
  • A 10’6″ Riviera Paddleboard – Ron House board
  • An 8’0″ Gerry Lopez Pipe Gun
  • My 5’10” Ron House twin-fin fish, just in case all the models were wrong and it was flat!
  • and most importantly, my Patagonia wetsuit.  (I never got cold thanks to that suit)

I was loaded up and on the road an hour after getting Ian’s message.

It was about 10 p.m. when I arrived in San Francisco, after driving straight through, I pulled up to Ian’s oceanfront home with him waving from the window.  I had not seen him in two years, but he is like me, he loves to surf.

Paddle boarders take Charge!  Mavericks

Ian and Haley take Charge! Mavericks

The plan was to meet Haley at Mavericks before dawn. They were having the Maverick’s Invitational big wave contest with all the pros and the circus; we wanted to be there before they started, so we could get some waves.

We awoke at 4:30,  got on the road and were in the parking lot 5:15.  The police were already shutting down the streets, I guess they were expecting a big crowd.

We suited up in the dark and began the long paddle out.  The air was still and quiet, with a zillion stars in the sky, and due to the long period swell the ocean was unusually calm. I could barely see my friends as they guided me around the huge rocks, I was so focused on just getting there and getting out, I never really thought about what it would be like to be in the lineup of one the scariest waves in the world in total blackness.  I wish I could properly describe how cool that experience was but it is impossible.

I must say once there it was down right spiritual, it was a moment when all the effort pays off.

I was in my element. We gazed at the stars with giant swells rolling beneath us, waiting for the dawn so we could surf. As soon as the tiniest bit of light filled the air the waves exploded into view. My friends paddled right into the lineup and began to ride the giant waves.  I was in heaven, three guys surfing alone at one of the biggest best breaks in the world.

I caught one huge left and achieved two of my goals for the year:

  1. Surf Mavericks; and
  2. Spend more time with friends.

A half hour later  noise and diesel fumes destroyed the calm, an army of jet skis first, and then a flotilla of boats converging on the reef, then two giant coast guard ships, and news helicopters.

The Circus!  Mavericks

The Circus! Mavericks

Our Mavs session was instantly over, forty guys crawled into the line up and the circus began. so we sat in the channel and watched our pro surfer friends ride waves.

Something was missing, contests have become everything surfing is not.  We paddled in to refuel and go surf Ocean Beach, we knew it was firing.  In fact it was the best it had been in years.  But, Ian was down after hurting his arm on his last wave at Mavs. I surfed by myself in front of his house all afternoon.

It was huge and empty, just me and the sea, a far contrast from the circus we left. Hands down  the best surf session I ever had on my paddle board.  I was at the perfect place at the perfect time, We watched the sunset while drinking beer from the sand dunes. Our bodies were buzzing from the days waves totally stoked and exhausted.

The next morning the swell was smaller but more groomed and still great. Ian feed me coffee and  motivated me to charge into the sea once more. Haley met us in the water. Great rides were had by all and another epic session went into the history books.

This is what surfing and life is all about, being with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Make the effort, reach out, and create new adventures.

Thanks guys for an fantastic 48 hours.

Life is Good Drew

PS:  Thanks to Bruce Topps of NorCal Surf Photos for the shots of me surfing Ocean Beach!

 

Dreamland-Drew-Brophy-sticker-surf-art-surfing-styleYIPPEE!  NEW STICKERS!

Drew has been saying that we need to get new stickers made for two years now.

Finally, he convinced me.  After all, what better way to show your bright, colorful art then to have people stick it on things?!

Back in the day, when we used to sell Drew’s art stickers to surf shops all over the world, we would see them stuck on cars and surfboards and even bathroom walls!

Gone-Surfing-Drew-Brophy-surf-art-samoa-surfing--sticker

And the best part about Drew’s new stickers?  They are HUGE!  And of the best quality.  You will be so proud to show them off on your jalopy or the windows of your local police department.  (Just don’t tell them where you got ’em when you’re arrested…)

You can get ONE sticker for free!   Its easy, all you have to do to get your free sticker:

Pay $4.00 to cover postage costs (did we mention that these stickers are big?) either by:

PAYPAL – pay $4 to info@drewbrophy.com

OR:

REAL MAIL – send your Address and $4.00 cash to:

Mother-Ocean-drew-brophy-surfboard-trippy-art-surf-Sticker

Drew Brophy Sticker Giveaway, PO Box 836, San Clemente, CA 92674

We are stoked to send you a sticker!  (Allow 5-10 days for a sticker to be mailed back to you).

AND, Enter to win a signed Art POSTER from Drew (valued at $20).  Here’s How:

1 – Stick your Drew Brophy sticker anywhere

2 – Take a Picture of it

3 – Instagram your picture with both of the hashtags #DrewBrophy #SurfArt or;

 Tweet the photo with the hashtags #DrewBrophy #SurfArt.

(For extra credit, Facebook the photo and link to Drew’s Facebook page:  Drew Brophy Art – but legally according to Facebook we can’t make this a requirement, so it’s extra credit!)

4 – Once a week we will choose a winner and mail you out your signed poster!

RETAILERS:  Stickers are available at a super-special price for retailers – email info@drewbrophy.com or call 949-678-8133 for info and to place an order.

Drew Brophy Killer Surf Art Stickers

SUNRISE in South Africa As an Artist, people often ask me where I get my inspiration from.

Most all of my painting inspiration comes from nature and life.

Being a surfer and a traveler takes me to some of the most amazing places on earth. These experiences in my life are real and authentic, they become part of my story.

Art is so much more than painting pretty pictures, it is a different way of thinking and looking at the world.

It is raw creativity and wonder. Art is the ability to articulate an idea, feeling, or story, to others.

Here is a story about the SUNRISE painting I did after a surf trip to the other side of the world:

During a trip to South Africa, on the beautiful beach of Jeffery’s Bay, where the ocean is full of life and the waves seem to peel forever, I was inspired to paint the sunrise.

One morning before dawn, after the coldest night of the year, I awoke to be the first to ride one of these magical waves. Standing in the dark, shivering in my wet-suit, I used my surfboard to block the icy winds. The crashing waves kept me company but I could not see them in the darkness.  Above me, millions of stars illustrated the vastness of the universe.

As my mind began to wander, I felt cold and alone, as if I was nowhere in time or space,  just another soul or spec of light in the night sky so far from each other.

Finally a tiny faint glow in the distance caught my eye, it steadily grew larger with every second and in a sudden burst, a tremendous wave of light raced across the sky.  In a fraction of second it erased the darkness and the millions of stars. I instantly felt the warmth of the light as the wave illuminated me. I embraced it and basked in it, it felt like God’s warm hands on my face.

I was no longer alone, a new day had been born, the endless waves and our beautiful world came into view.  This is our true gift, every single day.

The earth is our mother.
The sun is our father.
The ocean is where I was born and feel most at home, it calls to me.
I am a Son of the Sea.

Life is Good,

Drew

PS:  Now Sunrise is available on stickers, so you can take it with you anywhere you go – check it out in my Store.

Drew-Brophy-WHAM-O-Boogie-Boards-600x450 ssCASE STUDY:

Revitalize WHAM O’s Boogie Boards utilizing Drew Brophy art & packaging

WHEN:

2001 through 2008

CLIENT:

Wham O Toy Company

MISSION:

REVITALIZE existing Boogie Board products; make them authentic enough to be accepted by surf shop retailers.  

Wham O sales people had a problem in early 2000;  they couldn’t convince core surf shops to carry their Morey Boogie Boards.  Surf shop owners wanted authentic surf style products, and most felt that the Morey Boogie Boards weren’t “core” enough for surf shop clientele.

Drew designed a complete line of Morey Boogie Boards, which bore his name.  Immediately, sales sky rocketed.  Surf shops began carrying the new Boogie Board line.  In less than 3 years, the Brophy-line of Boogie Boards were sold en-mass throughout the world.

RESULTS:  According to Wham O designer, Petey Peterson, the Brophy-line of Boogie Boards stand out as the most successful body boards that ever retailed, in history, to date.  Mission Accomplished!

Testimonial from Wham O’s Morey Boogie Board designer Petey Peterson:

Drew’s art defined our best-selling line of Liquid Force Wakeboards called the Trip Series back in 1996. 

We worked together for years, building an amazing range of Morey Boogie Boards (for Wham O) that featured Drew’s original concepts and unique background effects. These stand out as the most successful body boards that ever retailed – EVER.  

It is not a coincidence that Drew is the leading artist in today’s surf and skate scene. His art is like gold.  He is the Real Deal and I am blessed to have had the pleasure to work with him through these last two centuries!”  Michael “Petey” Peterson, Designer

I CAN SEE Painting by Drew BrophyI CAN SEE Original Painting, mixed media on canvas board, sized 12″ x 12″.

This painting was inspired when hiking through the Grand Canyon on a SUP whitewater expedition.

Most people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings.  They see what they are told to see, or what they expect.  They follow the herd.

Somewhere along the way, humans have shut out the details, only absorbing the obvious, or what’s being sold to them through the media.

Eighty percent of the important stuff is missed by most.

This fact was evident when hiking deep into the Grand Canyon.  I was on a 16 day expedition with a private group.  Occasionally, the commercial tours would cross paths with us, usually in groups of 30 or more.  Often, they trudged right past the most spectacular sights the Canyon has to offer; perfect heart-shaped stones, eagles flying high above, ancient messages left on rock.

On one very hot day (as a commercial tour group filed right past me, missing what had stopped me in my tracks),  I looked up at an enormous canyon wall, to see handprint impressions on the stone.

It was a message left in another time, from inhabitants of the Canyon.  I don’t know how long ago those handprints were made; hundreds of years ago?  Thousands?

The ancient greeting stayed with me long after returning home to Southern California.

So I decided to create my own handprint art.

I added the all-seeing-eye.  It represents that “I Can See”, because I feel that artists are given the gift of seeing more than most others.  Seeing things in nature, in people.

This painting was given to my sister-in-law, Caroline, for Christmas.  An artist herself, she fell in love with it.

For a fresh insight on the Handprints in the Canyon, check out this post by Andrew Guiliford, who felt that the handprints in the canyon guided him to safety one night.

Handprints in the Grand CanyonLife is Good – Drew