Behind the Scenes…

SURF EXPO JAN 6-8, 2011 ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Surf Expo has been a big part of my art career for the past twenty years.

Every January the greatest show in Surf brings together surf companies and surf shops, girls in bikinis, stand up paddleboarders and professional surfers – everybody who is anybody in surf will be there.

I first went to Surf Expo as a kid, sneaking my way in with stolen passes to get a glimpse of all the cool stuff behind those big convention center doors. (more…)

I go to a mall one time a year; right before Christmas to buy gifts.  But this year, I went to 20 different malls between October and December.

Ugg Australia sent me on a 20-city tour to customize Ugg boots in Nordstrom stores.  I’ve been to Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and even Las Vegas.

MY MISSION: To make people happy by painting art on their boots.

Here’s what I learned about humanity through it all:

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Drew has always loved surfing Teauhupo’o, one of the best waves in the world.

So when Teva and Aja of Hinano Tahiti approached Drew to create artwork for their apparel line, he was excited.

Hinano is Tahiti’s most popular brand of beer brewed by Brasserie de Tahiti since 1955.

If you’ve ever been to Tahiti, chances are you’ve had yourself some Hinano brew.

Hinano Tahiiti, owned by the same company, is an apparel brand that celebrates the island lifestyle.  Both brands share the beautuiful Vahine as their symbol logo.

Since Tahiti is one of Drew’s favorite places, it was easy for him to paint a few pieces exclusively for Hinano Tahiti’s 2011 collection.

Inspired by his time on the Tahitian Islands, Drew created a series of paintings for this collection, including WALL OF SKULLS, VAHINE and THE TREE OF LIFE.

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The great hat maker Flat Fitty challenged me to stump them on making a killer hat.  They gave me complete freedom to design it any way I wanted.  So I went crazy with the detail and colors.

Designing a cool hat took more than just putting good art on it.  It was the added details, large and small, that made it awesome.

When I first met with Elizabeth Miller, who is in charge of Flat Fitty promotions, she challenged me to create a hat that would show off what they can do as a manufacturer.  I was up for the task!

THE ART:  For the front of the hat I chose to use my painting SUNRISE.  I wanted it to pop when you look at it from different angles, and Sunrise has browns, blues, greens, many colors.

I had to manipulate the art so that it would work with the fold in the center of the hat.  This required modifying it so when you folded two pieces together, the art still looked good.  This took a lot of thought and time playing with the concept in the computer.

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We named our new van “The Dream Machine” for two reasons:

  1. We intend to “live the dream life” of adventure with it, and
  2. We were inspired by Shaggy & Scooby’s Mystery Machine!

The Dream Machine not only gets a lot of attention, but it also brings up a lot of questions, like “what kind of paint did you use” and “how did you seal it” and “did you really want it to look like that?!”

Drew was kind enough to want to share these answers and more.  Read his “tutorial” below: (more…)