Surfing and art go hand in hand like onshore and bluebottles or fish and chips. Many have described the creative process of art as being akin to surfing – a form of expression on different canvases. So working as a creative in the surf industry must be pretty rad. As part of our Artist’s Corner series, we hit up Billabong’s graphic designer, Alex Neave, from Jeffrey’s Bay to talk art and surf.
Name: Alex Neave
Hometown: Im originally from Thornhill, but now I live in Paradise Beach, just outside of Jeffrey’s Bay.
What is your job title? Billabong South Africa Graphic Artist
Where do you surf, what you ride and are you a goofy or natural foot?
Kitchen Windows is right in front of my office so that’s the place I surf the most. I’m natural footed and the board I’m riding at the moment is a 5’9 Dutchie, the Pitbull model.
Tell us a little bit about your art.
I try to include a comical element in most of my artwork, something light hearted and fun that catches the eye. I have loved drawing natural forms for as long as I can remember. I would say most of my artworks are animal based.
If you think back, can you remember the first piece of art you created?
I can’t quite remember my first drawing but I have a photo of my sister and I standing over our younger brother after going to town on his face with our mom’s makeup. So I guess that was one of the first creative moments of my life.
From where (or whom) do you draw your inspiration? What art do you most identify with?
I draw all my inspiration from nature – I love animals and the outdoors. The art I most identify with is usually anything light hearted and nature based.
What are your favourite mediums and what kind of projects do you like working on?
I’m an illustrator at heart, my favourite medium is good old pencil and paper but Copic markers are a close second. The projects I enjoy working on the most are the grom contests that Billabong holds. Those kids have so much energy and it always seems to filter into every aspect of the project.
Do you have a favourite work of art?
No not really. I change my mind too often to have a favourite.
How would you say surfing and art go hand and hand?
They both seem to be things that people can become totally obsessed with.
What is your dream project?
My dream project has always been to work with Sector Nine. I love drawing on skateboards and it would be a dream come true to design a few boards for them!
Perks of the job?
Would have to be lunchtime “board meetings” at Tubes.
Favourite project done for Billabong?
My favourite project so far was the event creative for the 2016 SA Junior Champs. I was lucky enough to work with an amazing photo by local photographer, Deon Lategan. We wanted to give this event a very “artsy” / loose feel and I think we nailed it.
What is it like being a creative working in the surf industry?
It’s really great! I have met so many creative and like-minded people. I get to work with energetic guys on insanely fun projects! It doesn’t seem fair sometimes.
Who is your favourite artist…
Internationally: Erik Abel
Where can people see more of your work?
On my Instagram: @alex_neave_91