Heather Brown is a talented artist living the dream in Hawaii. Her vibrant and graphic paintings capture the joy of the glide and the rich colors of our surfing landscape. Heather talks to us about her many inspirations and what she appreciates in her life.
When did you get your first surfboard?
When I moved to Hawaii a little over 10 years ago. I still have it today and it’s one of my favorites, it has light green, yellow, orange, and blue pigment stripes, 5 stringers, 9’4 single fin.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
It was exhilarating, and I couldn’t wait to do it again
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was all over the place, changing my mind all the time… One day I wanted to be a marine biologist, the other I wanted to be a paramedic (which I actually did for a while) I always made art, but never thought I could actually make a living at it, so I was always looking for the right job that would make me happy, none really fit the bill, so after many different career choices, I finally decided to pursue what I loved most, and I enrolled at the University of Hawaii to study fine arts.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young woman?
I really loved Jane Goodall.
Where did you study painting?
University of Hawaii, Manoa
What is your process when creating your art?
I paint with acrylics on canvas, silkscreen prints on paper, and I paint on the occasional surfboard or single fin too! Lately I’ve been painting these really cool hand planes used for body surfing that my boyfriend has been making under the name Hawaii Alaia.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
I liked Tahiti a lot, so much beauty there. In January I’ll be taking a trip to Namoto Fiji, I’m really looking forward to going there!
What is it that makes you such a nice person? What code do you live by?
Love and happiness are the most important things in life, I try to stay aware of what makes me happy and appreciate it every day, the people I love, the beautiful island I live on, fun surf, enjoying painting, I try to live by doing what I love and never taking it for granted.
Who/what inspires you?
I get inspiration from many places – nature is what inspires me the most, also art and music.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
Learning to read and interpret color
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
No, I wouldn’t be where I am now if everything didn’t happen as it did already, and I’m very happy with where I am in my life now, so I have no regrets and am happy with the path I have chosen, I feel that it has made me a more well rounded person and I appreciate more that I’m doing what I love and living where I want to be.
What are you most proud of?
My artistic talent
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing is great for me in many ways, its a great way to have fun, clear your mind, good exercise, interacting with nature, being in the beautiful ocean and feeling it with all of your senses.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
My boyfriend, my dog Marley and my cat Charlie, good waves, good food, living in Hawaii, travel, adventure, and staying happy.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Everyone who surfs has a role in shaping the path – we are all responsible.
What is in your current quiver? What is your favorite board? Your favorite surfspot?
Bing Lovebird 9’0
Donald Takyama — in the pink 9’0
Bing Zeph model 9’4
Dick Brewer 10’0
Strong Current 9’4
808 by Kohei Chiba 7’8
9’6 by Kimo Green
Tom Wegener Alaia — The Anchovy 7’4
Handplane by Hawaii Alaia
Favorite surf spot is Waikiki
What’s your favorite meal?
What are you currently listening to on your ipod?
What causes/ projects/ organizations do you support?
Surfrider Foundation and Kokua Foundation, Keep A Breast
What’s next for Heather Brown?
Hmmm… Not sure?
More information about Heather Brown can be found here.