Casper Brindle is a California surfer/artist originally from England who combines mixed-media and photography to create sublime art. His work captures your attention with its strong attention to detail, color, and composition. We took some time with Casper to learn more.
What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in West LA with my mom. Times were tough financially, but rich in love. She always managed to find a way to get me all the things I could ever ask for, which was usually skateboards, surfboards, wetsuits, art supplies, etc. My mom was a fashion designer in England, but when we moved to the States, she divorced my father (an architect) and had to work fashion retail to support us. Growing up in Southern California was a definite change from England, and I embraced it fully. The colors of California amazed me, even as a youngster, and have affected my color choices profoundly in my work to date.
I remember summers hanging at Lifeguard Station 26 in Santa Monica with all my mothers’ friends—FOBs (“fresh off the boat”) from England. I can still hear the ice cubes clanking together in their gin and tonics—that must have been around 1978. I would be in the water all day boogie boarding and body surfing, scabbed nose and cheeks from the sun. Then, we would go back to our friends’ house on Ocean Park and skate with all the neighborhood kids. In fact, I did a painting entitled “Scents of Station 26” some years ago.
When I got a little older, I would take the 6:10am #1 blue bus in the morning, dinging my board trying to get it in a seat next to me. Get off at Bay Street, walk to the waves and surf for hours. Then there was what I call “squareback days”. I could drive! We would load up the VW squareback and surf Santa Monica to Ventura. Growing up in L.A. can be a challenge for any teenager, especially in the 80’s. I think we all lived like rock stars with no band or money coming in; it was, let’s just say, a very “experimental” time. Out all night, surf all day. Hanging out with the rich, drinking with the homeless. Good times!
When did you get your first surfboard?
An actual stand up surfboard? Probably 11 or 12. I think it was either a Con or a Natural Progression. But before I got my first surfboard, I would try and stand up on a kneeboard someone gave me.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
Ecstasy! I was learning on a kneeboard that was probably five feet at the most, so when I stood up it was amazing! I just remember standing up for like two seconds, then screaming out!!!
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young man?
As a young, young grom? Probably Nathan Pratt, Jay Adams, Tony Alva. Those were the guys in the mags that I think we all were trying to emulate. I remember staring at those mags forever. Once I hit 13 to 14, I think I was all about Tom Curren, Cheyne Horan, Occy and all of those 80’s guys.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
That’s a tough one. I would say either Punta Mita or Maui. As I grow older, family seems to play a huge part in my life and the moments I have spent with my family in those places seem to be the most special. I remember my first time surfing Honolua Bay, It was seven in the morning and head high with only two guys out. Amazing, right? I made my way down the cliff and jumped into the warm water. I dropped into my first wave, made a bottom turn, then stalled, a brilliant colored lip just flew over my head and I was in the tube for what felt like six seconds, but probably was three. As I exited the tube and cut out, I was met by the other two surfers, definite locals. I was hesitant, as this wasn’t my home break. One of the locals said, “Killer tube, brah.” I knew that this was a special place and moment—true aloha.
Who or what inspires you?
In my work I would say the ocean, the horizon, my life’s experiences and other artists who push the limits.
How did you get involved in art and photography?
I was always surrounded by the arts as a child being from parents who were both designers. I think it began as an outlet for me to express myself when I was young. As I grew older, it just became something I had to do to straddle the line of sanity and insanity.
What is your process for creating your art?
It totally depends on what I’m feeling. If I feel like making photographs, then I will shoot a lot. If I feel like painting, then I’ll paint. If I feel like writing, then I’ll write. If I feel like constructing, then I will build the frames and put the LED lights in. The magic is when all of the above processes come together for the finished piece of art. The process is always evolving.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
Here are three—couldn’t narrow that question down. To never stop learning, to forgive and listen to the wisdom of people who have traveled down life’s path farther than you.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
The only regrets that I can think of is that I wish my mother could have met my children in this life and maybe surfed better breaks growing up.
What are you most proud of?
Professionally, my art and photographs. Personally, my family. Wow! I sound like a real family man!
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing to me is a place where I can go to forget, go to remember, go to be alone or go to be among friends, go to laugh, go to cry. It is where I worship life and rest the soul.
I don’t think I would be as calm if I didn’t surf; just talk to me if I haven’t been in the water in a couple of weeks… yowza!
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Finishing a piece of art and my children’s laughter.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Too many to name—Reynolds, any of those aerial acrobats tearing it up these days. It’s ridiculous how good they are. My big trick when I was their age was a 360… and I thought I was the shit.
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
Right now, my favorites are a CI Biscuit and an Anderson Meth. Both are super fun for small summer surf. My favorite surf spot will remain nameless, but it’s in Mexico. (Laughs)
What’s your favorite meal?
Halibut with molcajete tacos.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
That Noise—I love them and they’re about to blow up!!!!
What causes or organizations do you support?
Surfrider, Heal the Bay and Mauli Ola, among others.
What are you most grateful for?
Mi familias, health and happiness.
What’s next for Casper Brindle?
The Moon. I plan on traveling with five artists to the moon for the first ever moon/art exhibit. Looking for sponsors now. (Laughs) No, I have had 12 shows in the past 12 months, so I plan on getting in the studio to do some new work and push my art to the next level.
To learn more about Casper Brindle and his art, click here.