Maddie Joyce is a talented British surfer/artist who created The Magic Bus, a blog where people from all over the world stop by to get inspired by images of beach culture. She also recently finished a children’s book called Mr. Muckworth and the Windy Valley.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in a wee village in East Sussex, England. It was really close to the beach so I remember playing there a lot with my younger brother. My dad had a little sailing boat, called The Lucy-Kate, which was always fun to go on! We would holiday in Cornwall almost every year in a little 1960’s caravan, and I loved it there!
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a child?
Oh, tricky one. I always looked up to my mum. She’s a wonderful artist and she really inspired me to paint. I can’t remember looking up to anyone famous. I had so many different career ambitions–one day it would be a vet, the next an air hostess!
How did you get involved in art?
Through my mum. She bought me my first paints, and taught me how to draw still life. I used to copy all of the drawings she did at art college and sneak into her art materials stash, and smuggle pastels and charcoal to use in my own creations! It was always my favourite subject at school though, and it always has been.
What is your process when creating your art?
I usually get all of my ideas while lying in bed, before I sleep. It’s where I try and focus all of my thoughts. Then, sometimes I wri te them down, then start them in the morning. I don’t have much of a process–just idea, to paint, to canvas. I usually have three paintings on the go at a time; I do a bit on one and then move to the next while I wait for it to dry.
Do you think that coming from England has given your art a bit of a different style compared to other “surf” artists?
I’m hugely influenced by different surf artists around the world, so I think that is definitely visible in my work. But the ragged Cornish coastline really inspires me to paint and I think perhaps that contributes towards a different style. The landscapes are so rural and weathered, and I try to put that feeling of being open to the elements across in my art.
Of all places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
Definitely, out of all of the places I’ve been, California tops it. I spent three months there in the summer and was blown away by it. I loved the art culture there; it was buzzing. Everywhere you look, there is someone creating or something to inspire you. I love that you can drive for four hours north and suddenly be amongst redwoods, waterfalls and mountains, then go back south and be in a lively and vibrant city. I met so many incredible and talented people there, and returned with a million ideas and plans.
Who or what inspires you?
All of the people I met on my travels inspire me the most, my boyfriend and all of the fantastic artists that submit their work to The Magic Bus. I feel lucky to be surrounded by such talented and magical people. In terms of artists, Cornwall-born Bryn Hall is amongst them. It’s great to see a young surf artist emerge from the deepest corner of Cornwall with such beautiful and enchanting work. (www.bryn-hall.blogspot.com)
Tell us about The Magic Bus.
The Magic Bus is a blog I curate. It is a daily post of photography and art from around the globe, capturing the ocean and those who live to be in it, but so much more than that. It is a daily dose of inspiration and magicality, a little dip in the ocean or a stroll by the sea. It’s a place for people to share photographs of their travels, their friends, waves, boards and all. (www.themagicbuscollective.com)
Why do you have such a strong affection for the ocean and the cultures that form near the sea?
I think where I have grown up has played a huge part. I liked the treasures I could find in it–hermit crabs, shells and funny shaped rocks. I love the unpredictability of the ocean, how you can sit and watch it and it will change in front of your eyes. The colours, the waves, the tides–it all moves and changes, morphing into the landscape around it. It’s alive.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
To keep pushing my ideas, especially with art. Get them out there as much as possible and learning to accept rejection as something better always comes along.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
What brings me the most happiness is knowing that I have such solid support around me and fantastic people. Also, succeeding in things that I do, like the feeling you get when you’ve sold your first painting.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surf art today?
I follow a lot of blogs, and the artwork that comes out of The Boda Surfamily is so unique. There’s so much thought behind each piece, but at the same time being delightfully simple and just happy really! It’s honest, relaxed and makes me feel good inside. I think art should do that. But for me, that is the kind of art that is shaping the path for surf art today! (www.bodasurf.blogspot.com)
What’s your favorite meal?
Marmite–yes or no?
Yes, big yes.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Well my iPod is dead and in a box beside me, but on iTunes is Mr Paolo Nutini.
What causes, projects or organizations are you involved with?
I have a few projects in mind. I’ve just completed a little children’s book called Mr. Muckworth and the Windy Valley and have a few more book ideas up my fleecy sleeve! Perhaps some artistic collaborations. I had these dreamboard ideas that I’d like to compile into a little book. I’m working on it!
What’s next for Maddie Joyce?
I would love to study again, so hopefully college or university and expand the bus of magic!