Ryan Heywood is a photographer/surfer from Australia. Inspired by music, energy, and the ocean, Ryan creates brilliant imagery with film and is also the creator of a bodysurfing-only blog. In this interview, like his art, he keeps it simple and to the point.
What was your life like growing up?
Great! All time—best family and friends ever. I grew up in a magical place, plenty of waves and amazing Australian bushland.
When did you get your first surfboard?
Around Christmas time.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
It was epic—a physical conundrum manifest through nature and man-made devices!
Who did you look up to and admire when you were growing up?
The homeless dude that lived under the bridge where I grew up. He was trippin’ balls and surfing every day. Got free milk and bread from the bakery. He had it dialed. I think he may have needed a homeless girlfriend though.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
Uluru, centre of Australia. Insane energy rock. There is so much to this place; it’s beautiful and you can feel that same thing that happens when you hear really good music!
Who or what inspires you?
It’s hard to say… heaps of things: music, energy, ocean, warmth, cold, colour, flora and fauna, fine art, burnouts, car parks, fog, sun, clouds, mountains, cool dudes, girls that jump in pools, cool bongs, comics, the internet, surfboards, guitars, parties, summer breeze, dogs, cats, people, family and mates.
What is your process for creating your art?
I have multiple films in different cameras. I choose the film/camera that suits the light/subject. I shoot a roll and then send it to the lab, get back a sheet of negs and then archive.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
Same thing on my to do list… NOTHING!!!
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
What are you most proud of?
The website I made—bodysurf.com.au.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Well, I guess I really enjoyed surfing because I didn’t really think of anything when I was doing it. No thoughts, just waves and being. It’s made me appreciate everything, I guess.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Oh shit… sun on the back, A-frame peaks, glass-offs, music. There’s too many things to name. See “inspirations”.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
I like the DIY guys, dudes that make their own boards, wax, sun cream, etc.— adventurers and creative thinkers.
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
I don’t really have a favourite board. Fav spot would have to be Nudes Wedge.
What’s your favorite meal?
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
What are you most grateful for?
What’s next for Ryan Heywood?
To see more of Ryan Heywood’s work, check out his blog here.