Joe the surf artist

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“I want to be creative 100% of my working time and be able to sustain myself”.


Cornwall is one of those areas of the UK that you could say you’d associate art and artists with. Maybe it’s the clear light that draws them here or perhaps its the coastal life they wish to embrace. They all get inspiration by what surrounds them and in Joe’s case, it’s the surf. This is Joe’s story and what makes him tick.

Joe was born in the UK but grew up in Madrid. His mums creative artistic background clearly influenced him. During his youth, he use to go to art exhibitions and lived surrounded by other creative types. Joe moved back to the UK with his mum when he was 13 and carried on with his life up north in Scarborough. It was there that he got into surfing. His artistic experiences never left him but he was quick to understood that a life as a successful artists could be a real struggle. He was young and had a daughter to support at the time so thoughts moved towards an alternative career and it was at that point Joe joining the Probation Service.

In 1996, Joe was lucky enough to be offered a more challenging role within the service and he made the move to Cornwall. The prospect of continuing a coastal life with the addition of some really good and mixed surf conditions down here was a bonus. Over the years, Joe has taught himself to be a artist/illustrator and developed a unique style of his own. He, like a lot of other artists, develop their skills by what surrounds them and what makes them tick. In Joe’s case it’s the surf. I asked Joe what the future might hold. “I want to be creative 100% of my working time and be able to sustain myself”.

I watched Joe draw the day I visited him. It was quite apparent that the laid back frame of mind that you often might associate with surfing clearly transferred into Joe’s work. He was relaxed and at peace whilst creating what he loves the most, art.

Cheers Joe


rick