Surf Artist Holly Og­den has let her love for the ocean, the en­vi­ron­ment and travel lead her into a life of up­cy­cling surf­boards. Turn­ing tired surf­boards into works of art, Holly care­fully picks her can­vas and lets her pas­sions flow.

Surf Girl - - – Snap Shot – -

I grew up on the north­ern beaches of Perth in Western Aus­tralia, al­ways by the ocean. Af­ter mov­ing here from Manch­ester, Eng­land, at a young age, I couldn’t stay away from the beach. I trained in surf life­sav­ing at a young age and as I got older, work­ing a 9-5, my mind con­stantly wan­dered and won­dered ‘why can’t life be a beach’? I made a dras­tic change and de­cided if I loved surf­ing, div­ing, cre­at­ing and the ocean so much, why couldn’t I be sur­rounded by it all day?

I spent four years trav­el­ling and liv­ing in In­done­sia and Thai­land, paint­ing wall mu­rals, ukule­les, gui­tars and surf­boards, as well as surf­ing, swim­ming with sharks and tur­tles, and com­plet­ing my dive mas­ter cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. All this along­side meet­ing in­cred­i­ble peo­ple and drink­ing from plenty of fresh co­conuts.

I be­gan cre­at­ing my art­work to ex­press my­self and tell a story of the travel life I was lead­ing. As my art pro­gressed I was amazed by the re­sponse I re­ceived from ev­ery­one I crossed paths with in the surf and dive com­mu­nity. Fel­low trav­ellers and busi­ness own­ers be­gan re­quest­ing my work for their boards and walls, and I re­alised that peo­ple were re­ally en­joy­ing what I made.

Whether you’re on the sur­face of the ocean or 30m down, the feel­ing is like noth­ing else. Not only are you at one with na­ture, you’re a part of it too. And you’re not just ob­serv­ing the wildlife, you’re one of them; it’s so prim­i­tive and elec­tric. That’s the feel­ing I want to con­vey through my art­work.

Our oceans are in dan­ger from pol­lu­tion and other fac­tors, yet we’re so quick to fo­cus on the neg­a­tives. It’s im­por­tant to know facts and be con­scious of them, but pos­i­tiv­ity is vi­tal to in­stil change. Be­cause if you love some­thing you want to pro­tect it, right? So if we spread love for our oceans, peo­ple will fight for them.


I want peo­ple to look at my work at feel all fuzzy in­side; the same feel­ing I get when I cre­ate it or when you surf or dive. I usu­ally use pre-loved boards as a can­vas, mainly be­cause they tell a story of their own. Each piece takes a huge chunk of time: de-wax­ing the used boards, sand­ing, prim­ing, paint­ing and gloss­ing. I paint by hand with self-taught tech­niques and a very small brush to cre­ate the ef­fects, along­side Posca pens and some spray paint.

My cur­rent col­lec­tion of surf­boards and gui­tars is on dis­play at Red Cloud Art Space, Yallingup, in the Mar­garet River re­gion of Western Aus­tralia.

I am con­stantly cre­at­ing and mak­ing new pieces. I be­lieve what you paint on is just as im­por­tant as what you paint. Us­ing surf­boards, gui­tars and other ob­jects as my can­vas helps peo­ple re­alise my vi­sion and un­der­stand my jour­ney. I am cur­rently paint­ing the out­side of a car­a­van, a wall mu­ral in my home, and al­ways have at least five surf­boards at dif­fer­ent stages of com­ple­tion.

Paint­ing helps me ex­press my­self whilst link­ing my love for the ocean and art. I use art as my cre­ative out­let, calm­ing my mind; it’s some­thing that re­laxes me and makes me happy. The feel­ing of achieve­ment upon com­plet­ing a piece is pretty spe­cial. I feel priv­i­leged to have my work dis­played and am look­ing for­ward to my fu­ture progress with my cre­ativ­ity.

Holly and her beau­ti­fully

up­cy­cled surf­board.

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