KEEP ON WALKING
Designer and artist Anais Pierquet explains how life, surfing, art and tattoos became an intricate part of her life.
So, here I am. My life has been a melting pot of energies and coincidences, and it is the people I have met, and the decisions I have made along on the way, that have brought me to where I am today. I decided to follow my heart instead of my mind, live the lifestyle I desired and create a relationship with surfing. I believe that when you decide to realise your dreams and follow your soul, if you actually believe in who you are, life will always be on your side. So I decided to trust life, and go along with it.
“I decided to follow my heart instead of my mind, live the lifestyle I desired and create a relationship with surfing.”
I grew up in France, on the border of Switzerland, in a little county called Pays de Gex. It’s a beautiful place in the middle of the mountains. It was just a bit too cold and not sandy enough for me. When I was a kid I was always drawn to the sea. Beach days, windsurfing and snowboarding were pretty much the best memories of my childhood. I dreamt about Hawaii and the surfing vibe, never believing I would actually be part of this world. However, once you start to put all your energy into the ocean and surfing, you will never stop. It becomes part of you.
After my dad passed away I needed to set my soul free, so I decided to go to California to improve my English skills. It was the biggest step I’d ever taken in my life. I’d never even left my parents’ home before. The trip was a beautiful and difficult experience that made me grow so much in my life.
Then, about two years ago, I moved to Bali and started to shortboard with my good friend and surf coach Adi. I hurt my shoulder doing a skateboarding video and couldn’t surf for about three months, but I couldn’t stay away from the ocean and got back in the water before it was fully healed. I grabbed a longboard because it’s easier to paddle with it, and the more longboarding I did, the more I got addicted to it. It became a daily ritual. It was so much fun and also so challenging to learn more and more, to improve every day.
Surfing became so important in my life that I wanted to push it to another level. It’s an art form and a way of expressing myself. When I surf it settles my mind and soul. I wouldn’t be able to live without it. It’s my own kind of medicine or meditation.
Art is also my meditation, just like surfing. It allows me to make time and space for myself, where my mind stops getting lost in breathless thoughts. I feel free when I am creating. Any tattoo I designed was a way to express myself. It was a way to let out some feelings and emotions that are maybe too difficult to talk about. Every time I had a strong emotional moment in my life, I had a new tattoo to celebrate it. For example, on my left front arm, I have a portrait of my mother, based on a picture taken the day she got married to my father. This day and decision shaped my parent’s life, and therefore it shaped mine too. I come from a pretty stormy past, and it made sense to me to ink under my skin the roots of it. My mother is such a strong soul, and it was also a way to tell her how much I admire who she is.
I never thought about getting tattoos before I actually did it. I did my first tattoo back in 2009 when I was living in California for a bit. This period of time was a tough one for me. My dad had just passed away and it was very hard to travel alone and be so far away from my family. I wanted to write something that would keep me going in life, something that would remind me that all of this is worth it. So I wrote ‘keep on walking’ on my right foot, and I guess that’s what I did, I kept on walking.
“Art is another way to express myself. If we can find freedom when we express ourselves, then why not take that road?”