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Exploring the Deep: How the 'Scuba'-boarder was Born

Today I am going to tell you the quaint backstory of how my "exploring the deep" scuba-diving snowboarder came to be. The fledgling idea was born out of the simplest of moments while out and about in the sunny "SoCal" seaside last May. As chance would have it, my favorite sister duo from Vancouver Island were headed south of the border to Southern California to celebrate a 'dirty 30' with Kygo's 'Palmtree Music Festival' in Dana Point, while also saving time for surfing the warmer California breaks. May, being the depths of 'mud-season' here in the mountains, meant that I could take up the opportunity to soak in the sun with two of my favorite people instead of mucking about a ghost town in its moody seasonal transition. So it came to be that Connor, our roommate and I booked our flights westward, ready to get in tune with our beachy-selves and perhaps find a little golden tinge to our stark white, wintery, complexions.

Though a couple days in the shy, spring California sun couldn't completely remedy the deep frosty tint of winter, the reunion with friends was enough to lift the spirits to celestial heights. Just as we did in our 20s, we continued to laugh and find the humor in the air around us. We spent a day at the race track, where Briggy gambled on horses while the rest of us chickens rooted for her picks...though victory in the end was taken in the form of company and not finances for the brave Brigitte. As for our 'tropical one day music festival', though we had collectively envisioned a day toasting in the sun, dancing to music in the comfort of a California evening, without a cloud of worry in the sky-- this was not our reality. Vibes were high but temps were low with many a clouds rolling in to listen to the music. The breeze danced away any remaining heated rays leaving behind a frigid line of people trying to buy $300 festival sweaters in their desperation to remedy their shivering souls. It was of little matter because Kygo was perfect, and we doubled-down on our efforts to groove ourselves into our own heat bubbles. Some friendships never fade, and the weekend passed as quickly as the time we had spent apart but, sadly, the day came to say goodbye to the "goodtime girls" and finish our trip as a West Vail trio. 

In the hype of the good times "roommate" decided to book an appointment for a new tattoo in San Clemente. We couldn't help but ask for a sneak peak of what his new adornment was going to be. What he showed us was a girl riding a fish wearing an old school scuba-diving mask. That was it--my inspiration was triggered! I loved the design and pretty immediately became obsessed with the idea of creating something that centered around one of those crazy, janky-looking, old-school diving getups. I began my hunt for pictures of divers undersea trusting these crazy contraptions to continue breathing life down in the deep sea.

At first I played with the ideas of paying homage to the trip I was on--something that whistled beachy-vibes. I liked the idea of an elephant surfing in the mask, as well as the Kraken diving devilishly in the dark depth of the ocean. This latter idea paved the path for the conceptual phrase of "exploring the deep". This slogan pivoted my thought pattern from "typical seaside concept" to surfing's fluffy younger cousin: snowboarding. I decided to switch gears and pay homage to the common ski-culture notion of the necessity of a snorkel on mega-powder days instead. Ski bums love to throw around the phrase "It was so deep I wish I had my snorkel!" to describe any semblance of a decent powder day on the slopes. Much like a fisherman's fish tale size scale, a snowboarder's snorkel tale is to be taken with a light heart. It was the natural progression to plunge our snowboarder even farther down in the abyss of snow, clinging to life dressed in its old-school vintage scuba suit, with the signature snowboarder powder slash trailing behind. This was the final description that jotted its way safely into the 'notes' on my phone, stored to create at a later and unspecified date...whenever the fancy should strike me.

The date revealed itself a couple of week later when I found myself back at home gifted with an evening free on the couch armed with the hankering to play around in my sketchbook while hanging out with the bless-ed 'Mr. Banks", dog extraordinaire. I let the idea flow to life, sketching it out in pencil before providing it with the permanency of a black marker outline. From here, normally I would foray into filling in the lines with watercolor, markers or pastels, but for this project I wanted to try my hands at creating a digital work on my dusty iPad. I am still a novice at using digital software and am very shaky at creating the lines I would like to create on a digital surface as opposed to on paper, so

I decided to take a picture of my sketch and trace over what I had created with my digital armory. I had fun playing around with the foreign digital paintbrushes and mixing techniques done under the plexiglass of my iPad and ended up with a lighthearted, simple piece that I titled with its original working concept of "Exploring the Deep" and finished with air bubbles made of snowflakes.

steps to creating 'exploring the deep'

I hope you enjoyed learning about the random events that brought the first part of the "Powder Trilogy" series to life. Inspiration and ideas come from the simplest of moments, whether it be a good vacation, location or time with friends, it is cool to look back at where the seed of an idea was planted.

I hope you have enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning and I can't wait to share the next with you.

As always,

Keep it #offbeat !

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