Interview with Brad
– As someone who has clearly worn many hats (ad executive, painter, photographer) how do you answer the typical cocktail question “What do you do?”
It depends on who’s asking. For the past 10 years I usually say I’m an artist. If I’m visiting Houston I might mention my agency background since that’s where it all began 30 years ago but I always refer to myself as an artist.
– How did you first become interested in art?
As an ad agency creative director, art in one form or another is a part of what you do everyday…writing, art directing, TV, radio, photography…etc. And although advertising is commercial art it’s still part of the creative process. Around twenty years ago I began painting after work. I found freedom and relaxation in painting after the stressful daily demands of ad agency work. When I would paint there was no requirement of collaboration with others or client involvement. It was just me, my paint brush and a blank canvas.
– What led you to make the transition from advertising executive to fine artist? Or have the two roles always been intertwined?
As I mentioned for those of us in the creative end of the agency business there’s always a relationship between commercial art and art in general. For me the transition to fine artist came about without a plan or strategy. There are thousands of practicing artists here on Maui so shortly after arriving I began making friends with several successful fine artists. They came to my home, saw my work and encouraged me to “get it out there.” So I did. My work was selected for the first few juried art competitions I entered. Within a few months I was meeting with a local gallery owner and her art consultant discussing gallery representation and my fine art career was off and running.
– What inspires you as an artist?
I realize it’s cliché to say this but my inspiration truly does come from the environment and daily experiences of living on Maui. The colors…the light…the mana (energy)…..there is no lack of beauty to tap into on Maui for inspiration.
– What art do you most identify with?
Contemporary and 20th century abstract art in a variety of mediums.
– How did you decide on the piece that would go on the 2015 Super Tech by Jimmy Lewis?
It was Jimmy’s decision. I provided him with several graphic mock ups on a variety of boards and he chose the one you see on the new Super Tech SUP board.
– What was your experience working with Jimmy?
Jimmy and I live in the same small north shore community and I bought my first SUP board from him 9-10 years ago – so we knew one another. Working with Jimmy has been a true pleasure. He takes the production and design of his surfboards seriously. Jimmy’s the consummate professional.
– Have there been talks of more collaborations?
Yes but nothing I can currently comment on.
– Do you stand up paddle? If so, what is your favorite kind of paddling? (Touring/Surf/Downwind/etc.)
Yes. I SUP with my wife along the south side of the island….Kihei, Thousand Peaks…the west side. And if there are some small waves rolling in we’ll catch a few on our way back to shore. We’re always saying we need to do a downwind and one day we will buy downwind boards and put that into the mix. But for now we SUP for exercise and pleasure of being out on the water. And now as we enter our winter we’ll SUP for up close whale watching.
– Any other hobbies when you are not working on art?
We just returned from a month in Tuscany so travel would have to be near the top of my list. We’re both very active. I try to do an off shore open ocean swim every day. We also hike the many trails here on Maui and we’re regularly jogging, working-out, walking our dogs….I guess these would be considered our hobbies
– I’m sure you love living in Maui but what, if anything, do you miss about Houston?
The variety of restaurant choices Houston has to offer. When we visit we will go out for Mexican of course. Then we will hit a few of our old favorite spots and try to throw in a new restaurant if we have time. Then after splurging on calories we return to our healthy eating lifestyle here on Maui…..which is so easy to do.