Yesterday, Hawaii’s most beloved surf artist, Clark Takashima, passed away due to a heart attack. I found out late this morning after a morning scope of my Instagram feed led me to Sunny Garcia’s page who dedicated a post to Clark. He was far too young, passionate and bright, and he will be missed by all who knew him and/or his artwork.
Clark was known for both his impressive artwork, based mainly around waves and his surroundings on Hawaii, and his infectiously positive personality. In the short time I knew Clark, he couldn’t have been a more enthusiastic, generous and positive person. He radiated positive vibes and seemed to embody the aloha spirit. This is the way I’ll remember him.
He was more than a great guy. He was a very talented artist, too, originally from Pearl City but lived on the North Shore. When we corresponded, he occasionally gave me a little update on how the waves were by him and always asked, in a most genuine way, “How are you?” That was Clark. Happy to share the stoke. This generosity was also exemplified in his project called “The Plant to Pupukea,” which was established with the support of the 9th Wave Gallery. Clark decided to dedicate himself to help other artists to aspire to their potential. Early in 2011, Clark and fellow artist Patrick Parker joined forces to one day maintain a large, working studio to be a creative hotspot for artists.
He once said of the project, “We open our doors to visiting and local professional artists to paint, discuss the importance of sharing information on marketing, painting techniques and creating the best works possible. We encourage our peers to look deeper into how the Old Masters set up their compositions using information incorporating numbers, geometry, music and the cosmos. Then, hopefully, those visiting will do the same in their communities. The Plant too, on occasion, welcomes amateur artists to paint and enjoy the creative process. I think it’s essential for artists (or any creative person) to surround themselves in a creative environment. The last two years have been amazing and incredibly inspiring with many notable artists, surfers, clients and kids experiencing this energetically charged space.”
Clark is now reunited with his wife and friends Andy Irons, Sion Milosky and Buttons Kaluhiokalani. When his wife passed, he wasn’t in an easy place. He was open about the heartache it left him with and he put that energy into his work. Everything had meaning, and plenty of it was personal.
Instead of mourning the passing of a friend, artist, stranger, or whoever Clark was to you, let’s celebrate the life he lived while he was here. Let’s remember his legacy, his artwork, his generosity and know he’s in a better place even if we may not be.
Clark was also a gracious contributor to The Inertia. Below is some of his artwork.