I want to save the planet. I think if most people had the choice they would check the box next to “Save” rather than “Destroy.” But that still leaves the other people: the jerks, the greedy asses, the ignorant, those in charge of murdering millions of wild sharks every year just for their fin soup delicacies, Climate Change naysayers, and the corporations (people too you know!) dumping toxic sludge into our oceans and waterways. Disgust at the highest level. A case of good versus evil… and stupid.
As an artist and designer, it’s always been a struggle to justify to myself my career choice as an egotistical, self-absorbed, selfish, opinionated, creative type. These traits are just part of being an artist at the most basic level. And so the questions are; how can I use my talent to give back? How can my personal journeys and endeavors be made worthwhile to those outside of my studio walls? To the environment in which I live and surf?
We are all responsible for the planet. Earth owes us nothing but we owe it everything. I’m far from perfect. I only get 16-20 mpg. I eat a lot of meat, a moral dilemma that always ends in more bacon. I use acrylic paint, probably not the most earth friendly material or manufacturing process. But it’s all part of finding that balance between living in the post-industrial age and doing our best to not let it totally destroy our environment.
Over the last few years, there have been some small epiphanies and happenings that have given me some sense of pride and purpose in being an artist. Partnering with environmental and humanitarian nonprofit organizations and using my talents to help raise funds and spread awareness for these companies is a giant step in the right direction. I was invited to participate in a live board painting and auction benefitting SurfAid and a few months later I donated the artwork and released a limited edition print for their SurfAid Cup Malibu event. I have a series of six limited edition prints on FSC certified plywood to benefit the Waves For Water Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative. Trü Protection has an Erik Abel collection of eco-friendly iPhone cases benefitting SurfAid and Heal the Bay… these are made in California from 100% recycled plastics and soy based inks, another step in the right direction.
In 2013, one of the most exciting partnerships is being a Heal the Bay Partner Artist. Along with donating the artwork for their annual Gala, I’m releasing three prints and original paintings, a matching iPhone 5 case and Liberty Bottleworks Artist Series recycled aluminum water bottle, so far the only USA made metal water bottle. All these products benefit Heal the Bay.
Although these partnerships and donations make me warm and fuzzy inside (or is that the bacon?), there’s a feeling that much more can be done. Continuing down this road seems like the right thing to do and I can only hope to inspire more people to find a way to give back while pursuing their passions. No one of us can save the planet on our own, but we can all do something that makes a difference. What can you do?