The Inertia

A portrait of the artist: Erik Abel.

A portrait of the artist: Erik Abel.

Born in Ventura County, Erik Abel grew up within a few minutes of the sunny beaches of Southern California. From the time he was able to hold onto a crayon, he was drawing… and he’s never stopped.

With an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world around him, Abel assembles his experiences into a unique visual language. His relaxed technique and nature-based subjects communicate a sense of wonder, experimentation, discovery and balance.

Being heavily influenced by and involved in the surf/skate/snow sports industry and working as a freelance graphic designer and Art Director for over 15 years, Abel’s method of bold, graphical imagery fused with his loose brush, pen and pencil work seems to find a growing niche of its own in the fast rising “Urban Contemporary” art movement. Among the clients his style has attracted are Billabong, Oxbow, Reef, and Surfing Magazine.

Elements from inspirations such as the ocean, ancient civilizations, cycles of nature, plants, symbols, systems, and mid-century design are combined to create visually pleasing works of art. Abel notes, “I strive for a visual balance in my work, making art is a form of therapy for me. I’m a pretty simple guy, I like to create things that make me feel good and are pleasing to my eyes and my insides. I don’t paint to express my disgust in politics, or pollution or world affairs… it’s actually the opposite, I paint to help me cope with my disgust in politics, pollution and world affairs. Making art just takes me to that happy place where everything is good.”

Recently returned from over 2 years of traveling and exploring New Zealand, the Tongan Islands, Australia and Indonesia and Fiji, Abel is back in Ventura, California living and working at the WAV artist community, and has been in a creative frenzy. Erik currently shows in galleries throughout the U.S. and plans to continue traveling the world, making art and searching for that perfect wave.

View more of Erik’s work at


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