What do you get if you cross an artist inspired by Japanese art and street graffiti with broken, forgotten and disused surfboards? The answer: completely beautiful works of art. Kiwi-born, Tess Sheerin, rolled over to England in 2008 to pursue a successful explosive art career that has impacted the surf art-scene hugely through her fantasy- inspired work that depicted on recycled surfboards.

The artistic and surf-influenced town of St Ives in Cornwall, England, provided the inspiration and means for her artistic nature to flourish. Tess came across an old Mal Surfboard in a rubbish tip, and by using an old farm that had been renovated into a secret art studio; she used air-brushing, mark making, stenciling, carving and collages to create art works influenced by her travels and the people, places and activities that have influenced her everyday life.

Her latest work, dubbed ‘Sea School’, has taken a fresh interpretation on mermaids by incorporating the female form with seahorses turtles and octopi through graphic design techniques: “I have always loved painting women as I really admire the female form. I wanted to do something with a mermaid because they are gorgeous but obviously I didn’t want to keep doing the same sort of creatures [as everyone else].”

And damn, they are incredibly beautiful, to the point of hypnotic! The first piece from the collection came about after a surf. She found an old board with the tips snapped in half, but when she peeled back the fiberglass, the watermarks on the foam beneath were amazing and led to being the first piece.

By showing her work to surfboard shapers, they contributed canvases of old surf-boards for her to express her magic onto… and last year Tess’s work was exhibited all across the U.K. in numerous art exhibitions and been embraced by the urban art scene and street culture!

But despite the art scenes enabling her work to be appreciated, Tess always has to get back to her muse, good ole mother nature, by surfing and snowboarding her heart out… getting the balance right means her art is continuously inspired and appreciated: “I guess that’s why the travelling thing works quite well. I seem to feel more clear-headed in the countryside and I like that it’s not so fast paced. But then, if I’m not doing an art project or something that I’m totally obsessed with, I definitely need to get my city fix!”. The surf project has returned a sense of harmony and balance to her life. Inspirational, beautiful and guaranteed to make you feel incredibly inferior in talent! I couldn’t think of anything more I’d want on my wall.

photo credits: all photos via Cooler and Artist Tess Sheerin

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane