Art Seen – John Van Hamersveld

This interview with legendary graphic designer and artist John Van Hamersveld on his surfing imagery continues here from part one.

With The Endless Summer 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition opening at the Art Seen Gallery in Venice on August 28 and his album design for The Gaslight Anthem’s new release Get Hurt hitting the streets this week, new Surfing Walk of Fame inductee John Van Hamersveld is certainly drawing a lot of attention.

Throughout his prolific career, Van Hamersveld has created enduring imagery that has shaped surf and rock culture. From his legendary graphics for The Endless Summer, The Stones, The Beatles, and Hendrix to his more recent work for the Surfrider Foundation, Billabong, Asher Roth, and The Gaslight Anthem, his creative process begins with drawing. With his drawing, he develops the concepts and narrative to create his iconic graphics that become embedded in our collective consciousness.

Just one year ago, the CSUN Art Gallery exhibited more than one hundred of his inspirational drawings in a 3,000 square foot space. This Van Hamersveld exhibition, entitled Drawing Attention, included a 160-page catalog published by Gingko Press, and the exhibition brought together the images as one unified collection to tell the story of Van Hamersveld’s career work. Now, Van Hamersveld and his wife, long-time art dealer Alida Post, are set to open a gallery together at the former Williams’ Book Store location in downtown San Pedro on August 21. This new gallery, Post-Future: The Art Company, will highlight Van Hamersveld’s work.

LC: Please describe the process of creating and printing your colorful and vibrant “Next Wave” image.

JVH: “The Next Wave” started as a drawing for a new silkscreen fine art print. I ended up doing the prints digitally because the water-based inks were better for the environment than the oil based inks. So, I learned about the Epson digital printers to get the image I wanted. At the time, I gave one of the prints to Steve Pezman, owner of Surfer’s Journal. In 2008, Surfer’s Journal published “The Next Wave” image with an article.

LC: How did your “Pipeline Wave” image evolve from the Billabong Pipeline Masters’ campaign?

JVH: The drawing of a “Pipeline Wave” started with Billabong as a commission for their 2009 Pipeline Masters campaign. My “Pipeline Wave” drawing later became the start of my “Waterworks Collection” for gallery prints. This was the third wave drawing in my wave drawing process, as both “The Next Wave” and “Surf For The Cure” had become popular cultural posters sold through the website in 2006.

LC: What new wave drawings do you have in the works?

JVH: There are two new wave drawings under way sitting at the studio table. They won’t be ready till next year.

The Endless Summer 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition will show August 28, gallery hours are 12-8pm Friday, August 29th thru Monday, September 1st.

Interview by “Lauren Cullen”

August 20th 2014


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