Exploring the mind of a country boy whose been hailed the, “undisputed king of surf art in Australia”.
Caspian de Looze’s art and tattoo designs adorn the walls and skin of the rich and famous; from rock stars to surf stars. Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, Bieber and Pink. These are some of the people who’ve commissioned his designs. In surfing his work has appeared on hundreds of surfboards, and all those tatts on Mikey Wright – that’s Caspian too.
Full disclaimer: he’s a Posca ambassador. He discovered Posca pens in the early 2000’s funding his passion for the medium, initially by doing designs on surfboards. “That’s when I met Matt Biolis (Lost shaper), but it was tough making money from it, I’d work part time doing other jobs to make ends in meet. But, I stuck with it. It’s such a beautiful medium to work with; the colours are so vibrant, and I can use them anywhere and everywhere. These days I do less boards but I love showing people what can be done with the medium on all forms; you can apply it to so many different surfaces, I’ve done whole art exhibitions with Posca pens!”
He’s in high demand these days, working on a hull design for a Sydney to Hobart yacht, doing a mixed media project for League of Legends. Yet he retains the humility and approachability of a classic Aussie larrikin, admitting “the Universe has kicked me in the nuts a few times, but it has given them back to me, so it’s all good”.
So if artistic skill learned, surely creative flair is innate? How did you arrive at these fin designs, what was the creative journey that led to these designs? His response, once again, pragmatic and uncomplicated: “There’s no thought process, the designs were spontaneous; they sort of flow out of me organically. I’m just living in the moment, not giving a toss about what anyone thinks, and responding to whatever comes to mind. I love the idea of escapism; people looking at my work and going somewhere else to escape from their world for a while. So I suppose the underlying message is to escape and love life; live it with each and every breath. And those tropical bright colours were probably inspired by my recent trip to Kauai. I was really taken by the brilliance of the colours there – the sunsets and the general environment – so rich in colour and texture.
His sources of inspiration are broad and varied. “I have books from everywhere, and draw inspiration from the neo classics, poster art, comics and tattoos. I love tattooing. It took me to America last year; to Vegas, LA, Hollywood, Texas, and Kauai. Now I’m back, with more work than I can handle. But there’s one job I’m still chasing; Owen Wright. He’s a fearless charger, but he’s scared of getting a tattoo off Caspian, watch this space, it’s a work in progress”.