Ez “Erin” Larmor grew up in Little Bay NSW and discovered surfing while living with some chef mates who surfed. The deal was he would teach them guitar and they would teach him how to surf.
“The best thing I remember about that experience was just floating out there looking back at the sand and thinking this is super cool. I wish I started surfing earlier, as it has changed my life”.
That was the late 1990’s. Fast forward a decade and he’s an integral part of one of surfing’s fastest rising brands, Vissla.
“Vissla has been the best opportunity for me. I was there when it started, doing some basic design work for the Australian Office, then it turned into a full time position. I do a variety of different tasks at Vissla, from putting together our range in catalogue form, warehouse duties and retail signage requirements. Lately I have had heaps of fun working with resin and making unique point of sale pieces for our retailers, and I’m making recycled pallet racks for our retailers. It’s never dull at work for all of us. Being a small team we all chip in where necessary.
I like what Vissla stands for globally. I haven’t been in the surf industry long but it seems to me that Vissla stands for the core surf industry values. Stoke and connection to the ocean is what got everything started in the first place.
Art and creativity is in the family DNA.
“On my mums side of the family we have some amazing artists. My uncle in particular is an amazing landscape artist and now a bush poet. My sister Kinza is also amazing. I turned more towards Graphic Design on computers. I love to play around with different things when time permits though. I have used Poscas on a couple of boards and I am working at doing a lot of hand typography these days. I painted the first shortboard I ever owned with Poscas. I pretty much sucked on it but it has pride of place in my room now!
Like many artists, an unhurried humble aura surrounds Erin, and he’s quick to acknowledge the work of others.
“There are some amazing artists on the coast. Louis Gervais is all time, I see he is tattooing now too so his talent with Poscas will transfer across to that no doubt as well. Chris Olsen is a tattoo artist based in Southport, and is amazing. He’s at his best when you give him the freedom to create unique pieces. I have some of his work on my arm. These guys are true artists. To be honest I don’t see myself as being close to people like this. They are another level”.
Erin’s fins came back with two very distinct approaches, which made us curious.
“My submission reflects two thought processes really. The sketched line art ideas were really just doodling I guess. I wanted them to be simple so that the viewer had to dwell on them to work out the shapes of the characters. The other style is a reflection of how my three children relate to the ocean. It’s always fun and colourful with these guys. It’s either my 7 year old skipping off into the distance by herself on the sand; my son Sam who loves the body bash in the shorey; or Grace my eldest, who loves whales and the sensation of just rolling up and down with the waves. Just a joyous and uncomplicated design that reflects their spirit.”
The line art drawings features two influential surfboard shapers who fly under the radar; Donald Brink and Chris Garrett.
“I first heard about Donny Brink through Vissla as he is on our Creators and Innovators program in the US. He recently came here for a two-week tour, shaping and sharing his love for asymmetrical board shapes. One thing that inspired me with Donny was his passion and persistence. It’s not an easy road breaking away from the so-called traditional shape and making a living from it, but Donny does. He is also really talented with timber-work and painting. Makes amazing fins from timber and foils them flawlessly by hand. A true artist and part mad scientist too. Also a great family man. I learnt a lot from Donny. You can’t ask for more from life if you are learning and having fun”.
“I was fortunate enough to meet Chris and his wife Jane when taking Donny Brink down there to shape a couple of boards in Chris’ shaping bay. Chris reminds me of an old school rock guitarist from the eighties; heaps of energy, wild hair and a signature laugh. What a great human. He lives on this amazing property out the back of Kingscliff where the cows come up the hill at the end of the day. You would swear it’s to see what has been shaped and finished that day. He grows and harvests his own meat and vegetables and has this shed converted into a home. I could definitely see myself down the road a few years having at set up like his”.
“The craft and skill of these shapers, is incredible to watch. I’ve really taken to shaping but have only shaped a couple of boards from scratch and finished off a couple of machine cut blanks. It’s heaps of fun and something everyone should do, especially if they surf”.