Artist Interview: Tyson Kozuszek
Tyson Kozuszek is a young, creative surfer who blends his expressions through wave riding, music, and design. His positive mindset and overall stoke are inspiring and when he reached out to us to check out some of his work, we decided we needed to dig in a bit deeper to see everything he is up to. What we uncovered is that he is a big promoter of being resourceful to do the things you want in life. There's a lot at our fingertips. Sometimes we just have to think outside the box.
Tell us a little about yourself
My Name is Tyson Blake Kozuszek. I am a 22 yr old surfer / graphic design student from Mudjimba on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia. I am involved with surfing in all forms, design and music from hardcore/punk to jazz and blues.
Over the past ten years I have been surfing competitively on and off, playing drums in bands, working a few crappy jobs and learning about life and what i want to get out of it...
I've always over analyzed things and questioned everything...it has kept me from experiencing some things, but helped me to strive for others...I have a lust for life and a desire to live it my way!
When did you get into surfing?
I come from a very outdoorsy family, who have always encouraged physical activity and sports. Although no one in the family surfed, I remember the long days spent in the sun at the beach at a young age...and not for the right reasons...mum would make sure we were clad head to toe in sun protective gear everything from a one piece swim suit to a "flap hat" (the hats with the mullet like material to protect your neck). i hated it!
We were forever bushwalking and going on bike rides. I tried my luck with all sorts of sports/ activities...ballet, soccer, swimming and surf life saving came next and with that my love of the ocean...
Body surfing was a huge part of surf life saving and was a skill I learned before I started to surf. Being able to read the ocean is, to this day, one of the most valued lessons I've learn so far!
I finally started surfing full on at age 12, after catching my first unbroken wave at Noosa's first point and from that moment on, surfing became everything.
Favorite break? Quiver choices?
In my eyes, nothing beats the points at Noosa. Whether it's just a foot or wild and cyclonic, there is such a wide array of waves, sections, opportunities and feelings you can get out of it, apart from it being a right hander. But I have seen some desperate goofy footers find lefts out there.
You aren't limited to board choice, only by the lack of choice there is in your quiver… (my current dilemma!)
My standard weapon of choice out there would be my 9'4 Beachbeat Pacer. It's a single fin nose rider with a scooped out deck in the tail, I LOVE it!
Short boards, finless, quads, singles, stand up bodyboarding almost anything goes out there, as long as you are having fun!
You are currently a design student. What is the most important thing you have taken away from your education thus far? And do you plan to apply yourself to a career based on your studies when you are out of school?
Being a surfer is the best and worst, almost a curse. I've struggled to find other activities and career paths that I could possibly imagine myself doing or I was able to commit to, because nothing compares to surfing until I found graphic design. Design is everything and everywhere.
I've drawn since I could remember. There wasn't a need, it was just something I did and I've started to understand why. It helps me understand. I'm a very visual learner and thinker. Design is all about problem solving...how can this look better, represent something and so on.
This course has forced me to look back at the roots of my current state and made me question; what influences, stimulates and attracts me, how this came about and what to do with it.
For the most part, it all comes back to my surfing, drawing lines on different waves on different equipment, understanding how and why surfboards work and then applying that approach to all things around me. You begin to look at things differently. So yes, I am currently designing my life from here on out. I'd love to do freelance work, illustration, solve problems, make shit beautiful and surf as much as I can!
What inspired you to start your blog? What kind of things are you posting on there?
I guess it has to do with my involvement in the hardcore/punk scene, DIY punk ethics! Surfing has a lot of the same traits. If you can pick up a guitar and learn a few chords, you can make a song. If you have a friend who has access to a drumkit, you are half way to having a band.
It's all about being resourceful, making good use of your capabilities and breaking down the barriers.
Kids see pro surfers/rockstars as this dream life thats unobtainable. They give it a go, lose, fail and the dream is dead. Because they aren't sponsored or playing on the big stage, that outlook leaves them jaded and disheartened and they lose the stoke. I've been and seen people drop off and take the dead end road, fall into shitty jobs and habits and that is not where i want to be. I see the potential in myself and my friends and we use our resources to make things happen.
If you know someone who has a camera, take turns in filming or shooting each other. If you can knit, then knit!!! Everyone has something to offer, whether you consider what you do a talent or not, find your niche and do it!
My blog is a way for me to share what I can and love to d., I don't necessarily draw or surf or play drums just for my own enjoyment. What gets me the most stoked and excited to improve is others getting stoked on what I'm doing!
It's a form of self promotion and a way to break down the barriers. I started my first ever blog with one of my best friends, Thom Pringle. He is a DIY, professional surfer. He works hard and makes things happen and he has taken what he is good at and made it work for him! That's what I love about Korduroy and this is what inspires me!
I post drawings, paintings, photos. I mainly started as a way of forcing myself to make and create, so I'd have something to post. My good friend Dylan Pukall and I will going surfing he will shot photos and we will post them. It is being active and productive.
Which aspects of surfing/surf culture interest you the most?
At the moment, I would have to say the whole looking back to move forward thing thats been going on the past few years. There is so much to learn from the past and it seemed everyone was so concerned with the "future of surfing". They missed a lot that went on in the making and it's great to see that there is a lot of people taking the steps back and looking into the roots of it all.
I also really like the emphasis on personalities within the surfing community. I'm heavily influenced by multifaceted people like Tyler Warren, Thomas Campbell, Kassia Meador, Al Knost...people who have these other talents art, photography, music, etc.
And most of all board design. It's as if a blindfold has been lifted off the eyes of the general surfing public. I'm seeing a lot less pencil looking shortboards and a lot more appropriate and better suited, playful designs.
Describe your style of art. What sorts of images do you enjoy creating? Where do you usually look to for inspiration?
This is hard and I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. My style, I don't think I have truly found it yet and that excites me. I have been limited with my mediums and there are so many out there Im yet to try out.
But this I know, I like to start and finish a piece within one burst: the ideas arises, pencil to paper to help visualize the outcome, preparations/sketches, then execute!
It's like surfing: you paddle in, stand, section arises, preparation/bottom turn, top turn/execute. It's a spontaneous act that has been practiced and premeditated.
I don't have the patience a lot of the time. If I take too long on something or can't figure it out, it usually gets pushed to the back of my mind until I figure out the method to complete it.
I like bold, clean, designs, with a message or suggestions, quirky almost sadistic themes...poking fun at or provoking thought. For example, I have a self portrait of me as a polar bear(because if I could I would be one, I love their strength and isolation). I also have a drawing based on my girlfriend Amber. I gave her cute little horns and fawn ears! Drawing is a way for me to remain childlike, playful and dreamy...escape reality.
On your blog you have artwork created with traditional mediums as well as digital designs…Do you prefer one style over the other?
I like to work in the way photographers do: fet it right in the camera! I like to get my ideas and drawings as close as possible to the desired result by hand before taking it to the computer.
I'm also very influenced by a tattoo artist and graffiti writers. It is executed with precision that comes with a lot of practice and dedication and also has great consequence.
I am definitely a lot more hands on, hand drawn, crafty over digital. I guess that comes from being resourceful. I've been using what I have had access to.
Through my course I've been learning a lot of the Adobe Creative Suite programs and the more I learn, the more I want to understand and create digital artwork. But I do and I think I will always prefer the traditional methods.
What else has been getting you stoked lately?
People like you, for taking interest in what I do! Meeting cool and like minded creatives and surfers! My new 4'10 Rake "magic peanut"! Seeing my friends excel in what they're doing. The future… Learning, understanding and striving!
What do you hope to see yourself doing in a couple years time?
I have goals of starting a label; design agency, clothing, art, surfboards, skateboards, music, no limits, no boundaries to design. A way of giving back and forge my own, a way to work with creatives and support kids like me and to share my world with others, To be able to live on my terms, be my own boss and travel the world surfing and creating. Dream big!
In the meantime, I'd like to be able to balance my creativity through my surfing, art and music they all compliment each other and make me who i am!
For more of Tyler's work, check out his blog at http://www.myfatherssvn.blogspot.com/