OUTside INspiration by Sean Tully

Inspiration exists on many levels these days so it’s all a matter of where you choose to find it and how you decide to channel it. My art practice emphasizes an exchange between painting, photography, object making, and writing. Surrounding myself with people and interests that provoke inner exploration is paramount for my growth as an artist. Here’s a small selection of where I’m finding inspiration right now.

1. Ex Girlfriends (personal)

Love is a great motivation in my work. Human emotion is a complicated entity that is difficult for me to comprehend in light of the strangulation by some of them (i.e. pain, grief, anxiety, etc). The duality of love and pain is probably the greatest catalyst for personal growth and change, which is in itself beautiful art. Photo above.

2. Thrills, Spills, and What Not (Film) 

Every time I watch this film I want to go make something. Let’s face it, there’s no way in hell anyone’s gonna surf like Dane so you might as well draw some kind of inspiration from the man/beast outside of surfing. This film’s departure from the generic surf video rulebook is stark and at times indigestible for the avid Reynolds surf junkie looking to froth on HD backside tail waft perfection. All tricks aside, TSWN really is a piece of art and should be mined of its artistic inspiration for many years to come.

3. Demi Boelsterli and Travers Adler (friends) 

Santa Barbara native bohemians Demi Boelsterli and Travers Adler consistently inspire me to get loose and stay humble. Aside from being two of the most refreshing human beings on Earth, they’re both freakishly talented on surfboards, earning the praise of nearly all that share water time with them. On land, they play instruments, take photographs, and use paintbrushes as extensions of their inner energy. 

4. Early LA Chicano Gangs (culture)

Los Angeles based Chicano gangs of the early 1970’s originated an aesthetic that was applied to the different facets of their lives including dress, transportation, markings, and language. Much like surfers of the early 1960’s, Cholos were fringe characters operating on their own terms, regulated by their own codes, and generally frowned upon by the greater part of society. 

5. James Franco (artist)

There are a lot of mixed opinions about James Franco’s involvements into the art world. Some praise his work as boundary pushing and avant-garde while others mock his attempts to walk in the shadows of giants as mere tomfoolery. Regardless of your viewpoint, the man is a prolific creator and his artistic vision continues to evolve with each project he engages in; be it art, film, directing, or writing. As an artist, I appreciate his inclination to experiment outside his perceived artistic boundaries.

For more of Sean’s work, check out his Makers page or visit his website at http://seantully.com/

OUTside INspiration examines what inspires creative surfers that may have nothing to do with surfing.

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