Artist Interview: Bryan Helfand

Bryan Helfand is an artist living and raising a family in San Diego, CA. His passion is to create beautiful, fun, soulful representations of his thoughts, visions and ideas. As a self taught artist, the use of acrylics, pencil, pen, and found objects (off the beach, of course), he create art that, like the ocean, is magnetic. Each piece is an evolution of the last and his creative world is inspired by the ocean and its surroundings.

What is it like embarking on a career in which you are self taught? Do you feel this has held you back in anyway?

Well I guess I would say it’s not so much a career but a progression of my life. Art found me through things that have happened and the paths that I’ve chosen. I’ve been artistic my whole life but it wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve grown to really enjoy it and develop my direction. It’s like riding a wave and having people hoot at you along the way. You’re so stoked after riding that wave because you expressed yourself in a way that people genuinely enjoyed what you were doing at that moment in time. It fuels your stoke to do it again and again. I don’t think being self taught has held me back at all. For me being self taught means that I’m in a constant state of trial and error, experimentation, learning and just having fun with it. I think that’s what makes my art interesting and fresh.

How would you describe your style?

Colorful, fun, detailed, interesting, magnetic, soulful.

What artistic mediums do you work in? Any that you particularly like or despise?

For painting, I use acrylics mostly…brushes and paint pens. I also really like drawing with colored pencils, sharpies and graphite pencils. I would say the only thing I despise is not having enough time to really experiment with new mediums.

What’s your creative process? Do you paint what’s in your mind or do you look at images and go from there?

It’s usually an idea or a thought that sparks my interest to do a sketch. From there it’s all about how much it keeps my interest as it progresses. If I’m having fun with the sketch then it will usually end up being a detailed color mock up of the way I would want to paint it. At this point I’m usually curious enough to see how it would look painted and start that process. I generally draw and paint what’s in my mind. I’ve spent a lot of time just experimenting with ideas trying to find my way through the creative process to see what interests me.

How has your art progressed over time? Do you feel that you are comfortable with where it is at or are you looking to expand your horizons?

It’s gone from not knowing what I wanted to create to finding some elements that I really enjoy working with. Stuff that I like to do over and over again but never the same way twice and always evolving…a lot like my surfing. I think my art will definitely continue to expand and evolve around the ocean, surfing and mother nature.

What keeps you motivated to stay creative and keep making new art?

A desire to do art fulltime and provide for my family. I think my curiosity to see how my art will evolve over time and to see how far I can take it is a big motivator.

If surfing and the ocean were out of the equation, what do you think your images would be of?

That’s good question. I love to fish so I think it’s only natural that my art would be made up of things I would see on location. I’m drawn to water so lakes and streams would be a big part of my subject matter for sure. Beautiful sunsets with lots of eye popping color.

What can we expect to see in the future from Bryan Helfand?

Collaborations with like minded individuals and companies that dig my art enough to use it on their products. I recently started working with Enjoy Handplanes and The Progress Project doing just that. Donating to worthy causes like the Longboard Luau in La Jolla to help raise money for cancer research. Lot’s more paintings of fun, colorful, empty lines ups and interesting ocean inspired subject matter.

For more of Bryan’s work, check out: or Facebook – Bryan Helfand, Artist

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