OUTside INspiration by Ben Weiland

Where are artists looking for inspiration? A Korduroy.TV original series, OUTside INspiration, examines what inspires creative surfers that has nothing to do with surfing.

Artist Ben Weiland gives us a glimpse into where he is looking for inspiration to help guide his art.

“The following pictures show some of the sources I look to for ideas. It’s pretty hard to find unique places of inspiration, especially when so many people have access to the same ideas on the internet. Sometimes I find that my work looks very similar to someone else’s, and it’s probably because we were influenced by same source! I’m still trying to figure out how it all works, so my hope is to eventually develop a set of influences that are unique to my own personal experience.”

Pipeline Map & Travel Photo

The top clipping is a break map of Pipeline by Herbie Fletcher. It shows the currents, the reef, and how waves break on different swell angles. This diagram contrasts nature and science. I’m intrigued by the idea that there are underlying rules that govern surf breaks. On the surface, the ocean seems wild and chaotic, yet this diagram looks at nature through the eyes of an architect. It represents the break as a wave machine, and I find something appealing in that.

Grid Systems

This is a book about the foundational principles of layout and typography, by Joseph Müller-Brockman. These concepts originated in the early 60’s. Designers back then had a high view of the grid system, like it was some sort of universal commandment carried down to us from the top of the mountain. I really enjoy reading educational books, and I think that these principles still apply today.

Map Of Siberia & Alaska Cover

Both of these items raise questions about what is out there. Unknown areas on the map are mysterious. I love to hear stories and see photos from new places and new discoveries.

Tripods & Mountain World

I like the strangeness and sense of adventure in the Tripod Trilogy. It’s really simple and awesome. ‘The Mountain World’ is a cross-section of mountaineering stories from 1967-1969. It includes stunning photos, illustrations, and detailed maps.


This map has nice, flat, solid colors and shapes, and I like the airplane perspective.

Photo & Surf Guide

The New Zealand surf guide includes information on tide, wind, and swell direction for many spots in New Zealand, as well as a small illustrated map of the breaks. The photo is from Northern California. The small dot of white water behind the trees hints at the possibility of good surf. It draws me in and makes me wonder what is down there.

Hardy Boys

Mysteries, secrets, and adventure. Awesome!

Check our Ben’s Maker Profile!

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