R(B)& D: How to Be Artsy

Surfing Magazine’s Associate Art Director, Noa Emberson, helps you satisfy that creative urge.

A photo from Noa Emberson's graphic design portfolio.
© Noa Emberson/joystain.com

Art ain’t easy, not to most of us at least. But some folks just have the knack. Surfing Magazine’s Noa Emberson is one of those people. Noa, who designs a good portion of the magazine, is a wizard without a cause. He can design, draw, paint and even sculpt. And he wants to help you discover your inner artist. Here are Noa’s tips on how to get into that creative mood. As he puts it, “This might not help with your actual shredding, but there’s no feeling quite like satisfying your creative appetite after a long day of epic barrels.”

Chill Level: The juices are never going to flow when you’re stressed out. With any project, you have to go into it at a maximum chill level. Leave all of your troubles at the door when you’re stepping into the world of art.

Creative Space: My workspace — or art den as I like to call it — is filled with memories. I have a photo of me and my brahs from a voyage to Molukai. A couple surf posters of some real big stalefishes. A few of some hot chicks. A little bit of everything really. All of them are just little triggers to help get my mind into that carefree sacred place.

Inspiration: More than anything, I think art is about trying to portray something that’s bigger than just a visual. It's about taking an emotion and being able to translate it into a language that the eye can read. So when I’m doing my thing, I tend to look at people and movements that I personally find inspiring. I almost always find myself circling back to Bob Marley. His mindset and his whole vibe was such a powerful thing, especially for that time period. I just think it’s so rad. I guess when you glean inspiration from Marley, you can’t really go wrong.

The Task: My favorite thing about art is that there is no right or wrong way. There’s no right or wrong at all, really. Nobody can truly tell you how to be creative. It’s just a matter of getting in that special zone and having at it. When you’re there, whatever happens happens. And if your heart is in it, then it always ends up being pretty special.