Thalia Interview: Alex Krastev
Posted on 31 May 2013
Alex Krastev, the founder of Future Seas is a craftsman on both canvas and cotton tees. From These Hands, Alex is able to create a colorful visual experience fitting for anyone who enjoys the Pacific and everything it represents. We sat down with Alex for a quick Q&A about his influences and artistic process and vision.
TS - What would you call your hometown?
AK - I am international. I don't even know where real home is but I guess where my heart is and has been for the last 9 years is in California. I grew up on the Black Sea of Bulgaria in the town of Burgas. It was like a summer vacation - dream place for a kid …I spent most of my time playing on the beach, fishing and snorkeling with hand made harpoons, just a kid then I moved to Algeria, Morocco, Canada and finally California.
TS - What is your current city?
AK - I am living one block from the south side pier in HB. It's close to everything but it gets windy and choppy past 11 o'clock which is a bummer for midday surfing that gives me plenty of time for doing art and an opportunity to go south to Trestles, or San O.
TS - When did you start creating with your hands?
AK - I was pretty young …in kindergarten, but around the age of 12 when I was a skate addict, I redrew the Jason Jesse waterman graphic from Jim Philips on a 'Made in Taiwan' skateboard and sold it as being a real Santa Cruz. Ha ha I guess that was the beginning, after that it was just a hobby till I got more deep into it in Morocco.
TS - Was there a particular moment that first inspired you to make art?
AK - Yeah it all happened in Morocco. We moved to the city of Agadir with my parents when I was 17, it's a small tourist town with summer all year long: traveling surfers, Italian and German tourists, hippies, super good waves and nice beaches. After a year I got introduced to surfing by my buddies Rachid and Anouar and I was hooked. I loved the whole culture that came with it – the art I was seeing in the magazines, on the Westfalia VW buses, music, Point Break and photography. And I guess that was the time that I decided to follow up with surf art. Further down, I had a chance to meet a strange guy on the local bus when I was headed to surf in Taghazout. He had red hair, grungy look, stuffed surf bag with rolls of paper and a 6'8" pintail…a backpack and a skateboard..He said he was from Santa Cruz, California and we started talking about all that. He was coming back from an art show in the capital of Morocco…after chatting a bunch he gave me one of his show flyers saying…Thomas Campbell. The name didn't mean much to me back then so I asked to check his art where he was staying… It was mental…the place he was renting was all covered with paper art and paint everywhere, I mean everywhere…even on the car stereo from where he was listening to Porno for Pyros. I was like man,"this is it" that's what I want to do! Paint. The rest is history I guess…oh yeah I bought his 6'8" pintail too, I should've bought some art but I spent all my money on the board.
TS - Where do you draw inspiration and influence from?
AK - Morocco. I have tons of memories and photos that keep me fresh even after all these years. Traveling, memories and things I've seen in the places I've been -- Hawaii, Australia, California and I am going to Bali next month, so I might add some new elements to my art soon. But even a great session at Uppers or a day at San O gets translated on paper or a mix of collages and works well.
TS - What are your favorite artists/creators at the moment?
AK - I would say T-Moe, Tyler Warren, I have others that I dig but I just can't think of their names now, maybe Randy Noborikawa his art is so good, I think he's an alien.
TS - Why the name Future Seas?
AK - I inherited it and got stuck with it. I think it matches perfectly with my art and the flowy line style.
TS - On average, how long does a piece take?
AK - Lately after working full time as a Senior Artist at Ripcurl, which is by the way the best real surf company out there by far! I do art just weekends after surfing. It's all relative to the piece of art and my mood! Sometimes it's just the idea that counts and it doesn't matter if it's scribbled or sharpied out. Sometimes it's the whole piece that counts. I am pretty fast, I get the excitement from the execution, the process of doing it, after that I get bored and jump on some other art style.
TS - What is your favorite music to listen to while creating?
AK - Oasis, Growlers, Surf City from New Zealand, Bob Marley, Allah Las and some other weird mixes. The other day I was at Thalia installing the art wall, and the music mix that was going on was really dope, you have to make me a copy please!
TS - Any future goals for yourself and Future Seas?
AK - On a personal level, keep on creating more fresh art and developing new styles and designs. Be part of some group art shows. I would like to somehow end up in the Green Room Art Festival in Japan next year so if you guys are reading this please sign me on. Future Seas has been out there as a blog (http://future-seas.blogspot.com/) for four or five years now, and it's been the window to the world for my art. The blog itself attracts 1800 visitors per month from all over the world without forgetting all the graphic artists from the local major surf brands. Ha ha j/k... I must be on something. After working 8 years at Quiksilver as one of the artist and graphic designers, and currently Living the Search with Rip Curl as being the Senior Artist, I do Future Seas just for fun…just like a small avant-garde after surf project... a limited collection of art that reflects my passion inspired by my last surf session or trip to Hawaii, Morocco or Bali. Live the Search!
TS - And of course, what's your quiver looking like at the moment?
AK - On a good day at Churches I ride my Single fin 6'2" by Jeff "DOC" Lausch, I have a 5'11" Quad On! Surfboards by Ed Colodny that I surf mostly every day and I love it. And for my San O days, I have a 9ft Red Volan log that my buddy Carlos Mortilla shaped in his garage. It was the Future Seas prototype "Nine Feet and Single" Please visit : http://future-seas.blogspot.com/ for more info about Alex and Future Seas. Also, you can find all of Alex's art for sale at the shop and online.