Surf Station Artwork Surfboard Series: Addie Gibson
For Gibson, living means creating
Words by | Darby Moore
She’s a painter, a lady slider, a standup dog mom and a shoulder to lean on when you’re feeling down. She’s a friendly face in the line up, a Surf Station starlet, and in a way, she’s every St. Augustine surfer’s little sister. She’s the one, and certainly the only, Addison Gibson.
Gibson’s work is as vibrant as her personality, utilizing simplified shapes and vibrant colors to create work that enthuses her audience. Gibson often showcases in her painting the thing that she knows best: surfing. Simply put, her artwork makes us happy, just like surfing makes us happy. This is just why Gibson was an obvious fit to be a featured artist in our artwork surfboard series.
Surf Station: Okay, so we’ll start out easy. Let’s give our readers the basics: what is your full name, yes middle names count) and age? Occupation?
Addie: My full name is Addison Anne Gibson. I am 27 years old. I am currently a student at the University of North Florida majoring in psychology. I work part time at the Surf Station, mostly at the Deuce. I am also in the pursuit to become a full-time artist.
Surf Station: When did you first start working regularly and creating as an artist?
Addie: Well, ever since I can remember I have always loved to draw, paint and be creative. Growing up, it was almost guaranteed that you’d find me with a notebook pad and pen. I feel like I really started regularly painting and creating after my dad passed away. I felt it was a way to process my feelings as well as kind of “zone out” and not have to think about anything except what was in front of me. I feel as though I may be a little lost if I didn’t have art to rely on as a form of therapy for myself. I have noticed that I create the most in the evenings, when my anxieties and depression like to creep in during my more mentally vulnerable hours. With my art, I am able to release a lot of icky feelings and emotions. I have also been really blessed to have people appreciate my art and share with me how it has helped them through a difficult time, or how it has inspired them to take time out of their busy lives to be still and do something that they love. Having people tell me how my art has affected them motivates me even more to create. It gives me a feeling of purpose in my life.
Surf Station: What medium(s) do you typically work in when creating?
Addie: Honestly, whatever is the cheapest thing I can get on. Lately it’s been the sample paint at Home Depot. I had a friend donate a box of really nice paints and pens to me, which was so helpful. I also like to try to be eco-conscious and will often find a cool piece of wood or a beer can on the beach and paint it. I will also go to local thrift stores and find any smooth canvases that I can cover in white paint and start from scratch. I like to recycle as much as possible when creating, So when it comes to mediums, I will try just about anything at least once. I also really love using my iPad to create, the illustration app “Procreate” has been really fun to use because it’s so convenient. I like to use this app when testing out color schemes or using it to make a rough draft for mural concepts. But, like I said earlier, you will almost always find me with a sketchbook and a pen. I don’t feel complete if my sketchbook isn’t close by, because some ideas will just randomly pop in my head, and I have to sketch or write them down so I don’t lose it.
Surf Station: How would you describe your style as an artist?
Addie: I don’t really know how I would describe my art. I know a lot of people say that it makes them happy and I really like that answer, because I think my art makes me happy too. If I had to describe it, I would describe my work as fun, bright, and encouraging.
Surf Station: Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
Addie: Inspiration for pieces comes from everywhere! Currently, I love to search Instagram and Pinterest for fashion portraits and I get inspired from the color schemes and fabric patterns that I see. I have so many talented friends who surf and who are creatives. I like to think that we feed off of each other. I am inspired by my friends’ surfing styles, and I’m inspired by my photographer friends. My inspiration is a giant melting pot of my close community as well as the surfing community, creative community, and the mental health community. I try to always be authentic when it comes to creating, but I know inspiration can sometimes be an unconscious thing that you help bring to life. So I try to be aware if my idea is something that has already been created, and if so, I try to just find inspiration from it. Art and inspiration is everywhere if you look hard enough.
Surf Station: Can you describe your creative process? Where do you usually like to create?
Addie: I have realized lately that a lot of my process comes from a desire to get my feelings expressed. When I feel sad, I am more likely to use cooler tones like pastels. When I feel happy and energetic, I tend to use bright and cheerful colors. I notice too that I will create a lot of art that is a quote, and the inspiration for those pieces comes from a feeling inside of me that I feel the need to express…if that makes sense. So the majority of the time, if you see me post an illustrated or painted quote on my Instagram, it’s mostly due to the fact that I am experiencing something personally that I am trying to cope with or heal from. By creating art, I can release that feeling. Recently, I moved into a new house that has a small (and empty) utility shed in the backyard. I turned that into my little creative nook. It’s nice to have everything I need easily accessible. I can go crazy with paint, leave a mess, and then go into the house and not have to worry about cleaning anything up. So lately I love to create in my little art shed. But I also love to go to local coffee shops when I feel a little lonely and I want to be around some people. I will go to the beach or the river and create too, it all just depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.
Surf Station: What are some of your future goals as an artist? Where can someone find your work that is available for purchase?
Addie: I feel I have quite a few future goals. I am really passionate about the hearts of people. I am not super interested in small talk. I love to get to know people’s hearts, their passions, their struggles…what makes them, them. I would love to make art a bridge to where people feel comfortable and safe opening up and talking about their feelings. I think oftentimes we see and hang out with people, but we have a hard time opening up to one another. I think art is such an amazing tool and gift to learn to understand and connect with people. I would love to be a facilitator of bringing people together through art. I am in school for psychology with the hopes of becoming a counselor or therapist. I would love to incorporate art into therapy one day.
You can find my work through my website, my Instagram, or my email. Personally, the best way you can get a hold of me is through my Instagram. The majority of the things I post are available for purchase. But my website also shows art as well as a basis of what I have available and or what I can create as a commission for you.