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Artist’s Statement

Sam Bernal is a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and graphic designer working with leading brands in action sports, hospitality, and coastal municipalities. His vibrant, colorful and unique style of illustration is a perfect fit for consumer goods, apparel, movie/event posters, and album art. Sam also teaches young art students at the Huntington Beach Art Center and provides motivational art lectures to high school art students around Southern California.

With an engineering background Sam is uniquely qualified to create unique one-of-a-kind digital displays for hospitality environments and 3D signs.

 

 

 

 

My Story

Sam Bernal - Trippy Surf ArtHi there! I’m Sam Bernal. I was born during the summer of 1984 in Southern California.  The LA Summer Olympics were in full swing and the space shuttle Discovery was about to make its first launch through the atmosphere.

When I was very young my Mom worked at a run-away teen shelter in Laguna Beach. She would stay overnight, so I would spend a few days a week at my Grandma’s house in Huntington Beach. I can still remember my Mom pulling me out of nap time at my pre-school. I’d strut past all the other cots and see my classmates peeking out at me, just wishing they could escape nap time too.  I’d climb in the back of her old white VW Carmen Ghia. It was filled with the smell of old musty vinyl seats with a Coppertone sticker on the back window.  We’d hit the freeway and start cruising to Huntington. That’s where I found my love of the ocean, sand and the smell of salty air. I never imagined at the time it would become such a strong focus in the art career I had yet to dream of.

 

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As a child of the 80’s and 90’s I was always attracted to bright neon colors.  Just in case you need to see some proof, here I am with my two little sisters rocking some awesome 90’s psychedelic shorts.

 

I can trace many of my artistic influences back to this time in my life.  My Mom took me to the library every week to to pick out 15-20 children’s books.  I fell in love with the some of the classic Children book illustrators like Dr. Seuss and Bill Peet.  As I got older Silver Surfer, X-Men, Spawn and other comics took over my passion for reading.

 

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I was never one of those kids who started drawing perfect portraits at 10 years old.  In fact, out of all my skateboarding buddies I felt like the least skilled artistically.  So I ended up putting most of my creative energy into music.  I played French Horn in the band and of course, guitar.  During college I randomly picked up a watercolor set and started to create.  I had such a great time I started to experiment with acrylics.  I just thought of it as a hobby to have fun and never really took it seriously.  In a way that was good as it allowed me to let go of judgements as the whole point was just to enjoy the process.  After college I continued to make paintings every few months or so.  I got a job as a lighting engineer and started living the “adult life.”
Then one day while walking through my favorite art store I saw a DVD that caught my interest.  It came with a few POSCA paint pens and promised an easy fun way to make your surfboard look cool.

 

It sure sounded like a blast to me so I bought the DVD and got started. It didn’t turn out to be just fun, It was SUPER fun! I was hooked.  I started making painting after painting using this newly discovered medium.

 

Early on I made a conscious decision not to judge my work but simply to create it just for fun.  This freedom allowed my style to develop into what it is today.

 

VolcanopolisThis painting from 2012 called Volcanopolis was one of the first pieces where my unique and recognizable style really started to take form.  I’ve come along way since then and there is a lot more to the story of how I became an artist.  If you sign up for my newsletter you’ll receive the story in nice bite-sized chunks instead of trying to read a novel on this page. Hopefully we’ll be able to develop a relationship over time.  You can learn about me through the information I share and art that I create. I can learn about you from the feedback you give and our interactions on social media.

 

As an artist, I create to share. I’m a conduit for universal consciousness, as we all are, and I contribute to this wonderful universe through my art.  If you ever noticed a beautiful sunset, or been in the “zone,” a part of you knows what it feels like to be connected to source energy.  When I create I simply allow the paintings to happen.  Its as easy as letting go of all thought and just waiting in simple alert presence.  Then I start painting and its off to the races.

 

P.S. I’d love to hear from you if you have anything to share or can relate.  Send me an email to sb@sambernal.com