Faces of the Gold Coast: Leroy

I’m absolutely convinced that to be human is to create. We’re always creating: whether it be new ideas, new relationships, new approaches to things, or tangible projects, products or works of insanely beautiful art. I just love it when the artists in our town prod us to remember that!

Meet Leroy (@leroysurfboardart) a fun-loving surfer who just can’t throw away the beauty of a beloved board. We chatted one moody arvo on Burleigh beach, and here’s what he had to say.

“I started carving boards about 18 months ago but I’ve always been creative. As a kid my parents said ‘the only rich artists are dead ones’ hence why I became a chef, but I’ve learnt to be creative there too.

“I reckon every surfer has a quiver of boards in the garage, ones you know that will never see surf again but you just can’t throw them out. They all have a history, a reminder of a surfing experience. It’s kinda like every board has a soul to it, a personality. Each one that I carve is a “surfed” board with its own story, dings and marks so for me, carving it is like a preservation of that energy in a new form.

“There seems to be more opportunity now for artists, more platforms to connect with other artists which is great. Not a lot of people actually sculpt surfboards so it’s nice to make connections. My dreams? I would totally love to do this full time. I’ve been a chef for 30 years now so I am just starting to get to know the art scene here on the coast and play a bit. It’s a whole different world and I’m really encouraged by the creative hub growing on the GC.  I just need to be consistent and do it because I love it not because I’m fixated on an outcome. There’s a whole lot of love in doing this work so yeah, that’s what I will focus on”.

I’m beginning to learn that it’s that ‘whole lotta love’ thing that is the fuel for it all. Perhaps creating what we want is possible when we ignite that fuel in ourselves to dream into the empty space between where we are and where we want to be. It’s a potent time to believe in ourselves and the creative pursuits we feel drawn to in whatever form they take. Let’s do it. To be alive is to create. Perhaps there’s no time to not make art with a whole lot of passion.

Follow Anne and Alli @facesofthegoldcoast.

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