Entertainment

Artist Alex Silver paints on old surfboards for ocean conservation

Alex Silver, the Los Angeles based artist behind H.A.N.D. Painting Co. has always been a passionate creative, but his journey to art did not follow a traditional path. Starting his career as a firefighter in San Luis Obispo County, Silver found the desire to focus on a career of helping others in his community. This propelled him into the world of science and medicine completing his Bachelor degree in science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2012, followed by a Doctorate degree in Chiropractic Medicine from Palmer College Chiropractic West in 2017. When the pandemic hit, Silver’s career as a Chiropractor was promptly halted. It was during this time that his creative pursuit shifted into overdrive. 

In the Summer of 2021, Silver donated a piece of artwork to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s Silent auction in support of their presence at the LA Art Show. After raising money for the charity and being exhibited at the art show itself, Silver was asked to perform a live surfboard painting exhibition at their Invest In Hope fall fundraiser which was then auctioned off at the event. Silver continues to collaborate with exciting new brands and organizations to create meaningful pieces that live on to tell a story.

HI, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS ALEX SILVER IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
I’m a Los Angeles based artist, born and raised here on the beaches of Malibu and Venice. I started surfing at an early age which developed into a passion for traveling and surfing around the world. I’m a huge advocate for spending time outdoors, so I enjoy camping and exploring for waves. 

HOW AND WHEN EXACTLY DID YOU REALIZE YOU HAD A PASSION FOR ABSTRACT PAINTING? 
In the Fall of 2019, I opened my own private Chiropractic practice in Santa Monica, California where shortly after opening, I was quickly shut down due to COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, my career as a Chiropractor was put into question as the spread of the virus made my job impossible to perform. During the pandemic lockdowns was when my creative career path accelerated out of this world. I started painting all day, every day. When I wasn’t painting, I was thinking about painting and when I ran out of canvas, I started painting on my broken surfboards. It was in this moment, spurred on by the global pandemic that a new creative path appeared. What existed once as a weekend hobby transitioned into an everyday practice. I realized that there was an opportunity to continue my original desire to reach people in my community positively, but in a new medium.

TELL US ABOUT H.A.N.D PAINTING CO. AND THE IDEA BEHIND IT.
“Have A Nice Day” Painting Co. was created with the purpose of effecting others positively, encouraging other to have a nice day. Art with a purpose is at the foundation of my creative process. Whether it’s staying “hi” to a stranger or complimenting someone for their help, acting with kindness can have a big impact on the lives around you. The goal of H.A.N.D. art is to create a ripple effect of kindness and positivity throughout our communities. 

YOU UTILIZE RECYCLED, BROKEN SURFBOARDS AND BRING THEM BACK TO LIFE BY TURNING THEM INTO A MASTERPIECE. WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THIS IDEA, HOW YOU STARTED? 
Great question- it all started during the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home during the lockdowns. I had painted through all my stretched canvas supply and couldn’t go to the store to buy more. Laying around my house were a handful of broken surfboards just occupying space. It was in this moment that I quickly realized that painting on the surfboards could bring them new life. As I continued to paint on surfboards, friends in the community would donate their retired boards to have them painted and honored in a creative way. 

YOU BEGAN YOUR CAREER IN THE FIRE SERVICE BUT LATER SHIFTED YOUR FOCUS TO THE MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC FIELDS; WHAT PROMPTED THIS SHIFT, AND WHY DID YOU EVENTUALLY FIND YOURSELF DRAWN BACK TO THE ARTS?
Starting a career as a Firefighter was one of the most life shaping experiences. It taught me how much I wanted to create a life centered around helping others in a hands-on environment. Although Firefighting helped shaping my work ethic and general outlook on life, it was a profession that often interfaced with a side of reality many never see – trauma, death, medical emergencies. I knew I wanted to continue to help people, but in a different capacity and setting. Having grown up visiting the Chiropractor my whole life, I was aware of the health benefits that it provides as well as the capability to influence others positively. Creating art was just a hobby on the weekends that allowed me to express myself in a different way. It was only during the pandemic that my mindset shifted, allowing space for art to occupy a full-time residency in my mind. 

GIVEN THE VAST NUMBER OF ARTISTIC POSSIBILITIES, WHY DID YOU SETTLE ON SURFBOARD ART?
Simply put, surfing is who I am and what I love. To combine this love of surfing with my immense passion for art is an absolute dream come true. 

TELL ME ABOUT THE MOST CHALLENGING THINGS YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS AN ARTIST.
One of the most challenging aspects as an emerging artist is exposing the work itself to as many people as possible. Finding time and space to showcase all the pieces is definitely a challenge, but certainly getting easier as momentum continues to build. Also finding a healthy balance between artistic creation and the obligations of running a private Chiropractic practice can have its own sets of challenges. 

DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
The creative process begins when I choose which surfboard will be the next canvas- shape, size, and durability are all taken into account. Next, I like to pick out what colors I will be using and in which order I will be layering them in. Following the color selection, I like to decide what the overall theme for the surfboard will be (i.e. “trust the process”, “love yourself”, “everything happens for a reason”). To emphasize the theme of the surfboard, I like to incorporate a powerful quotation or set of lyrics that support the overall message. The creative process flows like the tides of the ocean- sometimes it flows easy and other times it’s quite a rollercoaster ride. 

WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?  
I think my biggest influences to date are my family, my girlfriend Phoebe, and my artist collogues who continue to inspire and influence me daily. 

WHAT’S SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?
I can play the didgeridoo.

ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS YOU CAN TALK ABOUT?
There are plans in the works to have my first solo show, definitely stay tuned for that.

WHAT IS ONE MESSAGE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR FANS?
“If it is to be, it’s up to me”- anything you set your mind on is achievable. It’s your persistence, belief, and mindset that will get you to where you want to be. 

WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
Check out H.A.N.D. Painting Co.’s new website (www.handpaintco.com) or visit us on Instagram (@h.a.n.d.art). 

Ritika

Ritika is renowned Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Specialist and contributing writer for ABOUT INSIDER. She enjoys covering current events and writing about celebrities, health, and fashion.

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