Interview with Artist Kristina Young of Peace of Wood
So, tell us a little about yourself and your creations:
My name is Kristina Young. I am 31 years old and live in Ocean City, NJ. I am an artist who loves the ocean and everything she has given me and taught me. The ocean inspires every aspect of my journey.
My husband and I own a little shop in Ocean City called Peace of Wood that would never be here if it wasn’t for the many lessons I have learned from mother ocean.
Our shop showcases my art along with many talented local artists (a few who have been featured on HerWaves!!), locally shaped surfboards, skateboards, and painting classes on reclaimed wood. Our shop has grown into such an amazing community and it’s truly our dream. For us the shop is a very simple concept: it’s less a place where people come to shop and more about a vibe, a welcoming vibe where people can come and be themselves and feel a part of a community.
I create art on handmade pieces of wood built by my husband, Marshall. Each piece of art is 100% handmade from start to finish and could never be recreated. The character of the wood truly inspires the art that is created on it. It only feels natural to create on something from our earth when she inspires me so deeply.
What inspires the art that you create?
My journey as an artist all started from within. My art has always been a release, a safe place, a sanctuary. A place of peace in my mind as well as my surroundings. It is moved by the ocean, learning how to surf, yoga, and all music that waters the positive seeds in my soul.
My art has to be and always will be, about stopping, breathing, and being in the here and now. I also just want people to genuinely smile when they see it! My main goal has always been to spread peace and joy through my creations.
What is your favorite part of the process when creating something?
For me, it is the process, every single part. Art for me is like life, it’s more about the journey and less about the final destination. I don’t like to overthink it too much, and just keep it flowing and light. That’s when I create my best work. It genuinely just feels good and makes me so incredibly happy.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist and entrepreneur?
As an artist, I think my biggest challenge has always been believing in myself as an artist and putting myself out there in such a vulnerable way. It’s a process and I’m far from the end, but I’ve grown so much on this journey. When you start to believe in yourself and share with the universe your true gifts, it’s amazing what can happen!!! I feel I’m in that chapter and really learning to embrace it.
As an entrepreneur, I think my biggest challenge is never ever giving up. Owning a business is so hard, and there are so many ups and downs along the way. But if you know your why and believe in what you’re building, you can get through anything. My husband and I have struggled through so much to build our business, but in life, we can’t appreciate the light without the darkness. I am so grateful for the struggle because it made me so much stronger and truly made me a better person.
What is your life ambition?
My life’s ambition is simple: I want to be a good human!! Be good to others, share as much peace and love as I can, and encourage as many people along the way to believe in themselves!! I want to continue to share my love of the ocean and our beautiful earth. I want to be able to impact the lives that cross my path on this amazing journey in a positive way.
How long have you been surfing and what does surfing mean to you?
My relationship with the ocean grew so much deeper much later in life. I grew up with a huge fear of the ocean. I honestly wouldn’t go in past my knees! Such a huge fear of the unknown, it crippled me.
My husband, growing up on the coast and a surfer, knew that I needed to overcome that fear, he knew there was so much out there for me to conquer. Five years ago, I paddled out for the first time, caught my first wave, and my life was forever changed that day.
I am incredibly grateful for my relationship with the ocean and how much she has taught me. The ocean forced me to grow, forced me to conquer my fears. And in the long run, the ocean forced me to be in the moment, because that’s what she asks of all of us when we are consumed by her.
I am definitely still learning (forever learning!), but for me, surfing is about so much more than catching the best wave. Just paddling out, I’ve overcome so much. I’ve shared so many special moments out there with the people I love. There is so much peace and blessings out there if you truly tap in. I have so much gratitude for being able to share those moments in the water.
The ocean is where everything began for me.