We recently discovered Lizzy's work via instagram and completely fell in love with her style and inventiveness. As an avid surfer, Lizzy uses her talents to repurpose discarded ropes and fishing gear into beautiful coral pieces. She creates with purpose and passion, and is making a difference in this world. Join us as we learn more about her journey!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF …
Hi! I am Lizzy, a Portuguese ocean lover living by the beach in Peniche - I am a soul surfer, illustrator, and creative mind!
I also volunteer for the ocean as much as I can, through Surfrider Foundation activities, but especially by creating art to help raise awareness for the environment.
WHAT HAS YOUR ART JOURNEY BEEN LIKE?
It all started in 2012 when I realized that my hobby could be a career opportunity! And since I started illustrating and posting it on social media, more and more people resonated with my work and motivated me to open an online shop. In the beginning, I did it part-time, but now as a full-time job. It’s been challenging but beautiful to work on my own rhythm and respect my intuition and time.
WHAT HAS SHAPED YOU INTO WHO YOU ARE TODAY?
Well, I tend to say that the ocean was and is my greatest teacher. As it built me from inside out, building my structure and my core strong, resistant, and resilient. I am also patient and humble to wait for the best moment to paddle out and wait for my wave. Attentive to recognize when it’s coming and confident to drop in. Surfing is an excellent metaphor for life. Only a real surfer can understand how to apply the surfing challenges to other aspects of our lives.
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE WORLD AROUND YOU? HOW DOES THIS TRANSLATE INTO YOUR ART?
I try to see the world with compassion.
Different cultures, landscapes, and trips inspire my art and spiritual journey. Also, inner reflections, and issues that resonate with my heart - e.g., plastic pollution or women empowerment. I never know what can be a sparkle on my inspiration. It can be a beautiful object or view, a photograph, a thought about an issue that makes my guts burn. So I keep experiencing and searching for subjects I am interested in. So I can tell that life, in general, can inspire my art.
"I never know what can be a sparkle on my inspiration. It can be a beautiful object or view, a photograph, a thought about an issue that makes my guts burn."
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST ROLE MODEL?
Belinda Baggs for her surfing style and ocean activism.
HOW DO YOU USUALLY WORK ON PIECES? ANY SPECIFIC RITUALS?
Not really. I just need to feel inspired to draw, I cannot do it if I’m not “feeling” it. So my only ritual is to be honest with myself. If I cannot illustrate, i do another activity, eg. -weave ropes for my coral pieces.
HOW HAS YOUR ART CHANGED OVER TIME?
I got more confident presenting it! I remember that I would overthink whether it was good enough to share with the public at the beginning. Also, I was super shy on my color pallets, I never used more than 3 colors! Now my illustrations are colorful and I totally own it. I know I cannot please everyone, but that is ok.
Also, now I’m doing pieces with discarded ropes, so I’m using my social media to talk about it too, at the beginning I thought that could be confusing, but then I realized that I’m not a company but a person with a lot of interests, and those things are parts of what I truly am.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACE AS AN ARTIST/ENTREPRENEUR?
The biggest challenge is understanding that I am fully responsible for myself and the results that I can generate. Sometimes it’s scary to jump into the unknown expecting for good results and that may not happen! When we are entrepreneurs, no one will tell us the right way, we are explorers creating our own path. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes wrong. The good thing is that as creatives we also can keep reinventing ourselves over and over again.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
“life is too short to be small”
OUTSIDE OF BEING A CREATIVE, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES/HOBBIES?
I believe my favorite hobbies, besides surfing, are always related to being creative. I love gardening, cooking, cross-stitching, indoor decoration, repurposing materials, etc.
"Surfing is an excellent metaphor for life. Only a real surfer can understand how to apply the surfing challenges to other aspects of our lives."
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE AND WHY?
Peniche area in the autumn and spring is my favorite place. It has beaches and woods, my favorite places to be.
LONGBOARD OR SHORTBOARD? WHY?
I did shortboard for many years until I finally discovered that longboarding can be more chilled and fun!
ONE THING ON YOUR « BUCKET LIST » ?
A small wooden house with a big yard to grow my garden and for my dog to be free.