Meet Swiss artist Fabian Lavater

There are so many great artists out there in the world, and the surf-inspired art of Fabian Lavater certainly hasn’t escaped our attention. Growing up in landlocked Switzerland, his love of surfing has not only inspired his art - but has moved him to the coast in Southwest France to pursue his passions. We’ve been following Fabian’s artistic journey online for some time, and we love the way his drawings depict the grace of female surfers so beautifully and elegantly. His social channels and his creating videos are mesmerizing, and we’ve been stoked to follow his creative journey. 

Art by Fabian Lavater

I am Swiss, where I lived until last summer. Switzerland is a landlocked country, and it takes like 10 hours to get to the Atlantic Ocean in France to surf. This is also where I learned to surf more than 10 years ago and immediately was hooked. So I spent all my vacation on surf trips, but surfing in this period of time was only a vacation thing. When I started to get into art more seriously and started sharing my art on Instagram, I knew that I wanted it to be about surfing and the ocean, as it made me feel that I was closer to all of it than I actually was. After doing art full time, I knew that this was something I could do from wherever I wanted, so I finally moved to Biarritz in France, where I now live in and around the ocean on a daily basis.

Music is an important part for me to get things started. And what kind of music totally depends, it ranges from classic piano & Jazz music, movie soundtracks, electronic stuff, Oldies, Rock/Indie to Old School HipHop!

Fabian Lavater Her Waves Interview
So I work a lot with Procreate on the iPad, for my digital illustrations, of course, but also if I want to paint something on paper. I just love how fast you can switch colors and try so many different color schemes in no time. It can also be a bit of a curse, though, as it sometimes feels like there are too many options.

Trust the process! So important, no matter at what level you draw or paint, just go through with what you started with. You can’t imagine how often I think in the midst of painting that the painting and I suck and that I should just throw it away. But it’s almost always worth it to keep going, and a finished painting is so rewarding.

Artist Interview with Fabian LavaterGREATEST LIFE LESSON
Persistence is key. You don’t have to be the best at anything to keep pursuing a passion. But being persistent is more important. Also, never think it’s too late for something. It isn’t. I was rejected from art school when I was 20. Back then, I thought that I would never be able to pursue a career in art and that everything in my life had already been decided. How wrong I was.

I am not sure if there is this one big thing, but I think it’s pretty awesome that I’ve sold my art all over the world. I mean, this might just be a win of the internet, but I still think it’s pretty cool that like-minded people all over the world dig my art enough to hang it in their homes.

Oh, don’t even get me started… Maybe let’s start with the good thing, which in my mind clearly is the inspiration I can get from other artists and photographers on a daily basis. If you follow the right people, there are so many awesome artists creating awesome art.
There is a lot I don’t like about Social media though, especially with the changes Instagram has implemented in the last 2-3 years and making it clear they don’t care about their creators. But I think what I hate the most is when I catch myself changing my mind about an illustration or a painting I did because of the number of likes it receives... Even though when posting it, I loved it. I try to not let it get to me that much anymore also by hiding the likes, but it’s a process that takes some time. We were kind of trained to think that way for quite some time now, and it’s hard to get completely rid of it.

artist interview with surf inspired artist Fabian Lavater
Artsy wise I hope to do an exhibition or two this year; nothing concrete planned here, but I am sure that after this pandemic and a few canceled ones, it would feel great to show my art offline and see the reaction of actual people to my art. Oh, and I would love to create my first mural. So if you know a wall that is in need of some art!! Personally, I am really looking forward to summer as my girlfriend and I are gonna spend our summer in Galicia in Northern Spain in a more quiet area with beautiful surroundings and of course nice waves.

- Guilty pleasure? Beer (big beer lover)
- Longboard or shortboard? Shortboard for years now, but it’s time to diversify
- Biggest fear? I am pretty concerned about climate change and the effect it will have on all of us if we don’t take more immediate actions
- Favorite song/artist/album? Though one, Find my playlists on Spotifiy and find out!

Fabian Lavater Her Waves Blog

Follow Fabian on Instagram

I’m inspired by the water, the sun, the moon, and the stars. My countless wipeouts, my dreams of noseriding, and the feeling I get when sliding across the face of a wave.

Meg Jacovino