Colorful conversation with Artist Janina Casanova of Sunday Arvo Surf CLub

Life and Artistic Journey

My friends call me froth queen; I surf every morning at dark o'clock whether it's too flat, big, cold, or windy because that's my only me time. I am a full-time mother to a wild toddler, and in the spaces in between, I make illustrations and work on my labor of love, Sunday Arvo Surf Club.

As far as my art journey goes– I've been a designer for a long time but was always creating things for other people and other brands. I started making my own illustrations just for fun right after I stopped breastfeeding because all of a sudden, I had all this time that was freed up, and I wanted to do something creative for myself. You give up so much of yourself when you have a child, especially in the beginning; you almost lose yourself. I couldn't surf, I had to stop working. You're just figuring out how to keep this tiny human alive and learning how to survive. It was just a creative release.

Janina Casanova female surf artist sketching at her desk in her creative studio with beautiful and bright surf art on the walls


My influences are from the every day of surfing, from where I surf, the people I surf with/have surfed with, and funny things you think or hear in the water. I'm drawn to mid-century modern graphic design; flat, simplified, colorful; anything retro and vintage —travel posters, children's books, matchbook art, Marushka, Alexander Girard, Paul Rand, Mary Blair, Saul Bass, David Klein are very inspiring.  

There's a lot of product design ideas that I have that I've been wanting to execute, so I hope to be able to make them a reality!

Janina Casanova surf artist riding her longboard on a green wave

Getting Creative

I sketch out ideas out in a notebook or scraps of paper and then draw them digitally in Illustrator. I love Illustrator and the ability to scale and manipulate the drawings easily.  

The path so far

This journey started out just for fun as a creative release for myself when I stopped breastfeeding and has turned into so much more. I think my biggest win from this is when someone sees something I've created and says, "This makes me feel really happy."

quote from female surf inspired artist Janina Casanova

Greatest life lessons?

I traveled around the world for a few years living out of a suitcase, learning about myself, and learning how to surf. I lived lightly, spent much less money than I would have than if I were home, and was the happiest I'd ever been. I constantly remind myself of that time and try to remember you don't need much for happiness and to live simply. Money, jobs, careers, and material things come and go. What matters is living a life you love being full of love, and being kind to others. There are so many moments that I hold dear in my heart from a stranger that has saved me from a dark time. 

So go travel, live simply, live lightly, go surfing; things come and go…And when you go, what matters is how you treated others and the impact you leave on those you've touched.  

Surf art by Janina Casanova

Advice for a budding artist

Keep going, keep growing!

 Where can we find your work, and how can readers best support your creative journey?

I put all my illustrations on my website and my Instagram @sunday_arvo_surf_club. 

Surf inspired california based artist Janina Casanova

Quickfire questions:

- Guilty pleasure?  Nachos

- Longboard or Shortboard?   My current go to's in my rotation are my Almond log and my Metric mid-length egg.

- What's on your Bucket List?  Things on my bucket list are to learn how to hang ten, run a marathon, write and record an album's worth of folk songs, and take my daughter and partner to my homeland, the Philippines.  

- Current song on repeat?  Let it go. The frozen album is on repeat, thanks to my toddler.

- Biggest Inspiration.  Surfing. Sunrises. Sunsets.

  My daughter. Rell Sunn. Kassia Meador 

- Quote to live by.   Live with Aloha

Art by female surf inspired creative Janaina Casanova

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