Pro Chat: Candice O’Donnell

Coinciding with our current cover girl theme, the connection between art and surfing, we caught up with another example of the art-surf-hybrid-species, the British Longboard wonder Candice O’Donnell

Interview by Sam Haddad

Hey Candice, how did your art show go?
The art show was a great success thanks, a lot of fun to organise and manage. The exhibition was of creative work from seafaring folk of north Cornwall with a range of disciplines and talents including photography, ceramics, sculpture, live airbrushing, paintings, and screen prints.
I chose to exhibit a series of photographic moments taken while at the World Belly boarding Championships last year at Picturesque Chapel, Porth Beach in the UK. The series is a photographic portrayal intended to evoke a deep and dramatic experience of the subjects participating in the simplest of acts of being at one with nature. Frames were hand built by me and photos were coated in resin in a unique and individual style.

How long have you been making art?
My art consists mostly of photography and moving image, but of late I have been getting into sculpture, large format printing, and building light boxes, designing clothing and accessories, and shaping boards.

Which other surf artists do you admire?
One of my best friends Kassia Meador is definitely an inspiration to me, combining her open mind and skill to eye up a magic moment to capture on film. The underground scene also inspires me, the untouched talents that never actually get the recognition or opportunity they deserve, which in theory makes their work even more appealing to me, as it remains art for the artist and not art for the mainstream, if that makes sense.

How’s your surfing going this year? It’s been pretty flat in Cornwall lately hey…
Actually this winter the surf was good in the UK, cold but good, but yes it’s been flat lately. That’s why I booked a ticket to California and surfed my socks off. I just got back. It was road trip-style in a luxe RV Camper. Scored really fun Malibu, and a few other spots. Keep your eyes peeled for photo evidence [in the magazine] soon.

What plans do you have for summer in terms of trips and contests?
It’s my rider week from June 30 at the Quiksilver Boardriders house, so if you’re free get yourself booked in there, you’ll be well looked after and I guarantee you’ll have an amazing week jam packed full of activities! Then of course there is the Roxy Pro in Biarritz, with Kassia Meador’s Longboard Expression Session event, and bunch of other rad things on the calendar during the summer months like the Joel Tudor Duck Tape invitational.

Do you think it sucks that the Roxy Jam has been swallowed up by the Roxy Pro shortboard contest?
At least it’s been replaced with another woman’s event and not another men’s event.

Do you think it’s easier to express yourself creatively on a longboard?
Sure, a longboard is like a stage, your platform to showcase your skills and express how you feel. Everything slows down when you’re longboarding, this makes it easier to become inventive and creative.

Are there any good young girl longboarders in the UK or France we should watch out for?
I have mentioned her name before in a previous interview I think, Justine Mauve, she has such natural talent and she rips at singing and playing the guitar. A very gentle soul with humbling presence.

Candice is sponsored by Roxy, Vans, Keep A Breast, National Trust, SAS, Olympus and Lomography


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