Header Image by Tyler Warren


For those among us that don’t surf and therefore are still on the fence about whether or not to go to the Byron Bay Surf Festival, here’s the creative carrot that should convince you to come:
The calibre of artists showing off their collections in person or through the provision of exclusive pieces is unbelievable.
The art side of the surf festival kicks off Friday afternoon February 25 with the Art Show Opening Party in The Lone Goat Gallery from 5:30pm – 7pm.

This highly influential gathering of artists, some of who will be on hand to meet, greet and possibly even create a few special pieces just for the festival is quite mindblowing for a small town like Byron Bay.

Here’s a sneak peak at who’s coming!

Right; by Ozzie Wright, Left; by James McMillan


 The Nikon Surf Photo of the Year is a prestigious award recognising the ‘best of the best’ of Australian Surf Photography. Previous winners have included Leroy Bellet, Ray Collins, Luke Shadbolt, Jon Frank, Peter ‘Joli’ Wilson, Stuart Gibson and Jeremy Wilmotte whose images are published and recognised around the world.

We are proud to be showing the 10 finalists at the ‘Surf Culture Now’ Art show and can’t wait to see all the amazing work!


Andy Davis from Southern California, is one of the most stoked and passionate people you will ever encounter. His art is an extension of the electric enthusiasm he has for wave riding and the culture that surrounds it. Over the past two decades Andy was the driving force behind several successful surf brands like Free, Byrd and Ando & Friends, all of which featured his art. Today he has a brand that embodies the spirit of his art called Andy Davis Designs.


Brodie Jackson is a unique tattoo artist based in Mullumbimby. Brodie’s artwork is simple yet super imaginative and stylish with a story telling edge to it. Brodie is head hunted by skaters and surfers across the country to ink their skin. He was recently commissioned to make artwork on clothes and accessories for the premier surf retail and culture label, Swell.


Otis Carey may be best known for his professional surf skills, but Carey is also turning heads in the art world with his collections marrying modern styles with traditional techniques of his family ancestors, the Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung people (Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay region). Carey’s connection to the sea is significant in his paintings, which also reflect his emotions.



Tyler Warren grew up in Southern California where he still resides.  Tyler has loved art since a young age as most kids do and has honed his skills over time. He began drawing images to screen print on t-shirts that he would give to friends and sell out of his truck at surf contests in high school. Tyler had his first art show at the age of 18 in 2004, since then Tyler has had numerous exhibitions in Japan, Europe, Hawaii and more.  In 2011 at the age of 24 Tyler signed with one of the world’s largest surf brands, billabong, as an artist and professional free surfer.

Check out this video we made with Tyler when we caught up with him in Byron Bay recently. Video by Cristian Prieto.


Matt Yeates started Sea Surfboards in 2011 with his buddy Dain Thomas. Matt has worked with many recognized shapers and artists making surfboards, clothes and doing art shows. MYC surfboards are the handmade creation of Matt Yeates. His boards, to say the least, are pieces of artwork.


Paul McNeil is a celebrated fine artist. He has won an Aria for the cover of The Hoodoo Gurus album cover. In actual fact you may not have realized Paul’s artwork is everywhere, including CD and Vinyl covers, touring posters and t-shirts. Paul is one of the original core Mambo artists and has published his own books and worked with many famous bands including Beastie Boys, Beck and Sonic Youth.


James McMillan is a Father, surfer and self-taught artist living in the Byron Shire. He is the author and principal photographer of the best-selling book, Blue Yonder (2006), but is probably best known for his signature style paintings. Along with his gallery work he has completed several projects including his book, commissioned street murals, artist for Splendour in the Grass, zines, branding for BBSF, and has exhibited his paintings in Byron Bay, Sydney, New York, LA, and Tokyo. Some days he paints, and some days he writes, but he always surfs.

Images- Top; James McMillan, Bottom left; Matt Yeates, Bottom right; Paul McNeil


Kei Otsuka is a Japanese artist/surfer with a rather dreamy slant to his artwork. Kei uses gentle colours redolent of nature and the ocean in particular. Kei will be one of the many artists displaying surf art at the festival this year.



Ozzie Wright from Sydney, now living in Byron, is the original punk rock free surfer. His titles include Father, artist, musician, filmmaker and co-owner of Vampirate Surfboards. He is bass player and vocalist in Goons of Doom and creates radical and feel good art which allows him to move freely on this earth.



Josh Rufford is a graphic artist working in visual arts based in Brisbane. He likes to draw, paint and animate using pens, ink, acrylic, watercolours and any kind of found objects to create interesting visuals. Josh is also one half of the dynamic duo known as Ruffbat Creative creating animation with simplistic creative skill.

Mahala Magins is an Australian based painter. She completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts at Southern Cross University in 2006. Since graduation Mahala continues to be shown and represented in various local and national group shows, including being twice selected for The Portia Geach Memorial Award, The Gold Coast City Art Award, and most recently The Hurford Harwood Portrait Prize with her portrait of art collector, June Blanchett.

Images c’wise from left; Kei Otsuka, Josh Rufford, Mahala Magins, Ozzie Wright


Nanda Ormond is mostly an illustrator from New Zealand who dabbles with living elsewhere in the world. He studied Classical Animation and works freelance for various clients creating comics, illustrations, animations and occasionally some light journalism for various surf magazines, moving and non-moving art, comics, and illustration. See his work in SW magazine.


Ming Nomchong, Australia based fashion and lifestyle photographer.
Ming loves the energy of a beautiful place, and she knows how to capture it. Raised on the east coast of Australia with a camera in one hand and a surfboard in the other, Ming has built an international reputation with her authentic sun ’n’ salt fashion and lifestyle images.


SA Rips: Ricks photography is captivating, engaging and poetic. He captures the mystery and harshness of the ocean and seizes its true perfection.

Images- Top; Nanda Ormond, Bottom left; Ming Nomchong, Bottom right; SA Rips

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