We at Dark Seas have been lucky enough to stumble upon the young and insanely talented Wes Humphreys. Wes is one of our regularly commissioned artists and a true friend of the brand.
Here's a little interview we did with him a while back and some photos we captured on a visit to his rad house in Santa Ana, CA.
DS: Let's start out by telling our readers where you're from and what you're about?
Wes: I'm from Santa Ana, California. Born and raised. I love it here, there's never a dull moment.
DS: Your work is ruling! What's your most memorable art project to date?
Wes: Thanks man! Any opportunity I get to be creative and do what I'm passionate about it awesome. Working with Loser Machine and Dark Seas has been a dream come true. I'm able to make art that I'm stoked on and that's what really makes it memorable for me. It's the best feeling in the world to see someone wearing your graphic, or selling in stores. It's an excitement that will never go away for me. Since I've started freelancing for Loser Machine and Dark Seas, I've really come into my own as an artist. I've been given the chance to work on bigger and bigger projects and it's been rad to see the progress and become a part of the family.
DS: What artist past or present had the most influence on you?
Wes: Oh dude there's too many to list. I think my influences change all the time, with every new stage of my life. I grew up in an artistic family that from a young age was always supportive of my interest in art and that had a huge impact on me. My mother specifically. Attending art school has of course exposed me to a history of amazing artists across all mediums. But I'm also inspired by everyday situations, from my group of friends, to a line of a car, to my surroundings as a Southern California native.
DS: Aside from a long lasting relationship with Dark Seas, where else are you looking to take your art long term?
Wes: I would love to do board graphics! That's something I've always wanted to get into. Design will always be my main focus but long term; I don't think I want to get stuck in one specific thing. I've had aspirations of a thousand careers. I want to teach, shape surfboards, do sign painting, custom car airbrushing, architecture. I want to do it all, wherever it takes me.
DS: Jay Adams recently passed away. I remember when we started Loser Machine he was all over our mood boards and inspirations. Did you have a connection with Jay Adams via skate boarding or art? He's pretty much human art.
Wes: Of course! Skateboarding has been a huge part of my life and luckily, Jay Adams and the Zephyr team as a whole was my first exposure to skateboarding. All my neighborhood friends and I would watch the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary on repeat for days to no end. (Not to be confused with the Lords of Dogtown movie.) I also have a book of Craig Stecyk photos that's falling apart from how many times I've flipped through it and drooled over the dog-eared pages of tricks I had to learn! We would ride our bikes to the garage sales and hunt the hidden treasure at the Pomona swap meet, searching for old boards and urethane wheels. We spent out childhood pretending we were the Z-boys, skating the banks of the Santa Ana riverbed and nearby schoolyards. Everybody fought over who would be Jay. He had an approach to skateboarding that makes you want to get up everyday and skate and had a style that is un-imitateable. Jay, along with the pioneers, made skateboarding itself an art form that combined the creativity of it's innovators with the cultures of the surrounding environment. Also, I was so drawn to the Venice graffiti and Wes Humpston's Hand-drawn Dogtown board graphics. His (Wes Humpston) involvement with the history of skateboarding and the similarity of our names, as lame as that may sound, really made me believe at a young age, I should continue my passion for art and may have been my biggest impact on pursuing a career as an artist. It all comes back to skateboarding.
Photos by Lauren Beitel