Jonas Surfing

Artist Collaboration: Jonas Claesson

We partnered with artist Jonas Claesson to bring his nature-inspired illustrations to our Merino Sport 150 graphic t-shirts and Curated casual socks this spring. They combine influences from his experiences in the outdoors with his unique style—capturing the magic and joy of a life lived outside.

We checked in with Jonas to chat animals, inspiration and art.

Portrait of Jonas

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am orginally from Sweden but I'm currently living in Australia. I was really into skiing growing up in Sweden—but I found surfing when I was about 15—that really got me hooked. I moved to Australia in 2002 to combine studying design at a University with surfing as much as I could. I’m still here, on the freshwater Northern Beaches of Sydney. I love it for many reasons—a strong community feeling, a fun surf beach, and you can walk to almost everything you need.

How did you get into drawing and what was the moment you realized you could do this for a career? Did you always want to be an artist?

I have always been drawing since I was a kid, and I never really stopped. There were periods of time where I did not draw much, but in the last 5 years I came to the realization I could do it for a living! It was never something that I thought I could do, I always liked to draw but never imagined that I would do it as a job. It is something that I am extremely grateful for and appreciate daily.

How would you describe your style of art?

I try to leave that to others, mostly because I find it a bit tricky to describe. I would say it is my view on the outdoors and surfing in particular, because spending time in nature doing fun things is the best thing there is.

To us, your artwork truly captures the essence of the outdoors. Where do you find your inspiration? 

Thank you, that is a very nice compliment! I get a lot of my inspiration when I’m actually surfing and spending time outdoors in general. I also really like photography and love shots that make me feel like, “Wow, I want to be there, or do that.” These kinds of images are ones where you want to put yourself into the picture. I love trying to create a little story that I want to be a part of.

How do you like to spend your free time, when you aren’t drawing?

Surfing and snowboarding, which I only recently re-discovered. Also I really love coffee and reading books, but my attention span has been damaged from social media; I find it harder to read books now. Definitely something I am working on in 2019!

Jonas Surfing

This isn’t our first collaboration together. Last fall, your designs featured a mobile woolly mammoth and a surfing fox. This spring, you brought us a bear at camp and an adventurous llama. What is your favorite animal? 

Hard to just pick one! Pelicans have always been a favorite, especially how they land on water I think is really cool. Also looks so fun when they are gliding along the wave faces lightly touching the surface, like surfing but in the air.

Jonas bear t-shirt
jonas llama t-shirt

What are three fun facts about you that our readers might not know? 

1.      I used to be a mailman on a pushbike during the summers back in Sweden.

2.     I used to compete in Orienteering.

3.     Sometimes, I rescue wild animals with my girlfriend. She is studying to become a veterinarian. So far, we have rescued a couple of Australian birds, a possum, and a turtle. 

Artist Collaboration with Jonas Claesson


For more of Jonas' awesome artwork, follow him on Instagram @Jonas_draws

Jonas Drawing