The Art of the Outdoors: Jonas Claesson
This season we’ve partnered with unique artists and storytellers to create Merino wool socks and apparel saturated with inspiration.
Meet artist, surfer, and adventurer, Jonas Claesson.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally 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 your start as 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 it daily.
How would you describe your style?
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.
How have the outdoors influenced your art and where do you draw creativity from?
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 creating artwork?
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!
Your artwork often features animals, do you have a favorite animal?
Hard to just pick one! Pelicans have always been a favorite, especially how they land on the water I think is really cool. It also looks so fun when they are gliding along the wave faces lightly touching the surface, like surfing but in the air.
What are three things about you that most people may 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.
For more of Jonas' awesome artwork, follow him on Instagram @Jonas_draws.