Db chats to the artist, surfer and Db Ambassador ahead of his exhibition at the Magic Quiver store in Ericeira, Portugal.
"Constantly surfing good waves to get better, travelling farther to keep learning, and creating art to stay young."

Seth Conboy is a 28-year-old surfer and artist from Ocean City, Maryland, USA. Seth started surfing and skating at a young age and developed an interest in art in high school, before receiving a degree in graphic design. In between surf raids up and down the East Coast, he creates art in his studio in the farmlands on the peninsula that lies to the south of New Jersey, and east of Washington. 

Seth is travelling to Portugal in late September and will showcase his artwork at the Magic Quiver store in Ericeira supported by Db from September 30. Db caught up with Seth just after had surfed the Hurricane Lee swell in New York, and before he boarded a plane for Lisbon. 

DB: Big question first; what is the link between your surfing, travel and art?

Seth: Surfing, travel, and art nearly all seem to be the same thing to me. They all have this major sense of liberation. Not only are all three of these things very freeing, but they all are things that I’ll never conquer or fully “master”. Constantly surfing good waves to get better, travelling farther to keep learning, and creating art to stay young. All of these things keep me vulnerable and uncomfortable at times and I think that is what I love the most about the three. I guess I love chasing those feelings.

How did you get into art in the first place?

I got into art as young as I can remember. It wasn’t like I knew I was going to be creating for life at that young age, but I felt a connection and interest in it. I remember always trying to recreate a dream wave location or sketching little characters. It wasn’t until I got older that I knew I loved it. I then continued to go to college to educate myself on graphic design and fine art. I got out of college and designed freelance for a couple of years as I was travelling and surfing. I’ve recently hopped over to the dark side from design to fine art. I feel like I’m exactly where I want to be now. It takes a good amount of time to get settled in where you want to be with your art and chances are it will change again. 

How would you describe yourself as an artist or what are you trying to achieve with it?

My work is most certainly not perfect, but it comes from a real place though and I can honestly say I just love to create stuff. Whether it’s shooting some photos, painting, designing, or editing footage, I make my rounds through all of them. If I get bored with where I’m at, I just switch up my mediums and projects. Keeping it fresh is how I like to make stuff. My goal for being an artist is to just continue creating, if I can manage to make a living making stuff that’d be amazing. One step at a time. 

Is that reflected in the exhibition in Portugal?

This showing in Portugal is an amazing opportunity for me to display my work to a new audience. I went to Portugal a couple of years ago to surf and I fell in love with the place. With this body of work, I tried to encapsulate a couple of things that reminded me of my past time there. I tied together my American style with European memories to create this stuff! 

How did growing up where you did influence you as a surfer and an artist?

Growing up in Ocean City, Maryland is a pretty interesting place to be a surfer and artist. I won’t say too much, but Maryland surprisingly has great surf at times. We struggle with consistent surf, but the good days are like a surf trip in my backyard. Anyone who’s seen it knows. I spend my whole day in the water when it’s good, but the down days are for creating in the studio! Geographically, where I live is very flat with no mountains, tons of farmland and agricultural fields. There is a lot of water from inland bays to the ocean and temperatures range from very hot temperatures in summer to snowing in the winter. Being secluded in a farm area works great for me because I enjoy the peace. I’m lucky enough to stay inspired by spending time in big cities not too far from me like Philadelphia, and New York City. A few short hours in the car can bring me to the most creative places in the world. I cherish where I’m from!

What or who are other inspirations? 

I’m inspired by those who step out of the normal to do what they want to do. Music has had a huge influence. Growing up listening to punk rock and heavy metal has swayed my outlook on things. It was about going against the grain, being your own boss, and thinking above and beyond the boundaries. Surfers in general are a big inspiration as well. Some of my best buds travel the world looking for the craziest situations. Out-of-this-world scenarios that most people just can’t understand. It’s hard not to be inspired by those who tell it how it is or who live it the hardest!

What’s the plan for general world domination?

(Laughs) I just want to keep doing what I want to do. With the right amount of time and appropriate support, like with this exhibition with Db, I feel like anything out of this for me will rise organically. The key is being patient and working hard. I’m not sure I’m ready for world domination just yet. 

Anything else we need to know about Seth Conboy?

Art rules this world! I’m heading to Portugal looking for good waves and canvas to paint Come to Ericeira, see the exhibition, say hi and let’s hang out. 

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