Social Media is expanding each of our personal communities and introducing us to people we may never have met before. It’s how I first became familiar with David Rollyn and his simple but very expressive art. I think one of his pieces popped up on my feed and it instantly grabbed my attention. I can’t remember which one it was, but I’m sure it was Northwest inspired and told a whole story in only a few strokes. I hit the follow button and spent the next hour or so looking through his feed. I told the guys in the shop that his art would make incredible t-shirts and it would be great to work with him one day.
It was only a short while after that when David came walking into the shop. Turns out he noticed that we started following him and made a point to come check us out the next time he was on the coast. I was stoked when he agreed to do a couple designs for us. He had just started to make a living from his art and talked about how nervous he was to become self-employed. It might have been a scary beginning for him, but he has quickly found his art to be in high demand. Companies such as Patagonia and REI have come calling and I’m sure it is just the beginning. His ability to express so much feeling in such a simple design is an apparel companies dream. Not to mention, he is a really good guy and super easy to work with. We couldn’t be happier to get to work with him on our Summit to Sea collaboration and hope you take the time to check out his website and social media accounts. I guarantee it will be the best “doodles” you will ever see!
Below is a quick interview we did about his art and what inspires him. Hope you enjoy it!
Moment Surf Company: Did you have a moment when you knew you wanted to do art for a living?
David Rollyn: I have been drawing and doodling for as long as I can remember, but I never took my art seriously. A couple years ago I started sharing my art online, and people began to show interest in it, which was a surprise me. People started reaching out to me to do illustration work, so I started doing that on the side while I worked full time as a machinist. During that time, my wife and I began building out a van to to travel around the US to surf and climb. I needed to do work on the road while we traveled, and with the amount of interest in my work, it just made sense to start doing art full time. It was a very natural progression for me. I've always wanted to work in the visual communication industry, and the moment that people showed interest in my work was the moment I knew I wanted to do art full time.
MSC: What was your inspiration for your design with Moment Surf Company?
DR: My favorite part about surfing in Oregon is sitting out on the ocean, looking back at the rugged coast line full of pine trees. This illustration inspired by those rare sunny surf days in Oregon, when the waves are rolling in past the pine trees and the sun is shining.
MSC: How long have you been making a living with your art?
DR: I have only been making a living with my art for one year. It has been a crazy learning experience, but I love it. Being self-employed has taught me a lot about myself, and has greatly helped improve my work ethic. It's been rad.
MSC: What inspires your style of art?
DR: My style of art is inspired by the simplicity of nature. Nature is so complex, but it is also so simple. I love to make my art as simple as possible. I feel it is a little more relatable, and it reflects nature's simplicities.
MSC: What makes living in the NW so special for you?
DR: My wife and I had lived in the Northwest for only a year and a half, and now we spend as much time as possible there, traveling in our van. I think that is what makes it so special for us. Having lived there and experiencing so much that it has to offer. It is our favorite place to visit, surf and climb, and hang out with our good friends. It is such a magical place, where the trees are tall, and the mountains are lonely. The coast is cold and rugged, but full of warm memories. It's my favorite place in the world.