I first heard of Paul McNeil through my friend, neighbor, and renowned illustrator Ed Fotheringham—who also happens to be an avid surfer. Ed and I were discussing the Board Graphics book my company, Modern Dog, was undertaking, and he told me that i had to see Paul's work, because nobody else in the industry was doing anything like him.
Ed was right— of course —so I interviewed Paul and profiled his work for our book, Inside the World of Board Graphics: Skate Surf Snow.
A native New Zealander, Paul lives and works in the sleepy surf town of Byron Bay in Northern Australia. A talented and remarkably productive artist, Paul supplies artwork in a variety of contexts, including products, books, brands, labels, and motion work. His iconic surf art, incorporating expressive, crude brushstrokes and a wry sense of humor, has made Sea Surfboards and his current project, Zed, unique and globally distinct.
You don't have to be a surfer to admire the talent. And thanks to Ed, Paul has a new fan.
A variety of Sea Surfboards. Nobody looks like Paul McNeil; his profile was one of my favorites from the book.
Paul McNeil painting with resin, a technique usually avoided because it's quite difficult and toxic—and gives the artist only about 15 minutes due to the resin setting. The tints have a deep luster, and that is part of the overall appeal.
Two Sea Quads on the racks in the resin room.
A selection of 9' plus boards for Sea Surfboards.
Sea Quiver: Pugboat, Fang, Munter and Sea Spoon.
You can read the full interview and see more inspiring board art in the book.
All Photos by Paul McNeil and Dain Thomas