Chicken Nuggets. Flowers. Waves. South African surfer and artist, Grant Beck, takes you on a journey of endless creativity and imagination.

Grant, what does surfing mean to you? 
Surfing gave me a life and a lifestyle to live from it. Travel. Income. Different waves. Different cultures. New friends. Patience. Nature, how it is so powerful and yet so calming. I had a really bad surf accident when I was a teenager. It almost took my life, and now surfing has given me a life. The ocean and learning how to read it is also a big part of surfing, and why I enjoy it so much. 

Jason Wolcott
During a wipe out in 2006, Grant hit his head on the surfboard and broke his skull. Fortunately, the doctors realized in time that the fluid that was dripping from his ear was not water but spinal fluid and immediately initiated emergency surgery. He’s very lucky to be alive today.

I remember you were quite involved with surf comps in SA. What was your role there?
Correct, in 2012, I travelled around the South African coast to judge surf events. I started out as a junior surf judge and ended up head judging South African national surf events by 2014, until I got a job as the Team and Events Manager for Billabong SA.

Do you compete yourself? 
I used to compete as a teenager, my father took me to a few surfing events around South Africa, but that wasn’t successful. In 2014 I managed to qualify to compete in the ASP World Longboard Championships in Hainan Island China, and again in 2016, where it changed to the WSL World Longboard Championships. In both events I did terrible, but I learnt from it. I wasn’t in the correct headspace to actually compete. I guess I was too busy trying to keep my job at Billabong. I don’t compete anymore, I aim to surf freely and have as much fun as I possibly can!

Portrait of Grant Beck by Portrait of Grant Beck by Annik Landry
Grant’s been travelling the world and working as a surf guide for Tropicsurf for three years now. Photo by Annik Landry

When and how did you start getting into this kind of art?
My mother is a very creative woman and I most definitely inherited it from her. The artwork I created came naturally. School textbooks weren’t my happy place. I have always had a creative mind, but only started creating art pieces about four years ago. When I started learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, my mind just created these surreal visions which I then turned into digital collages. 

Artwork by Grant Beck
Some of Grant’s artwork. For him, art and surfing is all about expressing himself creatively and have lots of fun while doing it.

What inspires you to create these pieces?
It’s most definitely all inspired by nature. Cosmic, surreal illusion. I used to create these surreal art pieces in my head while starring at the sky and watching the clouds. 

What do they symbolise? 
I think it simply symbolises a world of imagination and creativity. We all have a creative side in us, and we all express it in different ways. Surfing together with digital, surreal collage artwork is my way of expressing it.

Annik flower bed paddeling
Girlfriend, Annik, paddling through a bed of flowers.

If there was a genie offering you three wishes, what would they be? 

  1. A better passport, to be able to travel more freely. 
  2. For all plastic to be removed from the oceans and for plastic not to exist.
  3. An annual yearly early boat trip with all my family and friends to enjoy great waves, catch up and experience good times. 
Artwork Taste This
«Taste This» — Nesting worlds.

Final word?
Enjoy this beautiful gift we were granted, life.