Purveyor of RAD: Daniel George

Waterman, artist, and entrepreneur are just a few words that describe Daniel George. This guy spreads so much Aloha in and out of the water and also rips with so much style! We sat down with the 'flying uke' and talked about designing, shaping, and his favorite seasons for barrels. Drop into the interview and images below!

 

The Base, Ventura County

Where are you from?

Born in Gainesville Florida 

 

Where did Flying Uke come from!?

A few years after I moved to Ca, I went back school to get my masters in ceramics. I was encouraged to explore a variety of mediums in order to ultimately inform my body of work in ceramics. I took drawing, painting, sculpture, bronze casting and fortunately printmaking. Since I had a background in wood carving, I naturally gravitated toward the relief carving processes of wood and linoleum blocks. For easier carving I rely on Lino blocks for the images I make for FU. 
Typically paper is the favored to print on, but I have always been a recycler so I started printing on pieces of old t shirts because at the time I volunteered at the Malibu thrift store called the Artifact Tree. At Leo Carillo, I found an old hat with an image I really liked. 
The hat was trashed so I sewed the image to another hat I found at the Tree.  That hat really sparked me. I began printing smaller images that were designed to be sewn onto hats. I made a few prototypes and peers and teachers alike started asking to buy them. I connected the dots from there and gotter' goin'. 

 

What was your first experience with the ocean?

Gainesville is 90 min from the beach. Never even knew about surfing until a friend drove me to the beach and got me out there when I was around 22. I was later hooked after a six month adventure in Central America. 

How did you land in Malibu and when did you know if was your new home?

I met a gal in Costa Rica on that trip. After returning to the states I moved to Encinitas with her. She knew about Malibu through a friend, when we made the move north, to the la zone the beached was the goal and I was lucky enough to land in Malibu. 

It's been 11 years and I feel like I have some roots in the ground there, but 5 years ago, when my family started moving out to Malibu, it really started feeling like home. 

 

Walk us through a typically day for Daniel?

Really depends on how good the waves are.  

If there isn't much surf I have the opportunity to get work done.  So those kind of days start with a cup of joe made with one of my ceramic pour overs. From there I get to work whether it's making pots on the front porch or printing a lino block in my shipping container print shop. I like to button up the day with nip of something or a cold one on in my glider on the front porch. 
When the sun is shining I make hay. Good surf days start earlier and can easily be filled with a couple surfs and lots of beach art time in between sessions. Typically it's watercolor and drawings, but lately I've been on a mixed media, assemblage, found object  kick. These spontaneous art sessions are based out of a bin of shenanigans in the back of my veg oil powered F250. I Pop down the tailgate and get amongst it!

 

Tell us a bit about your recent project ‘Sticks and Mud’

The recycling of materials is pervasive throughout my art and life..

I had my first solo show last year in Mar Vista called "Sticks and Mud". Over the years I have dabbled in shaping of surfboards using foam from old boards.  For the show I shaped a half dozen mini Simmons style twin fins ranging from 4-11 to 7-0. The size of the board was dictated by the size of the old board I found. When working with repurposed materials, it's cool to let them make some of the design decisions. The boards have recycled red wood fins, non toxic Eco entropy resin glass jobs and
 "lams" I made out of India ink drawings on rice paper. 
The compliment to the sticks is the mud. Clay has been my main squeeze since 2000
when I stumbled into a ceramics for non art majors class at the University of Florida, my og alma mater. My work is tends to be southern hospitality device sets like jug and sipper set or coffee mugs with a pour over. 
Ultimately Sticks and mud epitomizes my view on life. Keep it simple, functional, recycled, surfy, and above all maintain free flowing childlike perspective. 

 

Describe what it’s like to use recycled materials and produce art? What are some challenges and rewards here.

As I mentioned, using recycled or repurposed materials allows me to have to make less decisions. The materials have a story which I am adding to, while putting my own spin on it. Pedestrian materials can also be made magical by changing their context or juxtaposition to other elements of the piece. I guess the only real challenge for me is that I'd like to shape long boards, which require more foam. The rest of the recycling aspect actually makes my job easier. Sometimes a blank canvas can be intimidating.  For me, an old kitchen drawer from the trash with coffee stains and maybe some 70s pattern liner paper, is a much  easier to work into a piece of art. 

We won’t ask you too much about where you surf but tell us what is your favorite season for waves in Malibu and why?

Spring and fall are $$$. A combination of less people and mixed swell directions precipitates into some good tranquilo sessions... 

Tell us about some new and or exciting projects are you working on now?

I got a few tricks up my sleeve. Stoked on the freedom mixed media sessions, which I like to do myself, but also dig facilitating for others. I teach small clay classes out of my studio and enjoy sharing stoke about creativity with others. It's an amazing affirmation of my passion and a golden opportunity to make the world a better place. I've realized that using my creativity to blast out good vibes Into the world is a grande part of my purpose on this planet. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

Learning to shape better, and glass a board is high on the list. These sticks will hopefully be in another art show along with some more stuff made out of mud. I also get very inspired while Travelling, so I hope to take a couple surfart trips ( Japan) and have at least one big art show. 

Where do you live now? is it RAD?

It is Rad!  I live in an adobe cave like structure up in the hills of Malibu. Ping pong table out front, veg oil recycling station, container workshop, front porch potting zone, instruments and vintage logs hanging inside with recycled wooden crates comprise the majority of the storage, antique furniture and repurposed redwood tables create a flex kitchen and extension of the pottery studio. Pretty cozy, stoke filled and conducive to art making. 

Favorites: 

Food?

Hard to narrow it down but ribs, bbq tofu spring rolls with homemade peanut sauce, and the custard fruit the Sapote. 

Wave?

Rincon,if I could have it to myself, La Graviere in Hossagor (sp?) France and a magic private spot north of Santa Barbara but south of point conception:)

Song?

Tangerine by Led Zepplin,  Voodoo Chile slight return by Hendrix or a number of early Bob Marley tracks. 

Least Favorites:

Drink?

Rejuvalac: The liquid poured off after germinating wheat berries to grow wheat grass. ( hippy parents) Happy dude. 

Transportation?

Roller blades

Airport?

Lax
Pottery by Flying Uke Designs
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Daniel at Westwards Beach
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Quiver at First Point Malibu
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Summer in Malibu

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