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A Gift for my Hula Family: $900 Upcycled Surfboard Sign Art

This one-of-a-kind up-cycled surfboard is a gift of love. This year, for Auntie Angie's birthday, I painted a surfboard that serves as a sign for our hula group Seabreeze Polynesian, and also as a symbol of our shared community and appreciation for the arts.

The Inspiration

Angie has been more than just a hula teacher; she has brought together community through movement and tradition. Her dedication to preserving and sharing the beauty of hula has touched many lives, including my own. As a token of my appreciation and to celebrate her special day, I decided to create something unique—a $900 upcycled surfboard transformed into sign art.

The Creative Process

The journey began with a well-loved surfboard donated to me by my friend/surf buddy/birthworker Dorian ( Upcycling this board reduces waste by giving it new life and symbolizes our shared love of the ocean. Here’s how I completed it in a week of dedication:

1. Sanding and Priming

First, I sanded the surfboard to create a smooth surface. This step was crucial to ensure that the paint and primer would adhere properly. After sanding, I cleaned the board with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining dust and oils, preparing it for the next stage.

2. Applying Primer

With the board prepped, I applied a coat of primer. This provided a solid base for the paint and also helped to seal the surface, ensuring the longevity of the artwork.

3. Sketching the Design

Once the primer was dry, I began sketching the design. Drawing inspiration from the mountain horizon of Maui, ocean waves, and tropical flora, I created a composition that would capture the essence of our shared passions. This initial sketch laid the foundation for everything that would follow.

4. Digital Enhancement with Procreate

To refine the design and add intricate details, I uploaded the sketch to Procreate. If you don't have Procreate, don't worry. This can also be done straight on the board, with pencil and paper, or even skipped altogether. I experimented with colors, patterns, and textures, ensuring that every element of the design was teased out before transferring it back onto the surfboard.

5. Painting the Surfboard

With the finalized design in hand, I began the painting process. Layer by layer, the surfboard came to life with vibrant colors and detailed patterns. Each brushstroke was a labor of love, reflecting the beauty and energy of the hula dance and the ocean. One particularly special element was the use of a rich purple color, inspired by the pareo that Angie gifted me on my second day of hula practice. This color held deep personal significance and added an intimate touch to the design.

6. Adding Personal Touches

To make the board even more special, I signed it and added a touch of glitter because it's what the world needs right now!

7. Clear Coating for Durability

Finally, to protect the artwork and give it a glossy finish, I applied a clear coat. This step ensured that the surfboard would remain a beautiful piece of art for years to come, ready to be displayed.

A Gift from the Heart

Presenting this upcycled surfboard to Angie was a proud moment. It was more than just a gift; it was a celebration of my appreciation, our love for hula, and our connection to the ocean. This $900 piece of art is a testament to the time, effort, and love poured into its creation.

Creating this surfboard combined my passion for art, surfing, and community. The best gifts come from the heart. Here’s to many more years of dancing hula, riding waves, and sharing the aloha spirit. Happy birthday, Angie!

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