When we came across Kristina Young's gorgeous surf-inspired art, we immediately felt compelled to share her work with you. Lucky for us, she, too, was stoked to work with DRIFT on a selection of tees, tanks and sweatshirts adorned with her designs that celebrate the carefree surf lifestyle and especially women surfers. At DRIFT we feel it's important to know the human story behind our art, whether we wear it, ride it, or hang it on the wall- so read on!
Kristina and her husband Marshall own a shop, Peace of Wood, in Ocean City, New Jersey, where their art is on display through various mediums (wood, textiles, canvas), and is showcased alongside the works of various other local creatives. Her original designs adorn pieces of woodwork co-created by Marshall. She reproduces variations of some of those designs in clothing and prints. For Kristina, both art and surfing entered her life only a few years ago, but both have forever transformed her for the better. Now she's set on sharing the stoke with as many people as possible.
How did you begin making surf art?
The ocean changed my life and my path. I never started painting until I started surfing six years ago. The ocean inspired me in ways I never thought possible. It led me down my path as an artist and as an entrepreneur. I am forever grateful for all the ocean has given me. The ocean is where everything began.
What inspires your designs?
My art has always been a release, a safe place, a sanctuary. A place of peace in my mind as well as my surroundings. It is moved by the ocean, learning how to surf, and my love and respect for this beautiful earth.
Painting grounds me, and brings me back to the core of what truly makes me happy. It is inspired by a life of simplicity and truly following your heart and your passions.
My art has to be, and always will be, about stopping, breathing, and being in the here and now. I also just want people to genuinely smile when they see it! My main goal has always been to spread peace and joy through my creations.
What role does surfing play in your life?
My relationship with the ocean grew so much deeper much later in life. I grew up with a huge fear of the deep ocean. I honestly wouldn’t go in past my knees! Such a huge fear of the unknown, it crippled me.
My husband, growing up on the coast and a surfer, knew that I needed to overcome that fear. He knew there was so much out there for me to conquer. Six years ago, I paddled out for the first time, caught my first wave, and my life was forever changed that day. It truly changes my entire path.
I am incredibly grateful for my relationship with the ocean and how much she has taught me. The ocean forced me to grow, forced me to conquer my fears. And in the long run, the ocean forced me to be in the moment, because that’s what she asks of all of us, when we are consumed by her.
I am definitely still learning (forever learning!), but for me, surfing is about so much more than catching the best wave. Just paddling out, I’ve overcome so much. I’ve shared so many special moments out there with the people I love. There is so much peace out there if you truly tap in. I have so much gratitude for being able to share those moments in the water.
I am completely in love with long boarding. I’d say my style is surfing big boards in small waves! I love the feeling of gliding across the face of the wave and the timeless style. Surfing for me is a time to slow down, reflect, and be in the moment. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to long boarding.
My goal as a surfer is to share as much stoke with as many people in the water as possible, to never lose sight of what it’s really about, to constantly push myself at every level, and to surf to rest of my life with so much gratitude. Sometimes I wish surfing came to me earlier in life, but I’m not sure I’d appreciate every moment as much as I do now.
Shop the DRIFT x Kristina Young Collab
Come into the shop today to check out Kristina's wearable art- we've got a variety of tees for men, women, and girls.