Using the force

Using the force
Artist Skye Walker with his 24-foot “Glide” mural at Whole Foods in Encinitas. (Courtesy photo.)

When you’re given the name Skye Walker at birth, you’re destined for extraordinary things. 

Although the Cardiff artist by that name doesn’t spend his days fighting villains throughout the universe, he does his part towards championing planet Earth in his own way.

Named for the Isle of Skye of his family’s ancestral Scottish homeland, Walker is achieving success as an artist and designer while advocating preservation of the planet’s environment.

Walker’s parents had performed music and comedy routines all over the world before starting their family. Young Walker spent much of his life on the road and by age 7 he, along with his younger sister, joined the family band, “The EarthWalkers,” which performed a unique blend of comedy mixed with bluegrass music and the profound message of saving the planet.

The EarthWalkers were spreading the message about saving the environment long before it was popular. Walker says, “I know that my parents’ passion for helping the planet and doing our part as humans has shaped my love for nature — not only being in and around nature, but incorporating those themes in my art.”

Absorbing as much art training as possible along the way, Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a focus in fine arts at Oregon State University.

He moved to Cardiff, Calif. immediately after college and comments, “I knew where I wanted to be. The ocean, the setting, the vibe… There is a special bubble around Encinitas. It has a magical draw.”

As luck would have it, his first roommates worked for Surfer Magazine, and through them he was introduced to the surf industry. He freelanced as a designer for companies such as Hobie Surfboards and Haro Design before landing his first in-house job at Rip Curl in Carlsbad.

Four years ago he struck out as an independent artist. Since then he has worked with a variety of mediums and has exhibited his paintings in solo and group shows in and around San Diego. Also engaged in video production, he wrote, directed, shot, and edited a short comedy called “The Escape” which appeared last year in the San Diego Surf Film Festival.

Walker has created an artistic niche in large-scale murals and during the past few years has completed many of them, including commissions for Whole Foods Markets in Encinitas, Del Mar, and Hillcrest. He most recently completed a mural for Cafe Ipe (current home of the Surfing Madonna) in Leucadia.

Walker says, “The subtext of my art is certainly one to inspire others and to take notice of our planet as humans and notice the sublime connections of our natural surroundings. I mix a lot of nature and human/figurative themes together. There is always a Mother Earth and nature-connecting-to-humans kind of vibe in my art.” An avid surfer and body surfer, he contributes artwork and design time for fundraising to the Ocean Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation, both with missions related to sustainability and protection of the ocean.

“Doing large scale art work in the right places can catch people’s attention and lift them up. If my work can do that even for a second, then I feel I’m being successful in my pursuits.”

Learn more about Skye Walker and his art at www.iamskyewalker.com.

 

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