Inspired by femininity, the natural world, and all things ocean-related, our Lydia Manter x Sisstr collection features illustrations that remind us of our innate connection to the sea, the stars, and all of the wonderment of life found in between.
Hit play to learn more about Lydia’s design process and how she transitioned from drawing & painting to creating the graphic designs & digital illustrations that make up her more recent works.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My Name is Lydia Manter. I was born and raised off the coast of Maine and have spent the past 8 years based in Maui, Hawaii. My whole life I have needed to be close to the ocean, it’s always been where I get the most joy out of life. I really enjoy spending my time outdoors, surfing, and creating art in my studio.
Goofy or regular?
I am regular.
What board are you loving most right now and why?
I have a few boards I enjoy. I love to longboard. I think the grace and style that longboarding facilitates is so beautiful. I grew up dancing ballet and I like to think my years as a dancer have been somewhat applied to longboarding and is maybe why I enjoy it so much. I also love my shortboard that my friend with Sean Ordonez Shapes, shaped for me. He’s a master!! It’s got more volume than a performance shortboard so it’s cruisey but fast and fun!
What inspired the pieces you created for the Sisstrevolution x Lydia Manter collection?
I was really inspired to create some designs that I would really enjoy wearing myself. At the time I was drawing these designs I was really inspired by the desert and wild animals. I tried to incorporate some of these elements all while remaining fun and playful and surfing-related for Sisstrevolution.
How did you begin creating art? Where have you been, where are you now, and where are you going with it?
I grew up with a lot of female artists in my family and they’ve really inspired me in my own artistic pursuits. My grandmother was so creative. When I was a child she had a little A-frame house all the way in Downeast Maine on a little island that felt about as far away as you could get. I remember her art studio there, it was nestled in pines right on the coast. The studio had so much light and I remember at a very early age being pulled to her lifestyle. I was always creating art as a kid but strayed from it in my teen years. I started drawing again when I started painting on surfboards for fun about five years ago. From there it sort of all snowballed, I then started painting on surf fins mounted in frames, and then more recently that has developed into digital media and graphic design. I plan on just seeing where this all takes me and what it might evolve into next.
What are the main mediums you work with when creating?
I do a lot of my work on paper and then translate it to my iPad and computer to work digitally. More recently I’ve enjoyed working off of the screen and getting more into printmaking for my own personal projects.
Where do you find your inspiration when creating?
My work is mostly inspired by the natural world. I am really inspired by where I live and the ocean in particular. I also get a lot of my inspiration from strong women, like most of us, I feel like I am from a bloodline of really amazing fearless women and I think that translates in some of my artwork. A lot of my illustrations are of women in wild places and in places where my mind wanders.
Who is your biggest role model within the art realm?
My biggest role models in the art realm have been my aunts and my grandmother. They have been my role models in many subtle and indirect ways because I’ve had a very different path from all of them, but I’ve learned a lot from observing them all in their elements.
What advice would you give to someone looking to begin creating?
To someone who is looking to begin creating my advice would be just to dive in and see what you want to explore and just try out different things and let it evolve. It doesn’t need to be forced and there’s no need to create pressure for yourself. Just create when you feel like it and when you don’t do something else and come back to it when you are.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get in the water?
My advice for someone looking to get in the water is to have fun with it and don’t set too many expectations for yourself. The way surfing is often portrayed and particularly with women, makes it look pretty glamorous. If you’re comparing your expected experience in the water with the likes of professional surfers you’ll be sorely mistaken. In actuality, surfing is not very glamorous and it’s challenging. Often times you’ve gotta keep your bikini in check so it’s not halfway off while you’re duckdiving or in colder climates, you might be trying to peel your wetsuit off with frozen fingers with water lodged up your nose in the carpark. My other very important tidbit is if you have long hair I highly recommend tying it up!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to pop up with my hair caught under a hand and bodged a wave!!! far from glamorous haha.
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