Using Art To Promote Diversity In Surf Culture
Reconnect Card Co offers a creative way to stay connected long distance. Each month we send out a new greeting card featuring artwork from our artist of the month. Our monthly art card gives you something to look forward to while keeping your frames fresh and your hearts encouraged.
Meet November's featured artist, Michi Pichel.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your art?
"I’m a 33-year-old Digital Illustration living in Manila, Philippines. My art is mostly inspired by my love for surfing, nature, and femininity. My work has evolved from simply creating images of surfer girls and women to a deeper meaningful art that shows a representation of people who don’t really see themselves enough in mainstream media."
What has been the biggest inspiration for you as an illustrator?
"I’ve worked with amazing adaptive surfers who have opened my eyes to a different world of surfing. They have inspired me to work harder seeing as they don’t let their disabilities be used as an excuse to stop their passion, it only gives them more fire and drives to achieve their dreams. It’s important for me to highlight people who have been kept out of mainstream media because I myself feel like an outsider. I never saw myself in a lot of these ads for surf/fashion brands. It’s refreshing to see surfer moms, people of color, curvier women, older women, people with disabilities given a stage and a place to speak their truth and realities."
Have you learned anything through your journey as an artist you'd like to share with others?
"It took a long time for me to also get to where I am at with my career. For so long people have discouraged me to achieve my dreams and have told me how little I am going to make or how much my art should cost. And if I kept listening to these naysayers, I wouldn't be here today typing away my bio for an amazing organization like ReconnectCards."
This year has presented us all with many learning opportunities. What has been your biggest takeaway thus far?
This year has been tough and it has been full of darkness and uncertainty. You can say this year was all about surviving and staying afloat for most people. It’s ok to not always have it together, we are human and can only take so much. That is why we need each other - because no one can survive this alone. We need more compassion, more acceptance, and to willingly educate ourselves and let ourselves grow. We need to understand that we are all in this together. No matter what color your skin is, which generation you were born in, your beliefs, religion, we live on the same planet. We live on the same earth that shelters us and gives us what we need to survive. We need to work together to surpass dark times.
Here at Reconnect Card Co, we believe in spreading kindness. Do you have any tips for spreading kindness to others?
Even the smallest gesture can brighten someone’s day, and that brightness can be passed on and on to more people. Let us stop feeding ourselves with negativity and divisiveness. The more light we try to give, the brighter it will get as it gets passed on.
What encouragement would you like to share with our readers?
Remember that it’s ok to ask for help and it’s ok to be vulnerable because it takes courage to be vulnerable. Be that bright light for the people around you and I promise you that it will be returned to you ten folds.
Learn more about Michi and her work with adaptive surfers on Instagram @michi_Pichel_art