We sat down with a leading lady in the Byron Bay lineup, Maria, a Swedish born creative who has made her mark in the field of surfing get-up with its bold colours, unique shapes and artistic photo shoots to match.
Atmosea was born out a school art project Maria dubbed, The Surfing Alien. The pieces were unique; high cut, shoulder pads, barnacles and hoods cut from neoprene, Maria created art that inspired what is today, one of the leading labels with it’s toes firmly planted on the nose.
We cut straight to the chase.
Tell us about your creative process
Many, many steps. It seams to start as an unconscious creative outlet similar to surfing.
For me surfing is an impulsive sport. You have to take action depending what Mother Ocean creates and delivers for you each time. You have to go with the flow of the ocean. There is no way to plan your ride, the ocean can change at anytime and remind you that she is almighty and powerful. I think it is a perplex form of creativity because you never know what your mind can do with the surprises the sea can throw you into.
Every day I am motivated by the surplus of gurfers I see in the water. The ocean will always inspire me. The colours, the strength and the happiness it brings can not be compared to anything else in the universe.
Another place where I take inspiration from is space! I want Atmosea to be out of this world. My brand is heavily influenced by the seapunk subculture. Think metallic, holographic dolphins and the reflections of nature. That is on rotation inside my brain when I am creating.
Functionality is the first step after collecting inspiration. Without functionality what is the point of producing a product? Next is to make sure the customer feels good in the product. I want Atmosea to make every gurfer feel confident in the water.
The main challenges designing a wetsuit are trying to find the perfect balance of functionality and design. Like I said before the customer has to feel and look good in the product. Atmosea is made for all women. All the models I use are different shapes and sizes to ensure the product is the best fit for the woman of today. Did I mention that all the girls that I use in the photo shoots ACTUALLY SURF! That is something that I think a place a great deal of importance on.
What do you wish to create in the surfing community?
I want Atmosea to be a fun community-based ground to combine creative surf trips, and fun surf comps that celebrate and promote rad girl surfers and their passion to then inspire other girls.
What is the future of female surfing?
I think the female surfers are about to became as many as the male surfers.
By looking in surfing magazines, there’s not a lot of pictures of women’s surfing. Women have found a new weapon of recognition in social media.
Surfing for women and young girls seems to be more about lifestyle. The surfer girls of the future seem to be more interested in finding surfing holidays and finding a connection to the sea through other topics that interest them then surfing competitions.
There have been many things stopping girls to start surfing in the passed. For example lots of intimating males in the line up, self esteem and more.
But NOW is an amazing time to get in to surfing for girls and women alike.
There are Surf Tours, Surf Sistas, Surf Retreats and Surf Spa are running exclusive women’s packages.
Why do you think Byron is able to foster women's surfing the way it does?
The quality of the waves is always a positive fostering. Community and positive vibes. I feel like all gurfs in the Byron waters are supportive of each other in the ocean and out. Everyone is always yewing and calling each other on to share some fun Party waves! It’s amazing how the people you meet in the water become a part of your family, as you spend so much time together, sharing some of the same interests and love for the ocean. I have realized that there are many more girls surfing these days, and it’s growing very fast. More and more girls, of all ages, in what use to be very male-dominated sport in the past. I reckon guys have changed their way of looking at girls surfing and I find them to be much more encouraging. I think they appreciate seeing how fast girls are progressing, and I do too.
Who is your favourite surfer in the water and why?
Hands down my friends, I love seeing my friends’ quirky epic different styles and they make me laugh so much in the water.
Seeing how your friend shine up after taking of an epic wave and the excitement and proudness it is the most contagious vibe and makes you feel as electric as them.
Check out Atmosea's most recent expression in store or online.