Interview of illustrator and surfer AJ Dungo, author of “In Waves”
We met surfer and artist AJ Dungo who published the book In Waves. A poetic comic that makes the mind travel and shares a powerful message, mixing his passion for surfing and personal story. We had the chance to interview AJ Dungo and wanted to share with you his beautiful work.
Can you introduce yourself ?
My name is AJ Dungo and I’m an illustrator.
Can you tell us more about your book “In Waves” ?
I wrote a book called “In Waves” which is published by Nobrow Press. It’s a graphic novel that intertwines two narratives; one historical and one personal. It’s essentially about love, loss, and the history of surfing.
What inspires your art ?
That adage “reality is stranger than fiction” always rung true to me. I love real stories, real people. I always gravitate towards documentaries, journalism, and biographies. There’s something inherently relatable but simultaneously absurd about a true story. But a lot of things inspire me. I love film, I love surfing, I love skateboarding. Comics, music, books, travel, food, the list goes on and on. I guess the common denominator in all of this is people.
What does the ocean brings to your life ?
So much. I think it’s a place of refuge. A place to escape. A place to spend time with others or a place to spend time alone. It’s a place that makes you feel in tune with nature. It’s a place that makes you think. A place of pure fun and wonder.
In your book, you talk about surf icons Duke Kahanamoku & Tom Blake. What do they incarnate to you ?
They’re obviously cultural icons that shaped the world of surfing but the relationship between the two is what really intrigued me. It was one of reverence and admiration. I needed a link to mirror a relationship in my own life that had that sort of importance for my graphic novel to make sense. Tom was enamored with Duke and his surfing prowess, the way that I was infatuated with the first love of my life and all the things that make her so magical to me.
What are your favorite places to surf ?
My home break is Bolsa Chica state beach. It’s close to my home but its convenience isn’t the only appealing thing about it. It’s where I learned to surf and I love how reliable the spot is. It’s always a good time there, super laid back, relatively spacious compared to some claustrophobic breaks with massive crowds, and the people are generally mellow and kind.
South Bay is super fun, so many great spots from the Aves to Manhattan to Porto. Had a ton of memorable sessions in that area. I really love surfing San O and Trestles, it’s about an hour and change away from me but it’s such a treat to surf this break. Always worth the trip.
What is your home design style ?
All my friends are at that point in their lives where they’re getting married and furnishing their first homes and I can’t wait to join them. If I had my own home, I would definitely keep it really minimal with pieces that mean a lot to me.
What are your favorite decoration pieces in your interior ?
As an artist, I have so many pieces from other artist friends that I want to hang up. My favorite is a print from the artist Steve Powers that I picked up at Espo’s Art World in Brooklyn. It has an image of a Jersey barrier with a bunch of skidmarks from skaters doing wallies on it and the text reads “There’s a place for all of my friends.”
What does Salty Home represent for you ?
Your collections are truly special. I think you all have captured the fun and creativity of surfing and implemented it into your beautifully crafted pieces.
Are you working on some upcoming projects ?
I have another book project in the works but honestly I’m just trying to surf as much as possible!
Thank you so much to AJ Dungo for answering our questions and sharing his inspiring work. We invite you to follow his adventures on Instagram and shop his comic book, In Waves. It will make your mind travel and will be the perfect addition to your surfboard coffee table by Salty Furniture as a beautiful decor surf coffee table book.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q.1 What inspires you for writing books?
A. That adage “reality is stranger than fiction” always run true to me. I love real stories, real people. I always gravitate towards documentaries, journalism, and biographies. But a lot of things inspire me. I love film, I love surfing, I love skateboarding. Comics, music, books, travel, food, the list goes on and on. I guess the common denominator in all of this is people.
Q.2 Are furniture from salty home best for a surfer's home interior?
A. At Salty Home We want to bring our way of living, into your home and give you the opportunity to always connect with the Ocean, no matter where you are. Ocean themed surfboard coffee tables and pacific tide clocks are best for an ocean theme home interior.