( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Silver’s Company H.A.N.D Paint Co. is Putting Smiles on People’s Faces Through Kindness and Helping our Oceans Through Art
ENSPIRE Contributor: Alexandra Rivera
Alex Silver is the artist behind H.A.N.D Paint Co and has always been creative. First, Silver started off as a firefighter in San Luis Obispo County and loved working to help others in the community. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2012, followed by a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from Palmer College Chiropractic West in 2017. During the COVID-19 Pandemic Silver found an urgency for a creative outlet that incorporated his two loves, surfing and connection. The California native then created his artwork to serve as a daily reminder to have a nice day.
His company H.A.N.D. stands for Have A Nice Day and was created to affect others positively. It was made apparent to Silver during the pandemic that people need to think positively more than ever. Whether it was smiling at a stranger or complimenting someone for their help, small acts of kindness can make someone’s day. In the Summer of 2021, Silver even donated a piece of his work to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s silent auction to support their presence at the LA Art Show.
ENSPIRE talked with Silver about his art and stylistic choices.
How did you become passionate about environmental conservation?
Having grown up playing in the ocean as early as I can remember, being passionate about environmental conservation was second nature. It was instilled into us by the older generation surfers that we surfed with. As a lifelong surfer, I’ve witnessed the negative impacts non-biodegradable plastics have had on our ocean ecosystem around the world.
After heavy rains and huge tide swings, the beaches and oceans are completely littered with trash. Our environment is changing right before our eyes and our relationship to it needs to shift with it as well. If we can stay proactive and diligent with our conservation efforts, then we are giving future generations the opportunity to experience the gift of nature that we all have experienced.
How did you come up with the idea to repurpose recycled and broken surfboards into art?
It all started during the pandemic lockdown when nobody could leave their homes. Every day I was painting, probably as a way to make sense of what was happening in the world; but at a certain point, I ran out of canvas and materials to paint on. Having a handful of broken surfboards in my backyard, I decided to start painting on them as a way to continue my creative pursuit.
However, I quickly realized that there was much more meaning to it than just finding a new surface to paint on. Using recycled and broken surfboards as a medium to paint on honors the life of the surfboard by restoring its purpose for living. Each surfboard serves as a physical representation of a greater idea or message that I strive to live by, such as “be kind to all, treat others with respect, and to love yourself.”
As a lifelong surfer is there anything else besides your artwork that you are doing to protect the ocean?
I’m a firm believer that even the smallest amount of conservation efforts on a consistent basis compound to a greater effect. Every Friday morning, a small group of friends and I walk down to our local beach to pick up trash up and down the beach. Even though it feels like there’s not enough trash to pick up in the world, filling these bags up still makes a difference on a local level.
What is your creative process when making a new board?
That’s a great question- the creative process usually begins with choosing what surfboard will be next in line to paint. The shape of the board, the length, and the structural integrity are all taken into account during this selection process. Once the board is chosen, it is time to decide what colors I’ll be using and in what order I’ll be layering them. Following the color palette selection, I ask myself “what do I want this board to represent, what is a positive message that is meaningful to me that I would like to share with others?” After these important details are figured out, the creative journey begins.
Do you have a piece that is your favorite out of your Surfboard Series?
Another great question- every piece is so uniquely different from one another with color and meaning, it’s really hard to pick a favorite as I truly love them all equally. I will say, however, that with every new board created, more detail with new artistic expression emerges. What is truly amazing is seeing the artistic evolution of the surfboard pieces from when I first began to where we are now.
With surfing in his blood and the passion to spread positivity, Alex Silver is creating pieces that mix both. He spreads positivity through small acts of kindness and helps with ocean conservation by reusing old surfboards in this art.