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Gemma O'Brien - Volcom's Newest Ambassador

Hey there! My name is Gemma O'Brien and I am an artist living in Sydney. I am SO stoked and excited to be the latest Volcom Women's Ambassador.  The brand has such a positive vibe and ethos and a handful of amazing and talented brand ambassadors who I'm honoured to be joining. As I am so often a lone rider working freelance in my studio, it's great to be joining the wider Volcom family and I am expecting my work to be fuelled by this shared creative spirit and the experiences along the way. So here's a little background about me. I grew up in Sunny Queensland … briefly on the Gold Coast when as a baby would eat sand and developed a serious love for sunshine and salt water. I then spent a few years in a mystical small town called Mt Glorious in a three-storey house that my Dad built. Here, I got a good dose of mountain air and drew pictures of my pet chook Rosie, before spending my primary and high school years in the heart of Brisbane. After school I began studying to become a lawyer but soon realised my heart longed to be creative and I moved to Sydney and began studying Communication Design at the College of Fine Arts. Six years on and I now have my dream job of being a full time artist / commercial illustrator. My specialty is typography … working with words and phrases and bringing them to life in ink, pen or vectors for commercial clients around the world. I love working with my hands and often start my projects by drawing on paper, even if the final output is digital.  I can honestly say I love what I do, despite the lack of sleep and pressure of deadlines, at the end of the day I am what I create and this will be ever changing and that idea excites me. I have created custom typography and lettering for clients including The New York Times, Kirin Cider, Monster Children, Smirnoff, Vodafone and more. I also incorporate teaching into my practice- I run hand lettering workshops around Australia teaching budding typographers some tricks of the trade. In between commercial commissions, speaking engagements and workshops I create personal pieces and artworks that often centre around language/ illustration of ideas surrounding memory, experience, relationship. I love the way the look of words is linked to culture, experience and memory and find inspiration in the signage of small towns, song lyrics, old record and book covers. I also love to travel, and most times when I fly I illustrate fun puke puns onto the airsick bags. You can check them all out here: I live and work in my attic studio in Redfern. Most of the time it is a big creative mess. I have lots of design books, a million brushes and pencils and have mastered the art of finding plants to fill my space that require minimal attention: ferns, succulents, cacti and zanzibar gems. I am definitely a night owl and usually stay up well past midnight drawing. I use the wooden slats that make up ceiling and walls of the attic to write ideas in chalk… it could be a quote, poem, or something I overhead in conversation that day, but it's mainly song lyrics. Some musicians who often have killer lyrics that take up a lot of wall space are  Father John Misty, Bright Eyes, Big Scary, Future Islands, Kurt Vile and LCD Sound System. When I'm not creating you'll find me outdoors swimming off the rocks at North Bondi or Gordon's Bay, riding my yellow bike about town and around Centennial Park, hiking in the Blue Mountains and generally getting up to mischief. Other random facts about me: I can play the cello, I have all my contacts in my phone saved as emojis, my 21st birthday was a come-as-your-favourite-font party, I can't do a cartwheel and I've been to Antarctica! And one more… my Internet persona "Mrs Eaves" was derived from the story of the 18th century type designer's mistress Sarah Eaves which was the inspiration for the design of a font of the same name in 1996. It's a big year ahead for me, so I am thrilled that i'll be riding alongside Volcom for all the adventures, parties, and creative projects that are waiting for me. Talk to you again soon!

With love, from India.

Namaste! On Monday, I officially moved to India! I’m here doing an exchange with my university and will be studying Fashion Textile Design at NIFT University with three of my girlfriends for six months. We are based in South Delhi in areas called Green Park and Hauz Khas, and will soon be travelling a whole lot. This week has gone so quickly! We have been spending time our friends from QUT (our university back in Brisbane) who have been living in South Delhi the last six months studying fashion – so we have been very lucky and have already been introduced to some very rad local spots! It’s been super fun hanging out with everyone in such a big group. It has definitely calmed my nerves and made my move a lot less scary by seeing so many familiar faces. We will be moving into the apartment that the girls have been living in the last six months next week – and it is amazing! The apartment is huge with beautiful marble floors and a killer view. Upstairs we have a rooftop that we can watch the Delhi sunrise and sunsets over the town, which I am way too excited about. The area is called Green Park, which a super chilled out and very beautiful suburb close to our university in the next town over called Hauz Khas. Last night we had a “house warming” to celebrate the transition of girls in the apartment, and celebrated with Budweiser and pizza. Not exactly Indian cuisine, but I definitely felt at home! Speaking of Indian cuisine – it’s epic. Most people here are vegetarian due to religion, so I am in chickpea and lentil heaven! Both Hauz Khas and Green Park are filled with awesome (and cheap) restaurants filled with spicy goodness. I’ll have to report back next week with my suggested Indian restaurants in the area. I tried my first ‘street food’ the other day outside of my uni by a very cute young boy. I don’t know what they call it, but it was a spicy chickpea/vegetable mix wrapped in Naan bread. I’m going to call it an Indian burrito. It cost me 10 Indian rupee (17 cents) and it was the best food I’ve had! Food poisoning free, too! So if you are brave, my suggestion is to eat as much street food as possible. Gotta be brave but! Other highlights of this week have been the Sarojini Markerts and the Dilli Haat Markets, both in South Delhi. Sarojini Markets are crowded fast-paced, filled with cheap, unique, quirky goods and very cheeky Indian salesman – a very fun vibe! I went a little bit nuts and bought a lot of rad stuff. I’m currently wearing my tiger print pants that cost me $1.90 actually. It is a little crowded and loud – so you need to stick close to your friends, hold tight onto your bags and be confident with bargaining. Dilli Haat Markets is a lot more chilled out. It costs 20 rupee (40 cents) to get in – which is very cheap to us, but that means only middle class people can enter. So the vibe is very relaxed and peaceful. I did go a little bit nuts with my buying here too. The markets are handmade craft goods, and each market stall left me in amazement of the Indian’s incredible artistic talent. It is a little more expensive here, but for the amount of work and skill put into the goods – it is by far worth it! I bought a few pieces of art for about $2 each, some clothing made of beautifully made fabric, silver jewelry and an engraved leather journal with very fancy paper for about $5.50. There are a lot of cool home wares that we will go back to buy soon too. Overall, we have had an epic first week in India! It has been a lot more cruisey, fun and not-very-scary-at-all than I imagined. All I have experienced is very friendly, kind hearted people who want to help and feed you as much as possible. Too be honest, I’m not sure if six months here will be enough to see and do everything this place has to offer. Peace out and Namaste!


Saturday saw the biggest Wild In The Parks to date in Melbourne. With a huge turnout, we commenced at 10:30am and had non stop hammers till the last gong. The juniors showed why skating is in safe hands and the opens sealed the deal with solid skating in each heat. This was the last qualifier for the year, the winners from all 3 divisions from across the country will go head to head in the Championship event at Waterloo in Sydney on November 22. See below why Melbourne could bring home the crown in 2014. Follow this link to watch the video edit from the day's events: Some kids totally flipped out at the free prizes. Girl Backside Board Slide – Hayley took first place with solid tricks like this Board Slide Penny Hippie Jump Comp 16 & Over winner Ben Currie with a Wallie 5-0 Berocca Eating Challenge Bibi Bradbury Frontside Nose Blunt Dean Johnston 5050's up the rail Maninja Stone Kelly 15 and under winner with a clean nose bone over the hip. Winners: Girls: Hayley Wilson Soph Rothfield 15 & Under: 1 - Maninja Stone Kelly 2 - Raphael Langslow 3 - Jesse Abraham 16 & Over: 1 - Ben Currie 2 - Mitch Robertom 3 - Matt D'Ambrosio Pics by Andrew Mapstone Vid by Britten Andrews Thanks to our supporting sponsors:


Good News: we've opened our latest Volcom Boardlab store, complete with over 20 Demo Boards for ya to try before ya buy.  Drop by 185 Pittwater Rd, Manly (adjoining the famous North Steyne Emporio Cafe), and take one for a spin. We proudly showcase the entire range from Volcom Australia alongside exclusive styles from the USA and Europe, as well as Sydney's largest offering of boards from the likes of Firewire and Hayden Shapes. True To This since 1991.

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Last Friday night we held a Volcom Womens Collective Art Show in Melbourne at Juddy Roller Studios Featuring artworks by Volcom Ambassadors Gemma O'Brien, Raych 'Pony Gold' Urquhart, Elle Green, Billie Edwards, and Volcom Artists Kimmy Jarvis & Kim Farrugia. Thanks Juddy Roller Studios, Corona and to all who came and partied! Photos by Life Without Andy.Full photo gallery at: Life Without Andy  

Boarding for Breast Cancer

To us, boarding isn’t just a weekend activity or momentary thrill. It brings us a sense of freedom, but more importantly a healthy and active lifestyle. These are also the building blocks of B4BC-Boarding for Breast Cancer, a non-profit foundation that brings awareness, education, support, and early-prevention to individuals and communities. Their ultimate vision is to celebrate life at every turn, both on and off a board and to inspire youth into positive styles of living. Today we get to talk to our snowboard team rider Elena Hight, who is a B4BC Snow Ambassador, along with Coco Ho, our surf team rider. How long have you been affiliated with B4BC? Elena: I have been an ambassador for B4BC for about 3 years. Out of all the organizations , why have joined this on? What attracted you to B4BC? Elena: I was attracted to B4BC because of their mission to not only educate young people about breast cancer and how it can effect them, but how B4BC believes that preventing breast cancer begins with living a healthy, active lifestyle. I truly believe that living a healthy, active lifestyle is the key to fighting so many diseases that can negatively effect our health, so I was very excited to partner with an organization that is actively spreading that message. Has breast cancer effected anyone close to you? Elena: I have been lucky enough to not have been effected by breast cancer in my lifetime yet. Name one female in the world you look up to/highly respect and why? Elena: I am extremely inspired by Serena and Venus Williams. They both overcame so much adversity to become the incredible worldwide known athletes they are today. I think its very admirable how they have taken their athletic careers to the next level and inspire women today on so many levels. Which female in the world do you look up to and highly respect? Coco: Thats so hard to choose! Beyonce and/or Sharapova for a lot of the same reasons- I love their style in what they do (simply the best!) Their ambition and passion for winning or being the best is present but not over bearing. They are stylish and super feminine when the time is right. They live their lives publicly in the most professional way. The perfect girls in my eyes.   Because no style makes you feel as good as one that’s created for a good cause, Volcom snow has partnered up with Boarding for Breast Cancer to offer our limited edition outerwear. Not only do these exclusive pieces include a unique B4BC print specifically designed to raise awareness, we will support your purchase by donating $1 to the foundation for each garment sold. It’s a simple way to make your day on the hill that much more meaningful.

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