Hula: The artist who uses a surfboard as a studio

17 September 2015• Written by Zoe Dickens

From Banksy to Bambi, graffiti-style art bringing beauty to otherwise dull urban landscapes is nothing new. Now Hawaiian artist Hula is putting a unique nautical spin on the trend by creating stunning murals on dilapidated coastal buildings and sunken ships – using a surfboard as a studio.

Hula sets to work on one of his giant murals

Hula, whose real name is Sean Yoro, specialises in giant figures who appear to be rising from the waterline or are drawn at an angle as if swimming. As a nod to his heritage, these figures often feature traditional tribal markings and can see him balancing on his paddleboard for hours to complete them.

Originally working with paint on wooden boards from his New York studio, it wasn’t long before the self-taught artist went in search of adventure and combined his surf skills with his passion for art to bring a little culture to otherwise unlovely spots.

Hula's murals brighten up dilapidated and abandoned coastal areas

However, those looking to find an original Hula will have to be pretty eagle-eyed. The murals are accessible only by water and, because he does not always have permission to create them, the artist cannot disclose their exact locations. However, he is currently in talks to create a bespoke piece for the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn.

“My greatest source of inspiration is my environment,” Hula told Boat International. “Growing up in Hawaii taught me to appreciate my surroundings and adapt to them. I spent most of my time in the ocean, so naturally water inspired elements show up throughout my body of work.”

While you may not be able to take one of these large-scale murals on board with you, Hula’s smaller canvasses may be the perfect piece of fine art to display on your superyacht – or you could even commission one of the coolest yacht paint jobs to date.

Visit to find out more.

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