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Artist: Richie Braham

13-Nov-2012

Artist: Rich Braham
Brand: Whale Submarine
Place: Newquay, Cornwall, UK

Richie Braham grew up in the Midlands, an area comprising central England and more known for the start of the industrial revolution than for any type of surf culture.

Gentle, quiet spoken and talented Rich is now based in Newquay, Cornwall and invited us in to his new workshop/shopfront for a chat and look around.

Rich remembers his teens vividly, taking every opportunity to drive the four and half hours south west to Newquay in the county of Cornwall, a peninsula bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea and to the south by the English Channel.

To Rich, Newquay in the summers always felt like he had gone abroad with the clear blue water, rolling green hills and quaint little villages, it felt more like the Mediterranean than a part of England.

This is also where Richie first learnt to surf, it wasn’t until his late teens that he first tried it but once he’d spent a week in the water and taught himself the basics, he was hooked for life.

This new found love would have a profound impact on his life and shifted his priorities immediately.

During this time he was working for his Uncle who ran a plumbing and heating business back home and Rich knew if he worked hard he could make a good income and save for his first overseas adventure. By this time he was so hooked on surfing that any spare moment he couldn’t surf he’d be watching surf movies such as One California Day,

The Seedling and Litmus by Andrew Kidman. Inspired by the colours, the vibe and the lifestyle he put his plan to one day move to Newquay aside and began a seven year long adventure, traveling the globe in search of waves and good times coming back home occasionally to work again for his very understanding Uncle and to save for his next trip.

His first trip overseas probably had the greatest influence on him. He was staying on the beautiful island of Maui with another Uncle who had a small business of making bespoke longboard skateboards under his house whilst also designing his own logos and artwork. This lifestyle appealed to Rich and as an artist with a degree in Graphic Arts imagined himself one day doing something similar on his own.

Even though Rich had persevered at College to go onto Uni to obtain a degree in Graphic Art, he could never see himself getting a job in London, sitting in an office all day designing business cards so when he came home from one of his trips to work for his Uncle in the Midlands, he decided this would be the last time and when he saved up enough money again he finally moved down to Newquay in 2010 on a permanent basis.

He first settled in by getting himself a job in the local Quiksilver store and then set about to make his dreams come true. Inspired by his Uncle in Maui, Rich started putting his artistic and graphic design skills to use and developed pieces of art he wanted to print on t-shirts and sell online.

He soon discovered however that having t-shirts printed for you was very limiting as you had to order minimums, the screen costs were expensive and the mark up on his sales weren’t very good.

So Rich decided to splash out and buy himself a little screen printing set-up and started printing tees in his kitchen. This of course, wasn’t practical for long and soon Rich found a small run down shop front with a workshop out the back in a little hidden away art precinct called Wesley Yard in the centre of town. Here already was a hub of artistic and cool activity including Elsie and her handmade girls wetsuits and neoprene swimwear called Neon, Will Eastham a local shaper making W.E. Surfboards, Beaumont’s Classic Motorbikes, Zoe’s soft furnishings and of course Dave’s Barber Shop.

Rich fits right in to this perfect little community and not only will he be opening his shop in early Feb 2013 (when the weather gets a little more bearable) he has also set-up the workshop out the back up as his living quarters.

We look forward to seeing our good friend Rich when we come back to Newquay next summer to see how his shop is going and how he’s settled in to Wesley Yard.

Check out Rich’s new website at www.whalesubmarine.com or contact him direct.

 

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