Every day, Jake Jones scours the internet for used surfboards. But he’s not heading to the beach—he’s heading to his driveway. That’s where the graphic designer transforms beat-up boards into bold works of art.
“The most challenging part is removing the fiberglass,” he says. “There’s a lot of dust and noise. But once I get my palette ready to go, I’m excited to start carving. I really like the idea of bringing things back to life.”
A California native who’s always been around water (“my parents were hippies,” he jokes), Jones moved to Naples in 1989 and worked as a newspaper illustrator. “I’ve done computer art for a long time, but this lets me get my hands dirty and takes me back to my roots as an artist.”
The father of two, who also resurrects taxidermic fish, uses automotive paint. “Some of the candy colors and pearls and iridescents used for custom cars really lend themselves to sea life,” he says. “Most of my art is used indoors, but this type of paint means it can withstand the elements.”
Jones especially enjoys creating legacy pieces, he says. “Someone will be cleaning out after their parents pass away and say, ‘Hey, I found this old surfboard that my dad handed down to me. Can you do something with it?’ It’s a tree of life kind of thing, which makes the piece even more meaningful.” (www.freshfishgallery.com)