Visual artist and surfer, Gwen, from Amsterdam

Meet my lovely friend Gwendolyn Keasberry, a super talented visual artist! Make sure to check out her amazing work, including stunning portraits:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gwendolynkeasberry/ (@gwendolynkeasberry)

Hi Gwen. Where did you first learn to surf and how did it feel?

The first time I ever tried to surf was not very long ago. A friend of mine surfs and offered to give me a lesson. The conditions were perfect at Balangan beach that day. So that’s where I started falling off a board. A couple of months later I still keep falling off a board there; only now it is my own board. And Balangan is no longer the only place where I have fallen off my board. The list is growing. As for how it felt: The same as this morning when I fell flat on my face. It hurts, it is frustrating and it is worth it.

Where do you currently live?

On the Bukit Peninsula in Bali and in Amsterdam.

How would you describe your surfing style and preferences?

My only surf related preference at the moment would be not to fall off my board as often. Or at least fall off at the end of a ride, not in the middle.

What is your biggest passion (after surfing, of course 😉 ?

I love being a visual artist (mainly photography). Not after surfing, yet, but surfing definitely has a lot of potential to creep up the list of passions.

When and why did you choose your kind of lifestyle, rather than the regular working lifestyle?

I never made a conscious choice not to have a “regular“ working lifestyle. I guess my life is the product of who I am, combined maybe with a bit of luck in making some decisions that turned out to be good ones, as far as I can tell. I think figuring out if you do or don’t like where you are (and why) isn’t something simple. Let alone getting out of a situation you don’t like. So for me there is no chasing a dream and making it happen. There is only trying to be honest with myself and figuring out what to do next.

My sister once told my mother that I was somebody that likes to walk along the edge of a cliff. My mother agreed. I have no clue if they’re right about this, but I can say I don’t need a sense of security as much as I once thought I did. I guess this helps with not having a regular working lifestyle.

How do you support your surf-lifestyle financially?

Luckily photography/ being a visual artist is quite mobile as a job.

Do many of your friends also live a surf-lifestyle?

When I started surfing, I only knew the one person that shouted at me to paddle when I first tried. I’ve met a lot of people that surf here since then, some living here, some just passing through. I’m getting a glimpse into a great world with a lot of wonderful people.

How many times a year do you see your family/relatives?

I get to see my mother a bit more often than the rest of my family. Her job as a flight attendant lets her be “in the neighbourhood” every once in a while. But I’ll be going home to visit them for the summer. It’ll be too busy here during high season anyway and after getting to know surfing, I am really curious about the sea in my own country. It will never be as good (or warm) anywhere outside of Bali, but it’ll be interesting for sure!

What is your favourite quote, or do you have a motto that you live by?

I don’t really live by a motto, but a quote that comes to mind is: “Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better, even of their blunders,” quoted from Nietzsche, by Kirsten Dunst, starring as Mary in one of my favourite films, Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. The quote has nothing to do with anything… but watch that film if you haven’t, yet. It is great!

What would you recommend to somebody who wants to live like you?

Be honest with yourself. You’ll not have the same life as me; you’ll have your own and you’ll end up liking it. People shouldn’t be looking at the life of somebody else and want that over their own.

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