Young surfer uses inspiration of ocean for his artwork
A manager of Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream grew up on Sanibel, witnessing the pure beauty of the island, while living in the Bailey Homestead.
“It was quite the experience. Nobody gets to experience that. My mother married the son of Francis, Patrick Bailey, and I lived there for 12 years, until they sold it,” Shane Antalick said. “I never wanted to move out of that house because we had all that lush land. It was really cool growing up there. It was such a prime location. It was the oldest house on Sanibel. I had all my childhood memories there. Who really gets to grow up in the Bailey Homestead? Nobody. I was the last person to live there.”
The property, Antalick said is very different now because the swing sets, ropes and forts that they built have been removed. He said it’s hard to go there because it is not the same as he remembers from his childhood.
When trying to pick out one of his fondest memories, the 22-year -old said it was hard to pick just one. He really enjoyed running around the yard, building forts, seeing all the vegetation, and learning how to skimboard when the property flooded.
“I moved in there when I was 3 or 4, so all my memories start there pretty much,” Antalick said.
While living at the Bailey Homestead, Antalick went through some hurricanes, such as Hurricane Charley. At the time he was 7 years old.
“I was there for the first day, Pat stayed, Francis’ son, and my mom worked for the city, the planning department. They moved us out to town (near Bell Tower). We were there for a week or two and Pat stayed on the island, but I was too young, they didn’t want me staying out there,” he said.
More than a decade ago, Antalick began surfing around the island, a passion that has remained over the years.
“If you practice enough you get good at anything. My parents would drive all over for contests and I would place. I love doing it and I still do it to this day . . . placing in championships and regionals,” he said.
His surfing takes him all over the east coast and up to the outer banks. When he moved to Jacksonville he began competing in upper levels.
“I just qualified for nationals, which is in the outer banks,” Antalick said.
The young surfer does weight lifting as well as tries to practice as often as he can because the waves differ from one area to the other, as well as 10 feet in one direction or the other.
“If you are surfing at Blind Pass, the waves are completely different at Tween Waters,” he said. “You just surf a lot. You get out there and practice all different kinds of waves and conditions, whether it’s really windy, or calm out.”
During the winter months, Antalick said he is out surfing more often around the island because of the waves. If the waves are flat around Sanibel and Captiva, he will head to the east coast for the weekend to practice.
The “feeling” of surfing is what has kept his interest over the years.
“It’s a very free feeling. Every wave is different. It’s all mother ocean. Surfing is the ocean and you never know what you are going to get. And surfing you get to travel to all of these lush beaches and vegetations and cool trails. Surfing brings a different vibe than other sports because you get to travel and visit other places,” Antalick said.
In 2012, Antalick decided to go away to college, leaving the island he knew so well behind, to attend Florida State College at Jacksonville. He earned his associate’s degree with honors. In the fall he will begin attending Florida Gulf Coast University to pursue a degree in art and education to become a professor of fine arts.
“I’m a competitive surfer and I grew up on the barrier island of Sanibel, so I kind of got into it from spending every day at the beach. I just grew up surfing and I found a love through traveling and the ocean to my art. My art is ocean based. Everything is pretty much the ocean – waves, surf,” Antalick said of why he chose that particular career path. “It kind of translated into how can I do this?”
Before diving into art, he began exploring his artistic abilities through taking photographs. Antalick had the opportunity to spend time at the Rauschenberg house due to his best friend parent’s, who are professors at FGCU. He said his friend’s dad worked for Rauschenberg on Captiva.
“We would go out there like every other weekend. We got to hang out there and see all the art that he was working on. It was really cool,” he said. “I got a lot of experience with art even before I knew I was really into art.”
The artist loves using acrylics, wash and colored pencils when creating his artwork. When working on his next masterpiece, he uses his mind to create the images because he surfs all the time and has a very photographic memory.
After attending the Cypress Lake Center for the Arts in high school, the love for his new-found craft took hold, especially after his teachers helped define his art. His love continued to grow when he went to Jacksonville for school.
While in Jacksonville he entered a couple of art shows and had his art showcased in galleries.
“I sold some stuff and said, ‘hey I might be kind of good at this,'” Antalick said, laughing.
Sponsors for his surfing also assisted in publicizing some of his art. His sponsors include Flo Grown Clothing, Hammer Traction Pads, Abundant Life Surf Boards and Pinocchio’s.
Although he has not branched out around home yet, he was given the opportunity to create a new T-shirt for Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream.
“This was my first real thing since I moved back,” he said pointing to the design that graces the T-shirts.
The young artists started doodling and playing around with backgrounds and by the third try the new T-shirt design evolved.
The business logo, as well as a flat ocean, volleyball, animal crackers and coconut palms are all incorporated into the design.
“I was really stoked of it turning into a shirt. Out of all the things I have done, it’s never been turned into a product of that volume. That was really cool for me, especially since working here and being the manager and having people buy them and ask about them,” Antalick said. “It’s a local design, which I think a lot of people will find a local connection with.”
Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.