Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Interview with Frank Cubillos

The description on his blog reads, Born in South America to a cuban mom and colombian dad. I caught my first wave at Point Dume at the age of 14. I married the girl of my dreams. Three grommets later, I'm still surfing. This is a place where I post my art.

Something about that description alone hooked me from day one. A lot of us faithfully read Patchie's Hideout, and I often look forward to that authentic refuge. You can always find a new creation - a painting, photos... along with something about surfing, and very good music. I've learned of quite a few new bands, thanks to Patch. He's a source of creative inspiration, and he is a warm and well respected person.

Let's get to know more about Frank Cubillos.

How did you get the nickname Patchie?

Patchie came from my childhood nickname "Pachito", a friend heard my mom call me that and the name Patch stuck.

I can tell that music plays a very important part in your life. Your blog offers such a wide variety of different styles of music. Where do you think your love of music comes from? And, have you ever played an instrument or been in a band?

From an early age, I remember my dad playing bongos, my mom and dad dancing, an uncle playing guitar, people singing enjoying the night. I think my love of music comes from hearing and seeing these people enjoy that warm festive mood. I grew up listening to salsa, vallenato and cumbias from Colombia and danzón from Cuba. Then my aunt, who was only five or six years older than me went through phases of disco, rock and pop. That led to the foundation of my love of a variety of music.

I was never really in a band, I just jammed with friends. I was a self taught drummer, playing from Jr. High through High school, eventually selling the drums in college to be able to go to Mexico on a surf trip. I currently have three congas and I play around the house on occasion.

What music have you listened to today?

Ruben Gonzalez.

I love your description on your blog - tell us how you met the girl of your dreams.

A friend of mine asked if I was at the gas station filling up the car at the gas station that was down the street from where I lived, not really sure if I was or not, I said, I think so. He then mentioned that a really attractive girl said that I was cute. This was all in high school BTW. A day passed and he showed me the girl he was talking about.

Once I saw her I was floored. I got to know her and we dated, stayed together through college, got married and have three kids. What's funny, is that, she later told me I wasn't the actual person she saw that day at the gas station.

I loved that in your interview for Santos SurfArt you said that your career highlight was drawing with your children. How old are your 3 children and are they interested in surfing, music and art?

Yes, I've been lucky to have won awards in juried competitions, been selected to open juried shows by acclaimed artists, a couple of my paintings are in esteemed collections of people and corporations, but by far the greatest artistic highlight is painting with my three kids (12, 9 and 6). The whole process is genuine, they're very expressive. They do like music too, the two boys play piano, one is learning guitar.

My daughter (the youngest) will be taking piano next year, As for surfing, all three were introduced to surfing really young. The boys get white water reforms on their boards, my daughter caught her first wave with me on an eleven foot tanker in Waikiki two summers ago and she really enjoyed it at that time. This summer she just wanted to jump through the waves with me.

sold at the California Wildlife Center auction in August

Something I like about your blog is that you often have a painting or photographs, and then tie it in perfectly to music and/or a story about your surf sesh that day. Do you typically surf first and then create?

Yes, usually I surf first, then I create, sometimes I am lucky and have something in my vault of work that I can use. The photos are almost always taken that day.

Who and what are your current sources of inspiration?

My wife and kids, the people around me, surfing, a song I might hear. In a general sense, I get inspiration from all of these, but it can easily come from a cup of coffee and a stroll down the street.

How is your art evolving at the moment?

Originally I was inspired to create images that showed the triumph of the human soul over tragedy and sorrow, depicting signs of hope, self expression and symbolism. I think I am still attempting to achieve that, but really I'm focusing on the process of creating, I am producing a lot of work, a sketch and drawing several times a week, sometimes daily, basically it's an art work out, exploring happy accidents, seeing where that moment takes me.

Hula 5

Hula 6

What is your creative space like?

I paint in my garage, my back yard or my office/studio. The office has a computer with loads of kids homework spread all over. The garage or the back yard is where I do most of my painting. I'm not a plein air painter who paints California landscapes, but I enjoy painting outside so I prefer the back yard.

Tell us about the first wave you caught at Point Dume when you were 14. Were you hooked from that point on?

My first wave, like many other firsts, are embedded in my memory. I was with Des and a couple other friends, we took some punishment for several days at Zuma, going over the falls and getting pummeled, we stayed with it though. We were on spring break so we made an effort to get as much attempts in as we could. Then one of those days, a very small spring swell at Point Dume it happened. A small clean pigdog right and it was over.

What is the most fun surf trip you've ever had?

There were some fun ones when I was younger, total debauchery, no money, little food, a feast would be eating from the local panaderia - what made it great was the surf. My best surf trip was surfing the east cape, a secluded spot at 8-10 feet.

What is your favorite surfboard?

My daily drivers, as of late, have been my 10-0 Harbour H3 and the 6-9 Quad that Ted Gallup from six foot and perfect shaped for me.

Do you collect anything?

Lately, it feels like it, we have lots of soccer balls in our backyard.

What is your favorite home cooked meal?

I love a good cuban meal. My favorite would be 'Chuletas de Puerco' (Pork Chops), marinated in citrus juice with a generous amount of garlic mojo sauce, sauteed onions and herbs, white rice, black beans and platanos. With a cuba libre or some sangria. I think I just drooled.

What are the top 3 concerts you've ever been to?

Jam, X, Specials.

Thank you Frank - it has been an honor.


Santos SurfArt said...

Yeah!!!!! Frank's the best!
Love from Brasil,

Anonymous said...

I first met Frank when I was in 10th grade and he was in 12th. I had been surfing for a little while and when the 'cool' 12th grader asked me if I wanted to ditch school and catch a surf, how could I turn down the invitation? - We lost touch between 1987 and 1995 but hooked up for a surf in late 1995. Been surfing together ever since.
As a friend of Frank, I can say with all sincerity that he is one of the most inspiring people in my life. We discuss our different views and find time to appreciate each others. A great guy.

- does this sound like a Eulogy?

(and yes I would rank the sesh at Nine Palms as one of the best in my life as well)


Jessica said...

I am seriously blown away by this interview. I am hooked. I am adding Patchie's Hideout to my news reader immediately after this comment.

Amazing art and stories, Jamie thank you for introducing me to Frank Cubillos!

Georges ABOLIN said...

Inspiring artwork, great interview, thanks !

seamouse said...

Awesome stuff. Interview wednesdays just get better and better. Thanks Jamie.

pushingtide said...

Ol' Patchies was one of the first, if not the first, site that I read daily. You said it perfectly, everything ties together with his posts, the surf, art and music.

Go Patch!!

Surfsister said...

Thanks, Jamie, for catching up with Frank. I read his blog daily, often surf his home break and have yet to meet him. Now that I think of it, I haven't met you either! We need a surf bloggers session in the water!

Felipe Siebert said...

Patchie's artwork is incredible...

warm jet said...

miss ya patchito!
looking for lefts i believe?
nice interview.
the man really puts the work into each post.

23 Breaths said...

Great art work!
Great blog!
but you need a mat in your quiver;)

clayfin said...

always learning a bit more about Patch - good stuff! Jamie I think you have a future as a journalist, I like the way this was put together.

Denise said...

Love Frank's work. I do not own any of his surf paintings. I do own 3 originals. One is a vase with roses signed by Frank for my birthday. The other's are woman with guitar and rose and other is a womans face. Does anyone know how I would go about pricing these paintings. I want to have them insured. Thanks. Also, where could I purchase his latest surf paintings?

Patch said...

Hi Denise, Jamie forwarded your question. You can reach me at fcubillos [at] socal dot rr dot com or go to patchies-hideout.

I hope to hear from you.