An interview with artist Bree Poort

Last updated:

Born and raised in Southern California, it was at a young age when Bree Poort cultivated her love for the ocean, surfing, and art. Family nights were often spent beachside by the campfire after a full day of surf and sun.

Many days were also spent along her mother’s side watching her mother paint and offering Bree tips and techniques for creating art. Bree comes from a loving home and family that encouraged her to be hard-working, creative, and kind.

We caught up with Bree to discuss surf, art and life.

Hey Bree! How’s your day going?

Hey hey, my day is going really well, just woke up, and getting ready for the day, but I’m gonna say it’ll be a good day.

Tell us a little bit about your path to artistry?

I come from a family that is pretty artistic, everyone with their different talents, but I really valued my mother’s talent for oil painting. I learned techniques from her, and once I got to college, I studied Graphic Design. On my last semester there I started a video content creation business with a friend and we got our hands on a drone. The first flight and photos, I was obsessed. Literally, obsessed. I couldn’t get the images out of my head of how beautiful our work is from a few hundred feet up. I had to paint it, but all I knew was oil paints. I explored that until frustration and wanted a more fluid approach to paint this perspective. I landed on resin, just with growing up around it and fixing boards, I started experimenting (pretty badly) with that.

Where do you get your inspiration and how do you stay motivated?

My main inspiration comes from being in the ocean itself. Surfing is a sure way to get my creative juices flowing, along with an idea that the more awareness of this beautiful ocean I bring, the more people will take care of them. I am motivated to encourage cleaning up the beach (if you see plastic, take it out on your way out), stay away from single-use plastics, and bring your own cutlery out to eat to avoid it. My inspiration rarely comes from my drone photos anymore as I can access drone photos from around the world now with Instagram, but I still love to drone as a hobby. And of course, the paintings itself motivate me to paint more, because if they sell, I can have more money to buy more materials (yay!).

What’s your morning routine like? Do you have any rituals that ease you into the creative zone?

I am in my morning routine right now. I wake up, juice my morning celery juice, and just relax in bed for a little while longer. Then I get my coffee made and sit at my computer to answer emails, fulfil orders, etc. Every day is different, but usually, I’ll leave the computer to get a workout in at my local gym and come back to hop in the studio. Because I am really immersed in resin for an hour or two I like to shower after, so it’s perfect for after the gym. I would say after 4 years of this, when the paintings are just in their draft phases, working out or getting outside helps clear my mind to start new works, and when they are almost complete that inspires to me complete them because I’m so excited for the end result. I am very much a creative person that wants instant gratification with my own creative work.

Do you have any creative people you strongly admire?

I have noticed my admiration (or inspiration), ebbs and flows between people I might not even know the names of. It can be a piece of art I see that is new to my eyes that will madly inspire me, or my mom seeing her paint beautiful oceanscapes. Right now though I would have to say CJ Henry (Australian working out of New York) inspires me with her approach to art shows, and Nina Brooke (from London), who really does aerial works well.

If you grew up far from the ocean and never heard of surfing what do you think you’d be doing now?

Haha, good question, I may give a dry answer. I would hope to still be doing something creative, and I would hope I would have found the ocean one way or another. But I have no way to answer that because I can’t imagine a life without this path.

Do you have a mantra or words of wisdom to live by?

“Just Do It” it has always been my mantra. If I get an idea in my head of something I want to do or create, I follow that mantra. When I was going through a phase of depression and Didn’t want to surf or paint or get out of bed, I followed that mantra until I felt better. When something in your head is wanting to come to life, follow that mantra. Especially if you think a year from now where you could be if you picked up that seed and ran with it, I find that pretty motivating. 

For a life mantra that I love,

“Leave it (whatever or whomever that may be) better than you found it.”

Thanks, Bree, how can people connect with you to find out more?

I would say my lifestyle/art Instagram @justbree or my more professional one @breepoort.
Otherwise my website, oh! And I just opened a showroom studio space in my hometown of San Clemente, more info on my insta!