Call To The Wild – Design Brief :: SRQ Magazine Article by Britt Mattie

Through troubled waters, Dominiq Art pays homage to nature with surfboards of endangered animal species.

Artist and activist Dominika Zabczyk. All photographs by Wyatt Kostygan

Five mermaid surfboards make up the ‘Tribute to Nature’ series, marvelous creatures and the environment they represent: the elephant and the white tiger on the ground; The Butterfly by the Sky; The Whale Shark at sea; and last, but not least, Black Marble, symbolizing the Earth and “the beauty beneath its surface – with some environmental imbalances,” explains Dominika Zabczyk, the artist behind Dominiq Art. The common thread between these animals? They all ended up on a notorious endangered species list. Whether it’s habitat loss or degradation, overhunting and poaching, pollution and climate change, Zabczyk doesn’t care to ride the wave until those creatures are officially extinct. She therefore captured them, metaphorically, in oil paint on reinvented surfboards. The concept began to crystallize when she began to playfully draw on the boards. “I have always been inspired by nature and animals – their diversity, the patterns on their bodies, the vibrant colors. I knew I wanted to translate that majestic beauty and wisdom into paintings,” she says. “The collection edition is a reflection on the beauty of our world and a gentle reminder that if we don’t act, entire ecosystems will crumble.” The surfboards used for Zabczyk’s paintings also had a chance to survival – saved from disposal or abandonment and given a second chance to create a powerful message.


“I wanted boards with a soul,” she says. “I knew for this project I needed real boards that were surfed and loved by their human owners – encompassing stories and energy that only used boards have.” Zabczyk sourced used surfboards and the repair expertise of Juan Rodriguez, a renowned and extremely talented local shaper from One World Surf Designs. Since these platforms had seen better days, it was essential to repair them before painting them. “The boards were definitely in need of repair and a lot of love – their surfaces still showed bumps and imperfections, but not perfectly smoothed on purpose.”

Zabczyk checks the tides on the southern end of Anna Maria Island with his soulful recycled surfboards


The medium was a challenge to work with, she admits, but eventually the canvas took shape so she could layer her immortal subjects. With the boards prepped with a solid black base paint, Zabczyk sketched the outlines, then painted the rotating animals, explaining that it takes days at a time to dry between coats. “I painted elephants on Mondays, sharks on Tuesdays, butterflies on Wednesdays, etc. “, she explains. “I could see how they slowly started building the layers. All in all, it took me about four months to complete the series. The hardest part, she admits, is the butterfly, which needed the most pigment to achieve a solid color, giving it that 3D look but without leaving brush marks. “I think this one was close to 20 layers, but, to be honest, after 15 I stopped counting.”

Shop the 'Tribute to Nature' series at, @dominiqart


During this time, she touched up the stringer of the bodies of the boards with a gold line to symbolize the line of harmony, balance and connection between humans and nature – an invisible bond, she says, that holds us all together. desire. Tribute to Nature’s portraits deliberately show half of the animal’s face or body, because we, says Zabczyk, are the other half, and together we create a whole. Then, a casting of epoxy resin makes it possible to obtain a finish and a very shiny reflection. The eyes become piercingly realistic, almost alive, thanks to the shining armor. “When you look into their eyes, you will see your own reflection, a reminder that humans and animals are equal counterparts on this planet,” she says. “I get goosebumps every time I look the elephant in the eye and put my hand on its trunk. These animals hold a special place in my heart. I painted them straight from my soul.

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