Sketching the feeling of surf by MausJaus (interview)

Sketching the feeling of surf by MausJaus (interview)

Trying to draw the feeling of surfing on a blank piece of paper. Easier said than done. It’s even difficult to explain by words. Surfing is not just a sport or hobby. For most people it’s an amazing feeling and emotion. You just have to catch a wave and experience it yourself.

Inspired by the ocean and surf culture, Spanish artist Javier Mayor is creating some very nice art. Javier was so amazed by the feeling of surfing that he just had to draw his own experience on a piece of paper. Later on he got hooked by making these sketches of different surf scenes. So he decided to start a creative art project called MausJaus. Javier finds it difficult to explain what MausJaus is but it feels like a project in progress.

Javier has always been close to the ocean, because he lives in Gijón, at the north coast of Spain. There’s a lot of great surf over there. He also likes to catch some waves himself. When the surf is up, you’ll probably find him surfing the waves of Peñarrubia, which is one of his favorite breaks. So, Javier definitely knows what surfing is al about.

After seeing a great animation of one of his sketches, we got very interested in the work of MausJaus. Therefore, we’d like to thank Javier for sharing his inspiring story with us!

It is difficult to explain what MausJaus is. It is a project in progress


Can you tell something more about yourself? Who is the person behind MausJaus?
My name is Javier Mayor. I was born in 1977 in Gijón, a lovely town at the North coast of Spain. I’m a freelance architect, high school teacher and interior design professor. My wife has been a great support since the beginning. She encourages me and helps me to keep everything in order.




What’s MausJaus and when did you started with this concept?
It is difficult to explain what MausJaus is. It’s a project in progress. It started when I realized that I was sketching surf scenes in the margins of every plan or paper that was in my hands. I began to surf very late. I was 31 or 32 years old and I was the last of my friends who was surfing. So I decided to write a blog to explain my progress and feelings on those first sessions. As I have no camera I started trying to capture my feelings and my surf vision. Some drawings are inspired in personal feelings and others in pictures or videos that I find interesting. That’s how I began drawing surfing scenes.

Many people told me that I should show and share my drawings, and that’s how MausJaus began (I think it was 2013). Since that moment, I’ve been through a lot of experiences that I wouldn’t have imagined before. Although I have collaborated with international brands, the work I’ve enjoyed the most was the one I did for my friends of “Surf Solidario”, here in Gijón, refounding money for child cancer and Ela syndrome.



Expo “Reflejos”


Woodworks and vinyl-works


Collaborating posters for Walk for waves and Surf Solidario


Why the name MausJaus?
I needed a brand name when I decided to print shirts and hoods. Why MausJaus? It is a play on words. My friends call me Rata (“rat” or “mouse” in Spanish) since I was young. On the other hand, I’ve always admired the work of BauHaus. The name MausJaus comes from “Mouse House”, but is written as it sounds. I wanted to be anonymous and that’s why I’ve chosen a pseudonym.




How can you best describe your art?
Mmm… the thing is that I’m not pretending to make something related with any style. It’s difficult for me to describe it. I prefer when other people do it instead of me.

It isn’t figurative artwork. It’s something that’s part of me and comes off not by default. That’s why I’ve said that MausJaus is in progress, because it is changing at the same time I am doing it.



Woodworks and vinyl-works


“Romería” Woodwork


I’m not pretending to make something related with any style.
It is difficult for me to describe it. I prefer when other people do it instead of me.


How do you get inspired?
There are some days when I’m not inspired or I simply don’t want to draw anything. I only need a surf session and then I’m back again with my pencil.

Despite everything, surfing is not the only thing I like to draw, but at this point in my life I feel that surfing is what I want to sketch about. Other times, I’m listening to music while I’m driving and just some words can inspire me.

But nothing inspires me so much like facing an empty paper with a pencil or pen in my hand. That’s when I start to sketch.

If the question is referred to other surf artists, John Holm is my favorite. But also Andy Davis, Erik Abel, Jonas Claesson, Rick Griffin, Andoni Galdeano, Thomas Campbell… and many more.  There’s a lot of people with a lot of talent over there, but I’ve always tried to make my own kind of drawings and enjoy them, not thinking about if it’s a good style, nice technique, or if people would like them.



My surfboard


Sketches and wood cutting process


My father draw that cider-man 40 years ago and now I have done the surf version

My father has been an inspiration. I’ve always loved the way he used to paint. And my father-in-law. He’s not only an inspiration but an important helping hand as well, because he’s the one who always helps me cutting woods and indicating or suggesting me how to work with different materials. Both of them are self-taught, so they have much merit.



The great sculptures of my father-in-law

Where can people see your art in real-life?

Nowadays there are some of my works at the Slashboards shop in Salinas and in Caravan Bay in Gijón. Sometimes in galleries or bars in my local town.



Slashboards shop, Salinas.


Do you surf yourself and what’s your favorite spot?
Yes. I love it, although I’m quite a bad surfer. I think that surfing is addictive just because of this, you don’t need to be an expert and you can enjoy it since the first session, even if there are no good waves. The feeling of being inside nature is amazing. I’m fortunate because there are several spots close to my home, working on different swell conditions. My favorite one is Peñarrubia, an easy point break where I usually find long waves with soft slopes.


But nothing inspires me so much like facing an empty paper with a pencil or pen in my hand. That’s when I start to sketch




What would you recommend when visiting your hometown?
I’m in love with my hometown and the region of Asturias. You can find a lot of things to do here. Tourists usually enjoy the mountains, beach, astonishing landscapes and gastronomy. And if you come from another country you will sure enjoy our parties. Typical Spanish… isn’t it?




What would be your ultimate adventure?
Never now. Life is always surprising me, and I prefer that way instead of planning everything.



Barrel-hand t-shirts


What’s next for MausJaus?
I’m preparing an expo for a gallery in my hometown (Galería Adriana Suárez). There was an expo last year in this gallery and it was a very nice experience, so I’m willing to repeat it. I think MausJaus is an amusement and that’s why I’m always looking for something new. Now I’m investigating about sculpture, short films and preparing a children’s book too.



In Galería Adriana Suarez, Gijón


Are you interested in seeing more of MausJaus’ work? Then you definitely have to visit his website.


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