Artist Profile: Heather Brown

Oahu artist Heather Brown in surf art gallery

"I get inspired every single day in Hawai’i. Most of my inspiration is drawn from the absolute beauty of the Islands themselves and I just like to put my spin on it... It's my goal in life to make people happy, put on a smile, and feel the warmth of aloha in their hearts."

-Heather Brown

About Heather Brown

Growing up in a family of artists and artisans on the coast of Southern California, Heather Brown found her passions in both art and nature at a very early age. Eventually she moved to Hawaii where she put herself through school at the University of Hawai'i working a a boat captain and dive master. It was during this time that Brown fell in love with the natural beauty of Hawaii, and began to incorporate the island's landscapes and seascapes into her artwork. 

Heather Brown's Artistic Influences


As a student Heather focused on the "lost arts" of intaglio printmaking, silkscreen printing, linocuts, woodcuts, and etchings. This background in printmaking has had a significant influence on Heather Brown's artistic style. 

Intaglio printmaking involves creating an image by engraving or etching lines into a metal plate, which is then inked and printed onto paper. Relief printing such as linocut and woodcut, on the other hand, involves carving a design into a block of linoleum or wood, which is then inked and printed onto paper. Both techniques involve a process of carving or etching lines to create a design, which has inspired Brown's unique style of painting waves and water in her art. 

Additionally, the use of bold, bright colors in printmaking has influenced Brown's color palette, as seen in her vivid and eye-catching depictions of the natural beauty of Hawaii.

"With printmaking, every color is contained in bold lines, so when I transitioned to painting more it just made sense to me to paint with bold lines and beautiful colors." 

- Heather Brown


Heather Brown's passion for surfing has been central to her career as an artist. Despite growing up in California, Heather didn't begin surfing until she moved to Hawaii. While living in Waikiki Heather was drawn to the beauty of Hawaiian longboard surfing and decided to learn the sport. 

Heather quickly fell in love with the world of surfing and the surf lifestyle, and began spending as much time as she could in the ocean. Out of the water, she aimed to capture the joyful experience of surfing in her artwork. While Heather has since branched out into painting a variety of tropical subjects, her passion for "surf art" played a pivotal role in her career as an artist.

"After surfing and before I went to work I would sit at my easel and try to convey with my paintings what I had experienced that day in the water... a sense of happiness I've not seen or felt anywhere else." 

- Heather Brown

heather brown hawaii artist surfing

Heather Brown's Art Career

Since earning her BFA, Heather Brown has made it her mission to capture the essence of the most beautiful beaches and surf breaks and share them with the world. Her art is intended to make people happy and bring "smiles to peoples faces and Aloha to their hearts". Today, Heather Brown's original paintings are highly sought after and her art can be found brightening galleries and collectors' homes around the world.

Heather Brown has achieved a great deal over the course of her career as an artist. She was named "Best Artist in Hawai'i" for not one but four consecutive years, deemed "The Godmother of Surf Art" by the LA Times, and has collaborated with brands like Rip Curl, Lululemon, Uniqlo, and Billabong. Heather even designed limited edition guitars for Fender Japan that sold out almost immediately after being released.

The art of Heather Brown is perhaps best known within the surf art community. She designed the posters for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, a three-part competition held on the North Shore of Oahu, as well as for the Duke's Ocean Fest, an annual celebration of the legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku. Heather also designed posters for the Women's Pipeline Pro, a professional surfing competition held at the famous Pipeline surf break on the North Shore of Oahu. Heather Brown's colorful and dynamic artwork is perfect for capturing the excitement and energy of these surf events. 

Heather Brown is known not only for her art but also for her dedication to environmental conservation. In addition to meticulously sourcing sustainable materials for her art prints, Heather has used her platform as an artist to raise awareness about issues such as plastic pollution and climate change, and she frequently collaborates with environmental organizations to promote ocean conservation. Heather has worked with the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a non-profit committed to keeping beaches clean and healthy for future generations. She has also collaborated with the Kokua Foundation, an organization that promotes environmental education in Hawaii schools. 

Additionally, Heather Brown has used her art to support various environmental causes, running campaigns where a portion of the proceeds go to organizations such as the Oceanic Preservation Society and the Save the Waves Coalition. Her commitment to environmental conservation serves as an inspiration to both art enthusiasts and conservationists alike. She even offers a range of products on her website that support the Hawaiian Humane Society

Today, Heather Brown continues to create art from her Hawaii home, where she works alongside her husband Chris. The artist duo share a studio where they create together and occasionally dip out for a surf break and some fresh inspiration.

Heather Brown’s art can be found in galleries and private collections around the world. We are thrilled to feature her exquisite work on and to count her as one of our gallery artists. Heather Brown's 808Arts collection includes art prints, books, and merchandise. 

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