Last year I interviewed Nanda Ormond for Kiwi Surf, They ended up only using a small snippet from the interview. I was just going through my word doc folder and came across the full interview. I remember pestering Nanda hard for his words because of deadline and he made a big effort to de-velcro himself from his couch to get it done. It’s only fair that the whole interview finally see’s the light of day. Check out any of the latest Australian SW magazines and you’ll see his art used through out the publication. I’m stoked for him as he’s a bloody talented human being. Enjoy the read…
Nanda Ormond Interview
Nanda Ormond isn’t the type of surfer/artist that paints endless line-ups of perfect waves. He just draws and paints whatever he feels like at the time. Yes his last name is familiar. Younger brother Rangi has carved an impressive niche in the surfing world here and abroad. Nanda, who is no slouch in the water either, has carved his own niche in the ever changing and evolving art scene. He’s currently based in Sydney where I annoyingly dragged him off his couch to answer some even more annoying questions.
So you are the brother of famous surfer Rangi Ormond? Is that a good or bad thing? Ever felt like you’re living in his shadow or are you the one creating the shadow?
Most people know me as “Rangi’s Brother”. Its ok, people are usually nice to me because they assume I’ll be a good dude like Rangi, I don’t even have to try, it’s like a passport to anything, “OH you’re Rangi’s brutha! Mate! Come stay at me pad! Take me car! Hoon me missus! “, By the time they’ve figured out I’m not much like him I’ve already moved on to the next sucka, it’s a good game. Rangi is mellow and I’m a bit not, but that’s a big role reversal from when we were young. Rangi was violent. Physical. He once punched me in the face and I hit my head on the side of the washing machine, it was heavy, he cried because he knew how bad it was. I didn’t cry, I just told mum.
Describe the progression that started you into art and how you got to where you are now-
I used to freak out on Ninja Turtles when I was a kid. Like proper freak out, I collected everything to do with them in a desk, toys, paper clippings, even chip packets. One day I came home and mum had thrown everything out, I guess I was the only 8yr old in town that needed a Ninja Turtles intervention. After that I had to draw my own so I’d say that was my start. How did I get to where I am now? I don’t know where I am now. I studied animation because I like cartoons but it turns out you have to draw way too many drawings to make animation, so now I just want to do one or two drawings. Good ones. I’m pretty happy at the end of the day that I can sit down and draw something and be totally entertained by myself, I think a lot of people lack that and that’s why they complain when they go travelling.
Describe your style of art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
It’s the sort of art you look at and say “Shit, I could do that… “Every week I find some new artist who I love and then I think I want to draw/paint exactly like that, so it’s hard to say what my style is at any given time. I think I’m still trying things out, but if I had to sum my art up in one word I’d say “Scribbly”
Where do you draw (excuse the pun) your inspiration from?
I wish I could say that being an artist has made me see the beauty in everything around but the truth is kind of the opposite. The better I get at seeing things the more I see how shit and crazy everything is so if I can get a bit of that shittiness in my drawings in a non-depressing way, I’m pretty happy. Watching weird people gets me pretty excited to do a drawing, just today I was in Bondi for the first time and I saw this massive black dude with a Rasta-three colour basket ball and accessories, walking down the main drag doing basket ball tricks. It doesn’t sound that weird but he was super buff and it was definitely a bit weird and I drew him. Does that answer the question? What was the question? I get my inspiration from other artists who hopefully no one knows about yet, that’s the real answer. I have found that the most inspired I ever feel, is when I am doing some job that I hate. If I’m doing some job I hate I sit there all day thinking of all the amazing stuff I’d be doing if I wasn’t sitting there hating that job. I get so excited about the things I’d do that I breathe fast, and smile, and when I go home from the hate-job I can’t sleep because I’m thinking and planning and getting high off the inspiration. It’s awesome! It’s like too much coffee! And when I finally find myself with no shit job and all the time and resources a young artist could ever need (On The Dole), … I can’t remember what it was I wanted to do, and even if I do remember, I can’t remember why it was cool? Why did I think a hat that looks like shoes made of gloves would be cool? And where am I going to get all the gloves? And What does it all Mean? How can I afford any of this? What’s happening on facebook? ….
Does that answer the question? What was the question?
What’s the story behind KidsWithTalons.com?
Kidswithtalons was our way of getting a piece of the dot.com boom, Silicon Valley and all that jazz. So far it’s only cost us money though… so… hmm… shit, maybe we should ditch it. We started it up because Blake (Myers) was making cool vids and Rangi (Ormond) was surfing good and I wanted people to see my drawings, so we figured between us we’d combine all our talents and make stuff and be famous within a year or so. We’ve had limited success with that but when I look back on the archives of KWT, I’m pretty happy with the stuff that we’ve done. At least everything on there is something we’ve made ourselves, which makes us different than 95% of the other blogs out there. Doesn’t make us better though.
You entered the writing division in the now defunct Stab magazine Little Weeds competition? Through that competition Blake (Myers) has gone on to be leading surf filmmaker Kai Neville’s right-hand man, your art work and writing was well received in the same competition. Has your entering that competition been beneficial to you too?
Yeah Blake did amazingly! I blew it. I did make a good friend though; eventual writing division winner Mike Jennings and I were STAB buddies, now I do some work for his magazine he works for Surfing World. Competitions are a really good way of forcing you to step up your game, I should probably try do some more.
You roll a very left-field style of fashion. Is your fashion style on land something that is forced and trying to keep up with hipsters worldwide or you are defining your own unique style. What are your thoughts on mainstream surf wear?
You tell me man; style is in the eye of the beholder I guess. I don’t dress that gnarly; you should see the cats walking around Bondi! Mainstream surf wear is getting pretty styley now, and when everybody’s styley, no one is, so now I base my style on Sir David Attenborough. He’s had his game on lock for like, 70 years.
I’ve always found you to be very witty and opinionated. Is there any social commentary you’d like to share with the readers?
Yeah man, you want me to rant? Yeah, ok, well, yeah, farkin’, how’s like… how’s… how’s the farkin’… woah wait, am I getting paid for this? I only rant for money these days man, sorry. I can give you a teaser though, here, VANS, PLAGUE OF THE EARTH OR THE NEW LEVIS? Or maybe, SHOULD A BUSINESS MAN ON A SECTOR SKATEBOARD BE ILLEGAL? I VOTE YES.
If someone wants to buy some Nanda Ormond art, what price tag are we looking at and how do they get in contact with you?
I usually quote prices based on the vibe of the person asking. If they are straight- ballers with grills and shit, I’ll go in high and blow their minds, but if they’re struggling young parents who just need to cover some holes in their walls, I’ll cut them some mean deals. The last commission I done was $400 for a big A2 drawing, I didn’t think that was too bad. If you want some of Nanda’s art (you do, you like it), you can get me on my e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org .
What’s better fame or infamy?
It depends if you died to earn it. Posthumous anything seems completely useless to me, poor Van Gogh….
Where has your work appeared?
I read a Banksy book and for two weeks decided I was going to be a badass street artist, so I took my poskas with me wherever I went and tagged up bars, walls, toilets, even the national gallery. So naughty. Other than that I’ve had my drawings published in this mag, Surfing World, on some blogs like t-squat.com and even made it on to some catwalks for SGC(NZ fashion label Stolen Girlfriends Club). Weeooww.
Where did you study to become an artist?
I studied animation in Auckland, they didn’t really teach me a lot about art but I learnt how to draw from life pretty good. Nude life drawing was nuts, this one time the model walked in and I nearly vomited. She was heavy. Like a 4’6” round little hobbit chick, massive frizzy red hair all over, and a full colour fantasy scene tattoo on her thigh. She complained in every pose until she finally lay down, scratched her pubes a few times and fell asleep. That was the only class I walked out of.
What artists do you admire?
HOLY HELL! Nearly every day I’m finding new cats on the interweb that blow my mind. I’ll give you some of my favs though, Alison Schulnik (check her mean vid she did for Grizzy Bear), Drew Beckmeyer because he looks like he has fun, and Sam Vanallermeerch is just the maddest dude ever. Have fun with those kids!