Kevin aka Manson getting creepy in his Swift Street Studio
Walsh’s obsession with drawing began at an early age. By age 4, he was drawing waves, picking up on the influence of his father, a gifted painter in his own right who specializes in ocean and nautical scenes. He developed his skill with endless hours of practice and a number of high school art classes.Walsh began painting professionally when he was hired to create surfboard graphics by Bill Reidel from Stretch Surfboards. As soon as local surfers began to see Walsh’s grade-A graphics out in the lineups, the demand for his crazy creations skyrocketed. The hype around his graphics grew and interest in his work expanded into non-surfing-related realms. Eventually, he was hired to create the poster and T-shirt designs for annual Cold Water Classic surf contest at Steamer Lane, as well as concert posters for the likes of Jack Johnson and The Black Eyed Peas.
Walsh credits his father for encouraging him to make a life from creating art.“I’ve always looked up to my dad and his love for art,” Walsh said. “I think it’s definitely rubbed off on me, and he remains my main influence.”Re-occurring themes in Walsh’s art include surfing, rock/pop art, pin-up girls, wildlife, and the old West. He mixes them all together in colorful, surreal dreamscapes, the details of which can leave you staring endlessly, almost mesmerized by their quirky complexity. His style and subject matter resemble bring to mind the works of the legendary Jim Phillips, who earned international fame for his psychedelic concert posters of the ’60s and ’70s.
These days, Kevin is incredibly busy putting the final touches on a concept piece he’s working on for a concert pairing Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg. In addition, he constantly has jobs in the works for companies like Stretch, Screwball Surfboards, O’Neill, Rip Curl, Ladera Skateboards, Another Planet Entertainment, Silverback Management, Mulcoy Incorporated, Gnu Snowboards and Ocean Minded
Ratty's TNT Fishing Stick www.seabeastart.com
Having a custom Walsh paint job on your board can not only increase your visibility in the water, but also elevate your stoke level as well. Jason "Ratboy" Collins, who first met Walsh through Stretch a few years ago, remembers one paint job in particular that will last in his memory forever.
" The whole bottom of the board was a fishing scene. Floating in a little boat were two cartoon depictions of me and (Josh) Loya, throwing sticks of dynamite in the water. Underwater the dynamite is blasting these shocked tuna fish. Pretty classic. My mom actually still has it"
Along with an already solid reputation, Walsh is focused, determined, and incredibly passionate, so it’s no surprise that along with his undisputable talent, there’s a desire that burns deep within in him to show the world what he’s capable of.
“I’m proud of making my dream a reality, which is to surf and paint while make a decent living,” Walsh said. “I’m also fortunate to have all the friends that I have met along the way. I’m stoked with all the success I’ve made so far, but my main concern is living in the moment, loving what I do and getting people stoked at looking at art.”