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Meet Dylan Bellingan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dylan Bellingan.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I left Texas in early 2014 with a converted Chevy van packed with all my belongings, including two surfboards, clothes, camping gear and a camera. Although I hadn’t surfed much in my life, I grew up in South Africa around the Surf and beach culture and felt like it was something that was a huge part of who I was. The idea was to hit the road for a year, learn to surf and start playing around with photography. Four years later here I am in Southern California which was the first place I fell in love with on my journey.

I have travelled all over the country, driven up into Canada, down into Baja and recently went to Indonesia, Costa Rica and back to South Africa. I mainly shoot film cameras now as I love the aesthetic of the images you can get from film. I have worked with and shot for a long list of companies from Urban outfitters to Teva footwear, all surrounding my travels and simple nomadic lifestyle. I own and run my own brand called VIVA LA VACAY which was inspired by the underground California Surf culture I came to love so much.

Mainly tees hats and outerwear but we hope to expand into board shorts wetsuits and a lot more as the business grows. It sells at some very unique local boutique style Surf shops in the area and can also be found online through our site I usually surf every day if the waves allow and travel quite often for Surf trips with friends. I just finished up the lost coast hike with a surfboard on my back the whole 25 Miles, it was one of the most challenging things I have ever done but it’s things like these that keep me creating, exploring and just living in the moment.

Please tell us about your art.
My artwork at this point comes from the film photographs that I take as well as pieces of apparel that I design and release through my brand. Most of the designs have a story to go along with them. Something that was taken from a local saying in Indonesia or a print that reminds us of our days spent down surfing in Baja, we try and tell a story through our line and shooting photos goes hand in hand with telling that story. The main goal of my brand VIVA LA VACAY is to inspire others to get out and travel. We live pretty simply so there’s no frills to our travels and adventures. It’s usually pretty raw and rugged and we are happy with little, hopefully that vibe rubs off on others and can open a few eyes to what really matters in life. To sum it up in a few words – Less is more. Through my work with VIVA I have also had the opportunity to work with other rad brands shooting and helping on the branding and creative side of things.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
The biggest challenge facing an artist today is social media. Although it can be used to inspire creation, I think it can also deter young artists as a lot of it only shows the success and not the obstacles and challenges that go along with it. It’s important to just create things, they don’t have to be too thought out or have a certain end goal other than just to make something. Whether it be painting your surfboard, or even just a cool little edit of a photo you took on your iPhone. Turning something into what was once nothing is what makes you an artist.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The brand website is

We throw a lot of local events in Southern Adan Diego that are a mixture of Surf, art and music. Follow our Instagram for updates and cool content. If you want a deeper look into my travels over the past four years, check out my personal Instagram @myamericandreamtour. If you’re interested in Vanlife, check out my podcast

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dylan Bellingan

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