Jay Alders is an internationally acclaimed fine artist, photographer & designer whose distinctive style & imaginative prowess is recognized around the world. His intricate brushwork, intense colors & superb compositions bring to life his signature elongated figures & stylized forms.
Alders has been pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a thriving professional artist since he was a child. His outlook on success is best described by him in a recent interview with ESPN, “Some people wait around for opportunity to come knocking. I prefer to just build my own door and open it.”
Jay’s work has been featured in Galleries from both coasts of the United States to Europe, Art Tours in Brazil, Surf Exhibitions on the North Shore of Oahu and 2008 X-Games. Organizations like Emergen-C, Billabong, Donavon Frankenreiter and Original Skateboards all have licensed Jay’s Art for their Internationally distributed Product lines.
In November 2009, Jay was described as “The Artist who is Everywhere” by ESPN in recognition of Jay’s routine globe-trotting and impressive industry involvement.
Alders has collaborated and/or toured with talented friends such as: Slightly Stoopid, Stefan Lessard of the Dave Matthews Band, 311, G. Love, Donavon Frankenreiter, Sasha DiGiulian, Citizen Cope, The Expendables, Matt Costa, ALO, Sean Davey, Mishka, Paula Fuga, Greg Noll, John Butler Trio, Rob Machado and Guns N Roses’ guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal to name a few.
Prestigious media outlets & organizations like CBS TV, NBC TV, FOX TV, FIOS TV, Surfer Magazine, FuelTV, Surfline.com, Line Up Magazine, Longboard Magazine, Eastern Surf Magazine, FHM Magazine, Penthouse Magazine, Curl Magazine, RagMag & GoOutside Magazine all showcased Jay’s artistic endeavors.
You've seen Jay Alders's artwork on the covers of Surfer' Path Magazine and Brazil's Alma Surf Magazine who also named Alders, “The Best Surf Artist of the Past Decade in 2010“. Alders art has graced the covers of albums by such artists as Slightly Stoopid, Echo Movement and Mishka.
Alders [pronounced: ‘all-derz'] is also known for his heartfelt philanthropy work and healthy vegan lifestyle. He proudly & regularly gives back to the world community whenever possible.
In 2009 he was named an Official Ambassador to Surf Aid International. In 2012 Alders designed fundraising apparel which has thus far enabled him to donate over $15,000 to Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. In 2016 Hometown Heroes named Alders one of their Honorees of the Year.
It all started when…
“For most of my childhood, I was raised in Howell, New Jersey, a nice suburban town about 12 minutes from the coastline & two hours from the mountains. I grew up on my skateboard, launching ramps in the street and skating backyard half-pipes with friends. My little brother & I were mischievous but good kids who would breakdance in the street, freestyle on our bikes, dream of being ninjas and eat entire boxes of cereal in one sitting.
After getting my own wheels, my friends and I would frequently sneak onto Manasquan's Military beach after school to surf and hang out. I felt very at home by the ocean and became enamored with the sundress wearing hippie girls who would hang out with us. This is where my love of surfing originated. I also picked up snowboarding at around that time and couldn't get enough sliding sideways on boards.
During High School I took on an appreciation of and instantly started obsessing over my Dad's vinyl collection, particularly bands like Led Zeppelin, The Doors and The Beatles. Soon my bedroom had beads hanging in the doorway and a lava lamp in the corner. I became a vegetarian by age 16 and help found the school's environmental club. My family often commented on how I was born in the ‘wrong generation' and ‘ate like a rabbit'.
“I majored in art at Montclair State University, which is about 17 miles from New York City and lived in that area for about nine years. That was an enlightening experience, totally different from my upbringing in the ‘burbs.'
After college I moved back down to the coastal areas of Jersey where I spent six years. There's no place like home, so after a two year adventure in northern Florida, I moved back with my wife Chelsea and dog Piper to the Jersey shore.
In October 2013 our beautiful daughter Summer Emerson was born and in April 2015 our twin boys Greyson Dutch and Judah Kai were born. “
Describe the progression of your style…
“By my collegiate years, my art began to take a clear shift towards the more avant-garde. I became fascinated with the human body and my emotion fueled my subject matter.
Since then, my style has been ever evolving and I enjoy laboriously experimenting with various painting mediums, drawing styles and developing self-taught techniques.
I focus on creating my own unique surrealistic paradigm. Painting that which could not be photographed. Striving to give my art a coherent structure that makes them “believably unbelievable” while symbolically paralleling my life experiences.”
Who are some of the artists who have influenced you?
“Many people will look at my work and try and guess who inspired me, as if it’s that simple of a question to answer. Upon my first year at Montclair State University, I was exposed to artists whom I really hadn't know much about before that. Salvador Dali and MC Escher in particular were amongst some of the first two fine artists whom I really found mind blowing. They opened my ‘doors of perception' big time.
A partial list of some of the artists whom I can say had a definitive impact of my artistic direction include: Ingres, Vermeer, Caravaggio,Picasso, Tamara de Lempicka,Georges de La Tour, Lord Frederic Leighton,Lou Carbone, Monet, Giacometti ,Ernie Barnes, Degas, Klimt, Rubens and Jacques-Louis David.”
Can you give some insight into your creative process?
“Sometimes, when I paint, I just see the image and almost trace it as if my brain were projecting it on the canvas. Other times, I have no clue what’s going to happen next and it’s just exciting to be a witness to my own brush while I humble myself with learning and screwing up.
Then there are moments I zone out hypnotically and it’s the most relaxing activity I can participate in. However, it’s not always the process of painting itself that’s the most rewarding, it’s being able to bring to life and share with others the weird things that float around my head.”
What other hobbies do you have ?
“I am really blessed with a wonderful inner circle of family and friends and I love spending time with them all. I also really enjoy surfing, skateboarding, rock climbing, snowboarding, playing guitar, yoga, scuba diving, live music, writing and traveling. I seem to be a jack of all trades and master of none. I don't even comprehend how people get bored.
I am addicted to learning and contemplation and I am enthralled with reading and debating about the mysteries of quantum physics, psychology, spirituality and the universe.”