Meet Allxzandra, a surfer and a college student from Honolulu, Hawaii. When Allxzandra isn’t riding the waves or in class at the University of Hawaii, she’s practicing her new hobby, photography. Read on to learn more about her.
What do you heart about Hawaii and the city that you live in?
I’m from Ewa Beach on the west side of Oahu. It’s known to be a little more rough and hot, but I loved growing up with our own personal surf breaks that only we knew about and seeing [the] town from a distance. Every time I go away, I am reminded of how lucky I am to grow up connected to my surroundings. We have a different sense of calm and family here. So in summary, I heart Hawaii for all the natural beauty of the islands and people.
How did you learn to surf?
I actually learned to surf on my own with my best friend. We were epic because we were younger, had no fear and had each other. She eventually stopped and I kept with it.
What inspires you to surf?
At first, I just loved it and wanted to get better at it because here, if you can be a girl and be ripping in the water, you would get respect. Now I’m inspired by my surroundings: I see the water and I just want to jump in and not waste the moment.
Surfing isn’t just physical, it’s mentally stimulating too. What is your philosophy on riding the waves?
I think it cleanses your mind, body and soul. Not trying to sound super spiritual, but it makes you humble, patient and appreciative.
Tell us about your part of the mural. What inspired it?
I made some input on the sprinkle truck I did with Stevan and Devin. We pretty much did that whole project ourselves. It was inspiring to just be standing there with the main mural, filling in THIS. Other than that, I loved making the polka dots on the outer wall. I was inspired simply by the other art around us: the mural had a common theme and it was crazy to think all of us were a part of this. We can all revisit the memories just by looking at the walls.
You’ve watched part of the Wynwood Walls go from a blank slate to a colorful piece of art. What emotions were you feeling during this process?
I was feeling the progress if that makes sense. We would get there every morning and see more and more being done. I was thinking ahead and thinking of the past: how I ended up from the island to this spot filled with art from artists around the world and then watching a piece of it being done.
We heard that you’re learning how to take photos. What inspires you to capture life through a lens?
It’s a new hobby that happened by mistake. I really just wanted to try it out and I tend to jump from thing to thing, wanting to learn a lot. Once I realized it that I had gotten a film camera, I knew I wouldn’t know how to work it until I gave it a try. My first roll was awful, 98 percent blurry, but then I had a few shots that looked like memories that I actually captured—maybe because the film has the textured look to it? It was a few shots of my little brother, smiling at my mom who was out of shot, with milk coming down his face. It is my moms favorite picture and now I’ve gotten way better—70 percent less blurry rolls—and I have friends that ask ME for film tips!
As a newbie to photography, what are you hoping to learn?
I am hoping to learn more about light and how to make your pictures different from the rest with a digital camera. Film will always be my main medium, but digital seems so easy to use and I’d like to learn how those specific photographers make their pics look different from everyone else. I always want to use natural light, too, so I want to learn more about capturing that. I still have my camera settings set from Devin during our Miami trip—I didn’t want to change it because I won’t know how to specifically put it back!