159: Sean Yoro – Painting Underwater
“If I was going to [make it as an artist], I wanted to prove that I could do without any favors or any connections.”
When Sean Yoro became interested in becoming an artist, he couldn’t think about anything else. Watching his teacher render models out of charcoal on a canvas was like magic, and he was ready to dedicate his life to this creative art. After he decided to move to New York and follow his dream of being a successful artist, he didn’t realize until he arrived how naïve he was, and how difficult his journey would be.
Sean Yoro, also known as “Hula”, explores the limits of art and nature, and since his groundbreaking work painting on icebergs, has become synonymous with environmental awareness through art. Growing up in Hawaii, environmental preservation has always been a core value to Sean, and he has found a way to actualize this passion through his creativity and his projects. His most recent project has found him on an over year-long journey, learning to freedive so he can paint a huge underwater mural.
Sean shares his story of a young artist with a dream, and shows that he is an artist of discipline, integrity, and passion. Listen in to learn Sean’s rocky path as a young artist in New York, his unique and demanding projects, and how he prepares for them.
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“I saw what my instructor could draw with just charcoal and a model in front of him, and to me that was magic.”
Some things we learn in this podcast:
- What kind of art Sean makes and what inspires him to use such a unique medium [4:46]
- How Sean got interested in painting and art, and his first year’s in New York [10:23]
- Why Sean’s naïvete and bullishness were so important in achieving his goal of 10,000 hours in his craft [14:36]
- What New York taught Sean in all aspects of his life [23:44]
- When Sean found his “kuleana” [27:54]
- How HULA evolved from a small street art project to Sean’s main alias [31:24]
- What Sean and his team have to think about and prepare for in working with mother nature [36:15]
- How a passion project bringing awareness to the coral reef came to life [40:30]
- What physical training Sean had to do to complete his underwater projects [47:09]
- The meditation and yoga practices that Sean uses to prepare for his projects [52:39]
- Sean’s morning routine [56:46]
- What art Sean makes when he’s in his studio [58:47]