5 Questions with Space Bat Killer
Space Bat Killer, aka Sean Bernhardt, is a New Jersey based artist/illustrator inspired by music and surfing. He's know for his impactful imagery, dark humor and grassroots, DIY approach. We asked Sean five questions to find out what makes him tick.
Billabong: What was the inspiration for your capsule collection with us?
Space Bat Killer: The inspiration for the Space Bat Killer x Billabong collection was the darkness that can come out of the ocean, surrounding the ocean and beach lifestyle. I wanted to combine my darker arts with more of a surfy, tropical, yet playful feeling. I think my collection has really captured that dark tropical, oceanic/nautical style feeling to it. Especially with the small details you can find within - fish-bones, anchor, peace-bones, all-seeing palm tree etc.
Billabong: How did this partnership happen and what makes it special?
SBK: Dan [Billabong USA Art Director] reached out to me via email and the day I got that message, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was really one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations for me. I was browsing through the email and what really caught my eye was the fact that it was only myself and two other artists involved, each picked from around the world. As a kid I was always involved, being in and out of surf shops daily. Just having the chance to be involved really made me think about growing up, always buying the product, now seeing my own artwork on the clothing I would have been buying at the time and how much of an impact Billabong has always had in the surf community. It was a pleasure working with you guys!
Billabong: What's your favorite piece from your collection?
SBK: The peace-bones beanie...I’ve literally been wearing it daily, even on the hottest days this summer at the beach so far here in New Jersey. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for a good beanie, I never take them off. It's the most perfect fitting beanie, super comfy, with a hint of darkness attached.
Billabong: If you had to describe your art in one word, what would it be?
Billabong: What's inspiring you at the moment?
SBK: Lately I’ve been inspired by vintage tattoo flash sheets, the common humor we always find in the world, simple tropical coloring-book style pages, and using more color within my works. I’ve been working on quick digital doodles on my iPad with Pro-Create, just to change it up. I’m also doing my take on some sailor jerry flash style works, but combining them with palm-trees, demons, and pin-up style girls, using colorful markers etc. Each one just having hints of bright colors revolving inside and sharp outlines in black. Music is always inspiring me to make art, without music I wouldn’t be making anything. I have to blast tunes to inspire me or at least listen to something for an hour or two to get my brain running. I’ve been listening to The Lumerians a lot lately, really digging their tunes. I have a playlist on Spotify running, all you have to do is search #evilradio. [Other] bands I love to create to and some favorites - Thee Oh Sees, Parquet Courts, The Growlers and Useless Eaters.
Check out the music currently inspiring our Billabong Gallery artists