Sean Kesterson Of Alimo
Sean Kesterson, known professionally as Alimo, is a West Coast artist who has worked with a wide range of well known brands over the years. Through his partnership with SeaTrees, which we also support via our SeaChange recycled collection, he works hard to ensure his work makes a positive impact.
As a casual type, Sean wears our recycled Legend SeaChange and recently collaborated with us on a one off pair of hand painted one off custom Legends.
What does a typical day in the life for you look like?
Life’s pretty simple these days. I’m a spur of the moment type of guy but I also like my routines in the morning. A typical day starts off with a cup of joe and a smoothie to get the blood flowing, along with a morning podcast to wake up my brain. From there I get outside for a quick walk or do some yoga stretching in my room, and if I’m near the ocean, I’ll be bobbing around in the water looking for waves. Those moments set the tone for my day and if I don’t get those, my day can get all out of whack.
Workwise, I switch things up quite a bit. Most days I start by sketching out ideas I wrote, other days I get slammed with admin work responding to email and whatnot. I tend to wear all the hats, so each day is putting out some fires before I get to the fun stuff.
What are you passionate about?
There’s a lot to be passionate about these days but some things have never changed since I was a kiddo. I’m passionate about exploring and being outside in nature. Absorbing what it offers, and giving back where I can. All of those in-between moments are filled with ways to capture the froth so I can repeat it later. Whether that be surfing, snowboarding, painting, or photography. All my favorite mediums are ways I can freeze-frame my favorite things.
How did you get started in the world of art and design?
I got started with art when I was a rugrat like a lot of kids, I just never grew out of it. I’d draw my imagination on just about everything. Sometimes on the walls, other times on the ground. Whatever medium was in my path, some creative output would happen. Then when I got a bit older my parents and teachers started to point me into a creative path of art and design whether I knew it or not. Even in class, my notebooks would be filled with drawings and logos of random skateboard companies I was trying to replicate.
Once I realized that was a thing, my mind was blown. I remember seeing a family friend doing web design on a computer and couldn’t believe my eyes. He had some layout where it was a piece of paper and a literal bandaid collage on it with text around it. I didn’t even know how to start the convo of what I was looking at or what it was. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted to figure it out. From there, I studied it throughout school and haven’t looked back.
Have you faced adversity in your life or career? What have you learned from that?
Post-college, I worked on a lot of projects for companies. As an intern and junior designer it was so fun to soak up all the new, but brutal at the same time. You’d put all your energy and time into a project that would later get shut down. Not just from criticism during a review, but some projects just never saw the light of day even if they got approved by the client. That happened on a lot of projects throughout my career (still does).
During these first 3 or so years of my career, I actually thought none of my projects would ever be seen. I mean individual projects that I owned and did the majority of the thinking behind it. I think that’s why my entrepreneurial spirit came to fruition because I wanted that ownership and to participate in this world of art and design.
College really prepared me though for these moments of tear-downs. In college, you have these critiques that just tore people apart. At the time, it was less fun, but it taught you resilience. How to shake off one idea for the next and how to keep pushing yourself for the better.
These moments in my career have always pointed me back to school and how to just keep making. To embrace the difficult and come back stronger.
What are some things that you are grateful for?
I’m grateful for my family and all the support they have given me over the years. They have always helped champion my ideas and push my creativity my whole life. Even if I was going down a weird path of discovery, they have always been there. Still today, we bounce ideas off one another, it rules.
I’m also beyond grateful that I get to travel and see our beautiful world, whether that be local or abroad, I’m so thankful I get to explore it. I feel really lucky when it comes to these things.
One of our brand mottos is “Keep it Casual”. What does “Keep it Casual” mean to you in your own life?
I like it. "Keep it Casual” to me is being worry-free. I say that because worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe, and no one needs that right? Keep that steady pace so you can stay on the path to zen freedom.
How do you stay inspired?
I get inspiration from everyday life. Some days that creative flow is pouring, while other days it’s a complete dead zone. To get out of that funk, I like to switch up my routines. Even if it’s the same thing you do day in and day out, I try to do it differently. A great example is going on a walk. Instead of going on that same sidewalk, jump onto the other side of the street to recognize that new house you’ve never seen. Those repetitions pull out some of the deepest thoughts you’d never think of. Those moments can be special for me.
Outside of those groundhog interferences, I love exploring and seeing the new. I try to pull from my 5-year old kid mentality of soaking up life like a sponge. I think that’s why I love to travel so much cause when you see something weird and new, it opens up that ear-to-ear smile of mind explosion. I love that so much.
Are there any publications or online journals that you venture to for inspiration?
The top five publications that I tend to read the most are:
- The Surfers Journal
- Juxtapoz Magazine
- Surfer Magazine (RIP)
- Field Magazine
- Snowboarder Mag (RIP)
Socks or no socks?
Socks if I got flip flops on so I can go turtle style! Anything I can do to be as cool as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I try to replicate :)
If I can’t achieve that, I go with socks and a shoe combo.
Do you have any plans or projects that you are looking forward to in the future?
There are a lot of things behind the scenes that I can’t share quite yet but some really fun collaborations that will be released in the Fall. I’ve also been having a lot of fun making new puzzles and a variety of small goods folks can use at home or in the wild, as well as commissioned paintings. I’m hoping to release those late Summer/Fall.
I’m also looking forward to continuing my clean route in my production line. Mainly making goods that will last and items you can pass down to future kids. Being intentional about what I’m making and working with companies that have the same ethos and values. Wink wink SeaVees :)
What’s one piece of advice, encouragement, or challenge you’d love to leave our readers with?
Whatever you are passionate about, make sure you are having fun with it. A lot of times you get stuck in the heat of the moment and can miss out on some life. Keep that yin and yang balance and if you need to take a step back to pause or reflect, that’s okay. It’s healthy to do so. You want to make sure you are enjoying it for the right reasons and whatever challenges you have, you got it. Utilize your friend group and lean on them for support because they have your back.
Where can our readers find / follow you, and what would be the best way to support you / your business / project?
The best place to support and buy goods is on my website at alimofun.com Other ways are to follow me on my social channels like Instagram at @alimofun to stay up to date on my work. Thank you so much, everyone!