Embodied creativity and a bit of whitewash: The start of Ninarosaqua

I ostriched. A lot. Monthly, weekly, maybe daily.

When I would get into primary school drama (for example over who was allowed to play with the Barbie with the curly hair now (which, it should go without saying, was me, because I had curly hair)), I’d just find a quiet corner outside and start drawing or writing. Away from all the busyness and drama, it was just me, my pen, and my endless fantasy to create the craziest stories, puzzles, comics, colouring images, or just drawings.

Yup, it’s safe to say creativity, drawing, and the art of creating have always played an important part in my life.

On a completely different note, fast-forward to 2019, age 24. I had been surfing for a few years. And one thing stood out to me: surfing is super sexualized. Think about subtle-but-not-so-subtle ways guys check out your ass when you paddle out and overcare for avoiding a nip slip. Are these really compliments (as guys would call them when you would subtly-not-so-subtly inquire) or are we women in a male-dominated surf world? Or: guys dropping into our waves because we’re so-called weaker paddlers or for whatever invalid reason. Is that really how the line-up and priority work or are we women in a male-dominated surf world?

The two story lines meet in September 2021, when I bruised my rib with surfing in Ericeira, Portugal. I could not surf for a few weeks and asked the owner of the guest house in Ericeira if she was interested in a surf-themed wall painting, to kill time and feel useful. An ironic situation, I have to state, since the brand revolves around surfing and art. But with that mandala-wave wall painting, I planted the seed for Ninarosaqua.

And here’s the connection: it is for the exact same reason as I struggle to call out men who show intolerant behaviour in the surf, namely insecurity, not feeling enough, and being afraid that people find out I am an imposter. That I am actually a shit surfer (which I kind of am if 58 eyes are pointed at me the moment I finally claimed my spot in the line-up) and a fake artist.

I finally dare to connect surfing with art and to feel confident enough to put my art out there in the world, for commercial or portfolio purposes. I never saw the value in it and kept it on the background.

Everything falls into place. I overcome my own insecurities by working on this brand. I demonstrate the beauty of believing in yourself, hoping to function as some sort of role model and inspirational figure and inspire you beautiful females of the world. It’s my own journey but you are more than invited to tag along – to learn and develop yourself + to support me and your fellow ocean sisters.

Female empowerment in the water. That is what we stand for. We deserve waves are much as men do and should not be sexualised or taken advantage of because we are unconfident.

Working on it, paint stroke by paint stroke, wipe-out by wipe-out, and T-shirt by T-shirt.