Fabian Lavater (33) is a Swiss freelance artist & illustrator currently based in Basel, the city of art in the heart of Europe.
He has developed an early passion for art and has been drawing since ever he can hold a pen. Do you remember that one guy in class who would always draw instead of paying attention to the teacher? That was Fabian. However, after failing to get into art school in his early life, he studied business administration and ended his academic career with a master degree in sustainable development.
Back in 2011 when he visited a surfcamp for the first time (mainly because of the legendary parties) he didn't expect to find his true passion for surfing. But the first time he stood on that board...well, he was hooked. From then on he spent every vacation at the sea to surf, while also starting to surf the local Swiss river waves as well as going on a six month around the world trip, exploring the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and California.
Photos from a surf trip to Tenerife, by: https://www.serainaoppliger.com/
It was a combination of attempting to create a wave tattoo design for himself (which he luckily never actually tattooed) and finding contemporary freelance artists through Instagram that inspired him to express his love for waves in his drawings too. Being stuck landlocked in Switzerland, the nearest ocean hundres of miles away, this made him feel closer to the sea than he actually was. He then started to share his art on Instagram back in 2016, where over the years he gained a large following.
Meanwhile, drawing waves turned into painting all kinds of piece of mind moments he experiences when being at the sea, in a forest or in the mountains. His passion for surfing turned into a love for the sea, outdoor activities and nature in general while his tools switched from fineliners to paint brushes.
Photo by: https://www.serainaoppliger.com/
Losing his corporate job due to the Covid Crisis at the end of 2020 gave him the push to pursue art as a full time career. Being a full time artist now also meant that he was able to work from wherever. This led him to move to Biarritz at the French atlantic coast in the Basque country. An area he has a special relationship with ever since he started surfing and now the place where he wanted to fullfull his dream of living at the ocean, surf everyday and launching his career as a full time artist.
Despite his return to Switzerland due to personal reasons after 1 1/2 years in France, he continues to express his love for the sea, the waves and surf culture through his art. Living that far from the ocean again it was an obvious choice to buy a van with which he returns to his beloved coastlines in Europe as often as possible.
Being an ocean tourist again, he continues to express his long distance relationship with the sea through his art in his iconic minimalistic and colorful way.
His art is being sold to customers, fans and galleries all over the world and he has had the chance to work with many brands from different countries, designing t-shirts, creating logos & phone cases, illustrating books & much more.