Myrtle Beach native Drew Brophy surfs across the country; Lulu's Cafe commissions mural

A sneak peek at the Lulu's Cafe mural

Drew Brophy, surf artist extraordinaire, decided to pack the family up for a summer road trip across the country. The "Surf, SUP, and Paint" tour started in San Clemente and makes a long stop in Myrtle Beach so the Brophy crew can visit friends, family and work on a cool mural for Lulu's Cafe

Drew's wife Maria, a social media and art licensing expert, is helping to document their adventures on their blogFacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter. It's a great way to follow their progress and it's also why we have such awesome links and media for this story.

So how does one surf across the Midwest? You find standing waves in rivers and stand-up paddle in the Great Lakes, of course. 

It's not all play on the trip. Familia Brophy are making a couple of stops to spread some paint along the way. One such stop was in Park City, Utah where Drew held a workshop at Backcountry.com headquarters to show them how to paint their first DIY headphones.

I had a chance to ask Drew a few questions about the trip recently and get the scoop on the Lulu's Cafe project...

How did the Lulu's owners know to contact you? Do you have a connection with them?

We had decided to spend time in Myrtle Beach in August, as my entire family is there.  I didn’t know the owners of Lulu’s Café personally, but my niece Mary Claire works for them.  Misty, the owner, mentioned that she wanted a mural on the side of the building and Mary Claire said “My uncle Drew will be here this summer, maybe he can paint it for you.”  It grew from there!

What's the concept for the mural?

Originally I wanted the mural to revolve around what Myrtle Beach is now and what it was when I was growing up.  I have great memories of long days at the beach, the night life and the amusement parks.  I also wanted to include the Ocean Forest, nature from the Low Country like alligators and blue herons, and the beauty of the oak trees.

But, I realized that you can’t put everything into the mural; it would become too busy.

So in the end we focused on the main reason that people come to Myrtle Beach; the beautiful beaches, the warm ocean and the simple pleasures that one enjoys on a hot summer day.

I’ve incorporated beach umbrellas, kids building sandcastles and a banner plane, all of which is prevalent in Myrtle Beach.  Also, the skyline of hotels and the new Ferris wheel downtown.

My happiest childhood memories are of spending all day at the beach.  And that, I feel, is the essence of Myrtle Beach.  I guess you could say that the theme is sun and fun.

My wish is that this mural will become another iconic must-see for out-of-towners.  I can see tourists wanting to get their photos taken in front of it as part of their happy memories at the beach!

What's the current status of the project?

Lulu’s is submitting the color concept to the Appearance Board this week.  Hopefully we will get approval and if so, I can order the paints and schedule it!  

Will you be doing any other work while you're in town? 

This mural is my main project and it will keep me busy.  I also have a couple other projects that I have to complete for clients.  Other than that, I plan to spend a lot of time at the beach with my family.

Talk a bit more about the "Surf, SUP and Paint" tour. 

Originally, we were going to come to Myrtle Beach to visit family for a while.  Then, we decided, hey, since we are making that long trip, let’s extend it three months and adventure across the U.S.

My wife Maria and I planned our trip across country so that we could visit National Monuments along the way and stay close to lakes, rivers and oceans.

We packed up paddleboards and surfboards and we have already, 4 weeks into the trip, paddled down rivers, surfed the great lakes and explored a lot of America.

Along the way, we are visiting the customers of our sponsors as well as giving painting demos.  For example, one of our scheduled stops was at BackCountry.com headquarters in Park City, Utah.  We gave a painting workshop there for Aerial 7, showing the employees how to paint your own headphones. The Aerial 7 DIY headphones are a new licensed product of mine.

In Riggins, Idaho I tested a new inflatable paddleboard for my sponsor Riviera Paddlesurf, by taking it down an 11 mile river run, over rapids and all.  

The other night we got lucky and caught good surf on Lake Michigan!  

Right now I’m writing this from outside Detroit.  Today we are headed to Lake Erie, where we are hoping for waves, but if it’s flat we’ll paddleboard instead.

Through all our adventures, though, our 11 year old Dylan keeps saying “I can’t wait to play in the swash in Myrtle Beach!”

We've got a preview of the mural concept below and TheDigitel will cover the progress of the mural itself when the Brophy's get into town.

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