Surf Shacks 056 – Mia Taninaka + Jasson Salsbury
/ Matt 08.08.2017
Mia and Jasson are a beautiful and talented creative couple who both hail from the northern beaches of Sydney. Mia is an artist who creates lively paintings that embody elements of magic, mysticism and spirituality in fine lines and expansive color. She also has an organic linen and bedding brand called Taninaka. Jasson on the other hand, is a stylish, professional free surfer who rides for Banks brand. He is also an teacher of Vedic Meditation, an ancient and practical technique that anyone can learn and easily integrate into daily life. After living in Bali for some time, Jasson and Mia moved back to Australia to plant roots and start a family with their two young boys. They now live in an awesome ‘treehouse’ near Byron Bay. This is a couple who I have always admired from afar, so it was a pleasure to finally meet them in person, get a glimpse into their daily routine at home, and to also hear how these traveling free spirits have adapted to parenthood.
Who are you? Tell us a little about yourselves.
Where are you both from?
How long have you lived here in Byron?
What are your favorite parts about the area in which you live?
What are you favorite parts of your home?
Mia: We live in the suburbs, but we’re fortunate that our house backs onto a nature reserve so the outlook through the big glass windows in the main living area is so beautiful. Sunlight passes through the trees and light dances around the house.
Jasson: It’s so peaceful looking out into the big trees, hearing the abundant birdlife and not seeing any other houses.
What makes the Byron area such a good place for creative people to call home?
Jasson, tell us about Vedic Meditation. What’s it all about? How did you first get into it and how how has it affected your life?
Jasson: I found Vedic meditation through a friends recommendation about 10 years ago. I was looking into different types of guided meditations and mindfulness practices to help combat an increasing sense of anxiety and stress that had found its way into my life. My friend learned Vedic meditation and I could see the difference in him right away, so I jumped in on a course and have had it as a tool ever since. Vedic meditation is a technique that has been passed through the ages originating in ancient India and eventually brought to the west by Maharishi Mahesh yogi in the early 60s. Over the years it has gained huge momentum and attracted the eyes of science through which it has been validated as a powerful tool to smash through layers of accumulated stress and fatigue in the body while expanding the mind. Simply put, it unlocks a greater potential that resides within us. It’s completely transformed my life and continues to do so as the years go by.
Mia, how would you describe your art and your personal style?
Mia: I like to think of my artworks as a vision into that subtle layer of reality, a world of beings that dance just beyond the range of our gross senses inviting us to dive within and play. Everyday the sun rises and sets, tides ebb and flow to the pull of the moon, plants grow, birds sing and all the beings live and die on this big revolving planet as it spins through space – pure magic! I try in my own way, to capture that.
Every being, every artwork, every and any creative thing has a story whether it’s from a mass production line in China or made by hand in the mountains of Peru. I like to surround myself with things that have a good story, and exude a feeling of character and life. These things surround us with their stories and inspire us to create our own.
How did you first get into art and when did it go from just a passion to a profession?
What are some projects you’ve been working on lately?
Jasson, you’ve travelled the world as a professional free surfer. Where have been some of your favorite destinations and why?
You both seem like very independent and free spirited individuals. How have your lives changed since having your two beautiful boys and starting a family?
Our lives have changed so much since the little people have come into our lives, but I feel we still carry the same beautiful foundation that we cultivated as a couple into this new phase of life.
Jasson: The practice of letting go of preferences and the art of tolerance have been major themes that have come with children. Kids hold the mirror and really allow you to study your own behaviour, so it’s been a huge learning experience and a motivator to improve ourselves along the way.
What advice would you give to young parents out there who also have very creative lifestyles?
If your house were burning down and you could only grab 5 things (after the kids of course), what would you take?
Any parting thoughts, words of wisdom, sage advice?
/ Photography and interview by Matt Titone
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Special thanks to Hiromi Shibasaki for helping to produce this story.