We had the good fortune of connecting with David Pu’u and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
The book Blue Mind, by Wallace J Nichols.
It connects people to the Earth and it’s systems by communication of the intelligence, complexity and beauty innate to Creation, using motion picture, still photography and literature. When people are connected to all which is, they tend to experience a sense of well being and understanding. They act with greater care for our planet, and all that ride her through space and time together. In process, I have seen it build Community and facilitate a higher emotional intelligence. Love and beauty seem to be siblings. One nurtures the other.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess that I have always been a creative. In Hawaiian culture it is a very common avocation and a part of what and who we are as a people. So I have always studied and been deeply immersed in the Arts. As I transitioned from career athlete in the sports of Swimming, Cycling, Car Racing and in and out of a lengthy tenure in Professional Surfing, I was always writing, painting, drawing, studying.
In College, I went back and forth between the Sciences (Pre Med) and Business. However I left before completing my Business Management Degree, as I was already running companies, was on Radio and TV and traveling the world competing. I never finished my last year. One of my Mentors, who was a very famous motion picture Production Designer told me this: “You are an overnight success after a lifetime of preparation for this.” She was right. Each step of my career was predicated on the foundations of prior experiences, giving me an intimate and first hand understanding of how the Arts impacted my personal development and could positively affect others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The region in which I live is amazing. Though my home and company are located in Ventura Ca, I grew up in Santa Barbara. The region I would surf, sail, fish and bike daily, stretched from Point Conception down to Malibu. That is where I would take people and show them what exists, from the Channel Islands to the coast, and on up to the top of our watershed, where in an hour’s drive, you can go from 70 degree blue Pacific to the snow and a bird’s eye view of our region. I would introduce them to my remarkable Ocean Ohana, and my amazing family and probably take them into the studio and show them a little bit of what I have seen in my nonstop travels around the planet.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I CEO a company called Ocean Ohana. It is based around the concept of a global family connected by the Sea. As I transitioned out of the Surf Industry and into Film Making and Photography, three Photo Editors helped me a lot. Larry “Flame” Moore of Surfing Magazine, who literally mentored me. Jeff Divine of The Surfers Journal who always gave my work voice and positioning, Jason Murray, of Surfer Magazine who seemed to always find a means of placing my work in Magazine projects that were significant. Then there were my commercial editors at Corbis Images whose encouragement and patience were highest bar. In Motion Picture, my Cinematography mentor Greg Huglin and another dear friend and constant source of encouragement, film maker Bruce Brown and his family. In Film Production the list is too long to mention. The number of Producers, Directors, Production designers Photography Directors, Actors and more who constantly encouraged and instructed me was amazing. In Ocean Rescue and Risk Mitigation Management training, K38 Rescue and Founder Shawn Alladio’s training and friendship have been invaluable in keeping me and others alive (and successful) in what most would consider to be extreme situations and environments. My amazing wife and fellow creative, Donna von Hoesslin and my sons Josh and Jon.
All images David Pu’u