Just a few miles from the Newport Beach shoreline, a 14-year-old boy pens creatures with bloodshot eyes and shapes custom surfboards. His business-savvy parents support his artistic endeavors, his sister studies music at Orange Coast College when she's not striking piano keys and his brother films him surfing waves when the swell is right. His name is Kid Creature—aka Calvin Saxton—and his story is utterly fascinating.
From under the wide brim of a new Kid Creature hat—adorned with a muscle-flexing monster advising on which way to the beach—sounded a young voice brimming with maturity and the unaffected innocence and freedom of a teenager. He spoke of his early days, his battles with severe allergies and asthma, his first time picking up a marker, the birth of his love for surfing. He spoke of a world in which no dream goes ignored when no boundaries are erected.
Best of all, he talked with uncertainty about his future, about the unknown that proves exciting in youth and horrifying in adulthood. We thought back to our hobbies at his age—our outlook on life—and we couldn't help but admire his talent, motivation and luck. And stamp ourselves as complete failures at his ripe age.
Kid Creature has shown his work numerous times, boasts a long list of impressive friends and is surrounded by probably the coolest family in Southern California. His exhibit at the International Surfing Museum opened in conjunction with the HB Downtown Art Walk on Thursday, October 17, and we had the pleasure of picking his brain earlier that day. The morning after opening night, the Arizona native jetted off to Australia for 10 days to surf and visit sick children.
Instilled with a compassion for kids struggling with any health condition, Kid Creature has a special place in his heart for those who name breathing as their biggest challenge. He donates 10 percent (often more) of the profits from his product sales to the Anaheim-based Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world's leader in finding a cure for the deadly disease. To date, he's donated about $60,000 to the nonprofit, and Volcom has agreed to match it.
Our chats with Kid Creature and members of his family were all captured on video for Main & PCH, but until we cut, splice, then invite you to watch, here are five things we learned from our inspiring day with the Saxtons.
- Supportive parents who lightly guide the steering wheel of their kids' lives, offering direction, gas and breaks when needed, help shape magnificent beings.
- Sometimes creative genes skip a generation.
- Never let anyone tell you not to surf.
- There's no view as unfiltered, unjaded and honest as through the eyes of a kid.
- With a strong support network, humans can accomplish just about anything.
The next time we see Kid Creature he'll likely have his braces off and have developed a faint Australian accent. The next time you see him might be on November 3, when the International Surfing Museum reopens after its renovation with his exhibit still on display, or perhaps in our upcoming video. Stay tuned.