T2TR X Kian Farin
In between his time in the water and the dark
room, Kian advocates for our local kelp beds.
Hey Kian, how's it going?
I'm doing well man, how are you?
Not bad. What have you been up to recently?
Well back in November I got back from a cave diving trip in Florida that then turned into a cave diving trip in Mexico. As of recently, I've been doing some work with some production companies around LA, but most of the time I am really enjoying spending my days in the water, diving in our kelp forests.
(Whale shark in Mexico)
That sounds amazing man, I was fortunate enough to dive with you in the kelp forests of Catalina Island.
Yeah, the kelp forest is a really cool and unique ecosystem that we have here in southern California, and we're really lucky to have it.
Totally. So let's get to the topic of staying true to your roots...give us a little back story, where are you from, what are your passions, etc.
Yeah, so I've been diving for about ten years now. I started getting involved with it in Mexico and then brought back that passion to Los Angeles, where I was born and raised. LA is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart especially because of all the beautiful natural resources that we have around us and scuba diving really enabled me to explore these beautiful places that we have in our backyard.
Diving is rad, it really is another world. So, as you know, T2TR collabs with local artists, influencers, and community leaders in order to showcase their meaning of staying true to the roots. What does being True to The Roots look like for you?
Well, coming back home after learning how to scuba dive and further educating myself on this activity, I was able to become an instructor and community leader in diving. I've become able to share my passion with other people and introduce them to this cool world.
Spreading your passions to other people is a really great way to grow the community and its love for the activity. I'm curious, how long have you been instructing and how many people have you certified?
I've been teaching for three years now, and I've certified a little over 200 people. In the grand scheme of things, 200 isn't very many. But ultimately, anyone who I'm able to certify and know that they will continue diving and stay stoked, I will be doing my job so I feel really good about that.
That must be a great feeling to have. We have a beautiful selection of photos from you, attached above. Kian, can you tell us about your involvement in photography.
I'm an underwater photographer and I really like sharing that passion with people as a means of furthering their appreciation for the underwater world. I think a major way of staying true to the roots of photography is by shooting on film, with black and white film especially. While underwater, you can lose some of the little distractions you get from color and you can really focus on the organic. The whole process, from diving with a camera to developing the film myself, is a way to stay genuine and true to the art of photography and appreciate our underwater world.
Hell yeah. I can't speak to that myself, my photography isn’t great haha. Can you tell us a little about the photo(above) you chose for this collaboration?
So yeah, that was from a role that I shot just off the beach in Malibu. Usually, I'll go out with my camera and a buddy and just swim around in the kelp forests off PCH. Sometimes we're diving through very lush and full canopies of kelp, but occasionally only finding a couple strands. Ultimately, the shot that we went with was a single stock of kelp going up and at the time, I wasn't necessarily thinking about it too much, but after a little bit of time in the darkroom and playing with the image, it ended up really looking like a woman with long flowing hair standing in the ocean, and I think that's a great visual.
And how are our local kelp beds affected by global warming?
As we know, global warming has affected local kelp beds and the marine ecosystems around the world. Our local marine communities are undergoing change with rising sea levels and water temperature. As we get more frequent El Nino years, we're getting less and less kelp growth. Also, as we get more aggressive storms, the torn kelp prevents animals from finding shelter, forcing them to find refuge elsewhere and displacing them from their homes.
So, how is this collaboration going to include your message in our clothing?
The photo that we chose for this collaboration perfectly illustrates the raw beauty of our kelp forest. As we see the strand of kelp coming down, the “True 2 The Roots” graphic is written in vertical order, so the “roots” are aligned with the roots of the actual kelp. My image was recreated by talented artist Domenico Rizzotti, who turned it into a rad graphic!
Finally, a percentage of profits will be donated to a cause of your choice, what are you thinking about?
Heal the Bay. A great organization, based in Southern California, with efforts of protecting our coastlines, cleaning our waterways, and emphasizing the importance of mitigating global warming.
Sounds great Kian, thank you for all the time you’ve dedicated to your communities and for staying true to your roots.
Thanks a lot! I'm really stoked to be part of this mission and hope others are inspired to stand for what they believe, in other words stay true to their roots.
For anybody who wants to support Kian and the cause, make sure to browse our clothing below or visit his site at kianfar.in!