Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

David Martinez Keeps Things Simple and Films Solo for Peace Vans


PEACEVANS_BAJA from David Martinez on Vimeo.

Photographer and Director David Martinez values simplicity in life and in his work. He is always looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary distractions that can take away from the beauty in front of us. So when we sat down to talk to him about his recent work with Peace Vans, we weren’t surprised to hear that this project evolved from a chance encounter at a coffee shop in Baja. 

This story writes itself; David saw someone wearing a Peace Vans shirt and asked which model van the person had. Coincidentally, the person David was speaking with was the owner, Harley Sitner. Immediately the two hit it off and struck up a deal that was mutually beneficial. Peace Vans would renovate David’s van and David would create motion work of him using the van. It really was as easy and as simple as that. Read on to learn more about this unconventional project, and see the dreamy videos David captured of his road trip from Seattle to Baja, with his wife and their 4 legged co-pilot Luna, in his Peace Van. 

What was a memorable moment while working on this project?

I always am enlivened on road and surf trips like this one, by the people you meet along the way. Between the backroads that are tough to navigate, to finding the best surf breaks, everyone is ready to caravan together to celebrate the beauty of the earth together. There was one day when we were about to embark on a remote 100 mile stretch that is known to be pretty dicey, made even harder in a van that is relatively low to the ground and lacking four wheel drive. We met a father and son in a well outfitted truck who were heading in the same direction so we teamed up and helped each other through. Funnily enough, their truck ended up getting stuck in sand and we were able to get around, but the camaraderie of situations like that make for memorable moments and lasting friendships.

What did you learn on this project?

How wonderfully simple life can be. We didn’t have the traditional contract and Harley wasn’t giving creative direction, we both just let each other do what we do best, which resulted in great motion work and a new friendship. This was a serendipitous meeting of the minds which let us both walk away with something we are happy to have. I think we all need to be reminded that it doesn’t always have to be complicated.

What do you want people to take away from you and your work after seeing this project?

That I am good at finding simple solutions, and I generally try to make projects work as painlessly as possible. In this case, all of the pieces settled into place, which I know doesn’t always happen, but I am also working to find the balance of care and intention in my work. How can we make this project come together? How can we take away what isn’t needed, and create something fresh? These are just some of the ideas I bring with me to set, whether that is in a studio, or on the cliffs of Big Sur.

PEACEVANS_BIG SUR from David Martinez on Vimeo.

Follow David on Instagram to see imagery that is a result of expressing his vision through balance.