Father, surfer, and artist, are some of the labels that come to mind when describing Sean D. Ruttkay.
However, it was the label of “dyslexic” in the first grade that Ruttkay was first given. “Early in my school years teachers and the community did not think that a person with my level of dyslexia could make it to college,” says Ruttkay. “But growing up with swimming and later finding surfing and surf culture, I believe I was able to work through these barriers and build the life that I had hoped for. And I owe it all to the power of water.” This desire to be with water and the ocean motivated Ruttkay to graduate both high school and then from college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a Teaching Degree in Special Education with an academic focus on students with dyslexia. But at this point, Ruttkay decided to pivot. So after graduating in 2005, Ruttkay decided to pursue a new, creative path in life, one that was true to his hydro based spirit. He started Elemental Digital Art (EDA Surf) with the mission of spreading the visual power of water to the built environment through art installations. Since 2005 Ruttkay, through his brand EDA Surf, has shipped, and installed thousands of holistic water art pieces. Residential, corporate, and healthcare spaces, from Singapore to Washington, D.C. have found value in Ruttkay’s ability to transform both interior and exterior, with grand mood-stimulating installations.
Today Sean Ruttkay lives and works with his wife Cornelia, daughter Nealie (4) and son Dax (2) in Wilmington, North Carolina.
EDA Surf Art represents the art product of artist Sean D. Ruttkay. The EDA Surf Art mission is to transform spaces, both interior and exterior, into restorative environments. Through the use of artwork derived from the powers of nature and water, EDA Surf Art achieves its goal of uplifting consciousness in the built environment.
From small spaces to large ones, EDA Surf Art delivers state of the art print mediums that effectively transports the viewer to the water, thus uplifting the spirit of the human observing the work.
Whether in a home, office, or wellness center, EDA Surf Art is the ideal decorative choice. Influenced by the guiding principles of Evidence-Based Design (EBD), EDA Surf Art captures the soft fascination found in water and when installed transforms physical environments into restorative spaces. Numerous studies have shown that occupants of these spaces gain substantial physiological benefits as well as tangible positive outcomes.
Enhanced Well-being – Achieving a state of wellness at home is vital. Installing EDAsurf Art in the home can bring individuals closer to this state and faster then non-natural based art. Studies show that In the built environment, artworks depicting nature can contribute to a human’s well-being (Daykin et al., 2008).
Mood Enhancement – Just looking at EDA Surf Art can lighten moods and improve days. Studies show that elements of nature and especially water or it’s viewed can be effective in reducing stress, as well as provide positive distractions that promote wellness in built environment (Ulrich 1991).
Satisfies Desires – Visions of water have a powerful effect on humans across the population. Some say this is due to our collective biological desire to be in a natural environment, typically one that has water in it. So when we occupy the built environment we are naturally out of our natural comfort zone (EO Wilson 1984). Installing EDAsurf Art subliminally satisfies and brings the viewer closer to a natural state, thus enhancing mood and general well being.
Improved Attention – Typically it takes individuals 15-20mins to get to a state of attention where ‘work’ can be conducted effectively, however this state can be ruined in seconds with life’s distractions. It is now known that simply looking at elements of nature, and more specifically water can rapidly bring an individual back to an attentive working state. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) asserts that people can concentrate better after looking at pictures of nature (Kaplan’s 1995).
Make An Impression – Studies show the most remembered aspect to any business is not the furniture, paint, or even the receptionist, it is the art (Harris, McBride, Ross, & Curtis 2002). EDAsurf Art will leave a modern visual impact with customers and staff while holistically branding the business in a subtle effective manner (Hathorn et al., 2008).
Happy Customers & Staff – A business environment needs to be comfortable for both customers and staff. EDAsurf Art induces and delivers this comfort simply and effectively. Studies show that when art is installed depicting elements of nature, levels of customer satisfaction and employee job satisfaction increase substantially (Ulrich et al., 2003).
Lower Bottom Lines – Installing EDA Surf Art in a healthcare environment is an intrinsic long-term investment that will show on the facilities P&L over time. Studies show that those with a pictorial view of nature suffered fewer complications, use less pain medication and are discharged sooner. Evidence also shows improvements in patients and staff safety, wellness and satisfaction (Ulrich 1984).n powerfully change spaces and enhance the state of mind of those who encounter these aquatic visuals. Elements of nature and especially that of water or it’s viewed can be effective at reducing stress and promoting wellness in the built environment (Ulrich 1991).
Positive Distraction – Hospitals need positive, natural energy. The beneficial impact of art depicting serene natural environments offers a positive distraction to those who may be in difficult circumstances (Hathorn et al., 2008)
Improved Wayfinding -Getting lost in a hospital can be easy. EDAsurf Art can solve this common problem. The beneficial impact of art depicting natural environments offers improvements to navigating a facility (pieces of art serve as landmarks in the built environment ) (Hathorn et al., 2008).