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Q & A with Maria Brophy of Son of the Sea

By March 1, 2012November 11th, 2013Client Spotlight

Local San Clemente Artist Drew Brophy has been a professional artist for over 25 years.  He says that it’s his job to “make things look cool.”   With the help of his wife and business manager,  Maria, they have developed Drew’s surf art into a powerful brand and they currently have over thirty companies that license Drew’s art for their products.

Over a decade ago, Drew and Maria formed Son of the Sea, Inc., an agency that was intended to represent ocean inspired artists.

Son of the Sea has been adding licensed art and design to hundreds of well-known brands such as Converse, Ugg Australia and even the Hard Rock Casino, Las Vegas, since 2002.  And, on top of that, they’ve also done special projects for many famous musicians and surfing icons.

Maria has over 20 years of business experience and a passion and true talent for marketing. Put them together and what have you got? The very successful and totally cool art licensing agency, Son of the Sea.

How and when did Son of the Sea come to be?
In 2002 we formed Son of the Sea, Inc. to handle both the art of Drew Brophy and other artists. Drew had already been a professional artist his entire adult life when we formed the company. Son of the Sea is an agency that we originally formed so that we could represent several brands of artists, not just Drew.

After a few years of representing other artists we decided to focus entirely on Drew. 

Maria, you obviously have a business background. Please tell us a little about YOU and how you and Drew meshed the business into what it is today?
I worked in the insurance industry for over 15 years. That was where I learned my negotiation and contract skills. But my real talent is marketing – and I think I was born with that. I love coming up with new ideas for marketing Drew’s art and his brand. It’s a passion for me.

You and Drew offer inspirational workshops, lectures and seminars, tell us more.
Over the years many artists have come to Drew for advice. They see his success and want to understand how he’s done it. So we started giving lectures to artists to share our business tips and techniques. We want to see other artists succeed, too.

You two have alos dabbled in film production. How did you get started with that?
We decided years ago that it would be fun to have a reality TV show that shares with the world what a lifestyle artist does behind the scenes. We wanted to use it to inspire large numbers of people to do what they love for a living, too.

It took three years to bring that to reality. Now, The Paint Shop with Drew Brophy TV show airs to almost 4 million homes in Southern California.

What’s coming up in 2012 for Son of the Sea?
In 2012 we are focusing entirely on art licensing. We have a booth at this June’s License Expo in Las Vegas and we plan to add 6-10 new licenses before the end of the year. We are currently signing on with a large agency in Brazil, which will probably help us exceed that goal.   

SC Website Design is behind the build of the Son of the Sea website, how was your experience?
Working with Debbie at SC Website Design is a dream. She’s been able to solve so many problems for me that quite frankly no one else could.

Our website is a constant work in progress, and Debbie instinctively knows what we need to do to raise it to the next level. She’s a natural at this.

I’m so glad to have found her. She makes us look good!

For more information about the art of Drew Brophy, please visit


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