Van Life | The Creations Of Jay Nelson

Jay Nelson is an artist and surfer who currently resides in San Francisco. He’s known for his unique style of building and transforming various objects such as furniture, vehicles, treehouses and other spaces.



Although a lot of people view Jay as a builder, he’s more of an artist than anything else. His building ability is nothing short of exceptional, but it’s the creative element in his work that really draws you in. It’s evident that he approaches his work much like an artwork.

What’s also evident is how much surfing inspires Jay’s work. Whether he’s building some sort of surf buggie, transforming a car into a campervan, or just the organic materials he uses in his work, there’s a strong surf vibe present.




Jay’s passion began years ago when he purchased an old Honda Civic and converted it into a camper. The rear of the car had been damaged in an accident, and as a way of saving costs he built a structure around the damage to cover it up, while also using it as a place to sleep while road tripping across America. He was inspired by the interest shown in his camper and the people he met through it, which he says set him in a direction with his work.



Jay has worked with the likes of Patagonia, Foster Huntington, Rob Machado, and is currently an ambassador for Vissla. Check out one of his latest creations, the Dream Steeple, in Vissla’s latest film, now on Garage. Click the link below to watch for free now.