Kimi Werner has lived off the land and ocean her entire life.
"Making some venison patties. We can maybe have some venison loco mocos," Werner said.
It was a lesson learned while watching her father gather their food from the ocean. One day she joined him. Today, it's a way of life.
"Through spearfishing, I get a lot of my fresh fish and by sharing that with people in the community, I also get all these fresh fruit in return. Jabong from Pupukea, lilikoi, sweet potatoes, peppers."
It's always been about sharing for this accomplished chef, former art teacher, and 2008 national spearfishing champion.
"I started off really as a starving artist, which I still pretty much consider myself. And because of diving, my art got more recognition and started to sell and now the projects are evolving," Werner said.
The evolution turned to video. A life-changing event captured on video in May turned interest into passion.
"It meant so much to me, that when it first happened, I didn't want to release it," Werner said.
Werner was part of an expedition off Mexico when she unexpectedly found herself swimming with a 17-foot great white shark.
"When it happened, it was a very special moment to me. But after awhile, I also realized that it was a gift and it was given to me to use responsibly," Werner said.
She would use the clip to shine a light on things that mattered to her -- being in harmony with the ecosystem and living sustainably.
"If I can take something as exciting as a great white shark and then connect it to all of the above, then that would be a success for me," Werner said.
Her life hasn't been the same since. Last month, she was inducted into the Freediving-Spearfishing Wall of Fame and she's been interviewed by news outlets across the world.
Her message has never changed.
"You can live off the land, you can live off the ocean, and you can most importantly, I feel is share," Werner said.
This wasn't about riding a great white.
"To me, that would just make life better in Hawaii and if that is something that I can encourage just by example, then I'm all for it," Werner said.
And we're all better because of it.
Werner's artwork will soon be featured on selected Vans Shoes at an art show in the lobby at the Turtle Bay Resort throughout the Vans Triple Crown from Nov. 12 through Christmas.
The shoes will eventually be sold with all proceeds going to coastal sustainability non-profit organizations.
For more information on Werner's artwork, visit this website.
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