Janessa Bookout was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and spent her early childhood in New Mexico before her family moved back to Tulsa where she attended school. She was always a straight-A student and studied college level AP and IB subjects in high school, excelling in arts and academics. Janessa also worked as a camp counselor and held several part time jobs while attending school. She graduated with honors from Booker T. Washington High School in 2000.
Janessa received a substantial scholarship to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art. Janessa moved to Baltimore at age 18 to study traditional fine art and also explored digital technology, industrial fabrication and liberal arts. She also worked in restaurants to support herself through school and graduated with honors, receiving a BFA in Sculpture in 2004.
Janessa returned to Tulsa after college and continued to create her own fine art while also working as a creative fabricator, fashion model and waitress. She also spent some time traveling the US and lived for brief amount of time in Chicago and Portland before moving to Southern California in 2008.
Janessa had an art studio in Venice, CA and worked as a bartender for many years at the Venice Whaler before falling in love and joining forces with Dave Moore. She moved to Huntington Beach, CA and the couple officially formed DMZ Surfboards LLC in 2011. Janessa began exploring the materials and techniques used in surfboard fabrication, applying them to her work as a fine artist, and showed her art in solo and group exhibitions in Orange County and Los Angeles.
Janessa and Dave then opened a retail shop, The Zone, in Sunset Beach, CA in 2016. Their little local “mom n pop” style surf shop showcased DMZ Surfboards, artwork by Janessa and other local brands and small business from California and Hawaii. The shop ran into some hard times with a bad lease and a bad roof in the rainiest winter on record, so they closed in 2017 after learning some tough lessons about business… like never rent an old building “as is”.
After the shop closed, Dave continued to make his surfboards out of his shop in Huntington Beach and returned to his surfing roots in Malibu, becoming a member of the Malibu Surfing Association. He continues making custom boards and also works with corporate clients.
Janessa transitioned in art gallery management and now works full time managing RockStars of Art Gallery in Corona del Mar and continues to make art in Huntington Beach, CA.
Janessa has transformed the inventory and custom options previously available at their retail shop into a new online shop at www.shopthezoneshop.com.
DMZ Surfboards archives are viewable online at www.dmzsurfboards.com.
Janessa also does some freelance work on contract basis. This website is her online portfolio (www.janessabookout.com) please contact her for more information on anything you see here.