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Life Without Andy Co-founder, Mitch Tomlinson, is All About Combining Passion With Purpose

Discover how @lifewithoutandy co-founder, Mitch Tomlinson, combines his love for skate and surf culture with a mission to raise awareness for mental health. We follow the Life Without Andy founder as he surfs, skates and creates magic with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

In Partnership with Samsung

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Life Without Andy co-founder, Mitch Tomlinson, has millions of stories to tell. Over many years, the photographer, videographer and  commentator has cemented his niche, capturing the essence of skate, surf, fashion and party culture while serving up a decent dose of FOMO for those following along. “Skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding have always been a big part of my life. Being able to work in the industry has been a real blessing,” he says, after a surf on the morning of our Samsung Trailblazers series film shoot. If every day starts like this – chasing waves and flat whites on Sydney’s Bondi Beach – life seems pretty good.

Growing up in Merewether, Newcastle, a coastal haven on Australia’s East Coast, Mitch is no stranger to local surf and skate culture. He was surrounded by some of the best waves and skate parks in the region. “Surfing is fun,” he states. “It’s something you can do with your friends, something you can do by yourself, and it’s that little moment of the day that you can just forget about most things in life and switch off.” This environment fostered his early love for action sports, and eleven years ago, Mitch co-founded Life Without Andy with his best mate, Mitchell Ross, as a way to turn this passion into a career.

These days, Life Without Andy is a sought after creative agency and pop-culture magazine working with some of the biggest brands in the world. But it didn’t start that way. “I had a DVD of ‘Basquiat’ by Julian Schnivel. He was an amazing artist. On the DVD cover, there was a chapter called Life Without Andy and it’s when Andy Warhol died,” Mitch says, explaining the meaning behind the name. “Mitchell and I both hung up the phone and then rang each other back, scribbled it down, and that’s how the name came.”

Back then, Life Without Andy was just two friends, travelling the world, documenting everything, and capturing the essence of youth culture with an authentic and unfiltered lens. “Mitchell was looking after a former surfing world champion and a surf team and I was doing a lot of work in the skate and snowboard world,” Mitch explains. “We wanted to create a place where we could share all these parties and events and fun moments that we were having, then that grew into a pop culture website and a creative agency.”

From the very beginning, the aim has been to spread positivity. “It would have been really easy to get that click-baity stuff that could be negative, but it started from fun and positivity. We try to ingrain that in everything we do,” Mitch says. Today, the small but talented team continues to push creative boundaries, producing and directing campaigns for local and global brands. “We want to achieve our goals, but we also want to have a good time doing it.”

One of Mitch’s most meaningful projects is In Pieces, “a suicide awareness charity about connectivity and positive mental health. It’s trying to make the subject of suicide not a taboo topic,” he says. The concept involves tattooing individuals with puzzle pieces that, when combined, form a completed artwork designed by tattoo artist, Gummy Johnson. “250 puzzle pieces were tattooed on the skin of 250 people to represent that when you’re going through stuff, you’re still connected.” What started with a few friends and social media influencers, soon exploded and turned into a community – and a long wait list for tattoos. The project has expanded beyond Sydney, with plans to bring In Pieces to cities like Melbourne, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo.

For his Samsung Trailblazers episode, we follow a day in Mitch’s life, watching him work and create using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra – a tool he relies on to run his business. A clearly essential part of his process, we see him using Galaxy AI tools like Note Assist* to capture information and send summaries, or Photo Gallery to review and edit images on the go. “From the calendar to shoots and projects, it’s all there in one place. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra makes it really easy for me to navigate through all aspects of my life,” Mitch says.

Possessing an innate desire to dive into projects head first, Mitch is always up for a new challenge or opportunity. Most recently, that means swapping the studio for the commentary box, as he prepares to cover skateboarding and BMX at the Paris 2024 Olympics. “I’ve been lucky enough to commentate at amazing events like the Belco Bowl Jam in Canberra and the X Games,” he recalls. “The Olympics is a whole other level. You’ve got a producer in your ear counting you down, there’s two million plus people watching,” he says. “We’ll be talking through the action sports and hopefully seeing some Australians walk away with some medals.”

Surfing. Skating. Mates. Photography. Commentary. Mitch Tomlinson is a busy man, but at the centre of it all, is a deep love for the process. “I enjoy what I do,” he says.

“I just get excited about a lot of the projects I’m working on with Life Without Andy; working on the In Pieces project; and those aspects of my life make me excited to get up in the morning.”

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Ultra is available now via the Samsung website

*Certain applications may not support multi-tasking. AI Features will be provided free of charge until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices. Note Assist requires a network connection and Samsung Account. Accuracy of results is not guaranteed.

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