As a professional surfer and shaper, the name Tyler Warren is synonymous with fluidity, experimentation, and style -- but what most people don't know is that Warren is a third generation artist (his uncle is a successful oil painter from Pasadena, and his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro, was a famous Mexican muralist in the 1920's). We took a moment to explore Warren's artistic roots, his bond with the legendary shaper Terry Martin, and what motivates him in surfing, shaping, and his art.
P - Tell me about where you grew up.
TW - I grew up in a small harbor/beach town called Dana Point, and a semi-country town just south east called San Juan Capistrano in southern California. Both towns were humble upbringings and I was lucky enough to have parents that loved the ocean. We had boats growing up that we would dock in different harbors around SoCal.
P - As a third generation artist do you feel your art has stemmed from your lineage? Do you feel a connection to the art your family has made? What was it like growing up with such familial influences?
TW - Yes, I think art has been naturally accepted and loved in my life. Understanding the generations that came before me is a definitive key. Most of all, I think it is just in my blood to be a creator.
P - What types of mediums do you most gravitate toward? Why?
TW - Foam (shaping), pen and ink, and oil on canvas. For some reason I have gravitated towards these mediums through life experiences and what works best for me. I enjoy smooth lines, bold color, and smooth transitions.
P - How does being an artist affect the way you shape boards? Does your studio practice influence your boards? Or perhaps vice versa?
TW - I find myself drawing my future surfboards, being meticulous with color and finish shape. I am always searching for that perfect shape.
P - Are there any other elements have influenced your shaping style? Has the culture of surfing affected your work as a young and developing artist?
TW - Culture has not been a big influence to my shaping, I am more about just wanting to create what is in my head, and I'm attracted to what I think will work best.
P - Who are your most prevalent influences in surfing and art?
TW - In surfing: Joel Tudor, Tom Curren, Occy, and Wayne Lynch. In art: My mom and uncles, and the art of the past... Usually pre-1990's.
P - How did it feel learning, knowing, and working with a legend like Terry Martin? What is the most important piece of advice that he passed on to you? Or what was the most important lesson you learned?
TW - I was very stoked to have Terry as a shaper and a friend growing up. He influenced kindness and good work into my life. He was a hard worker like most of the people I look up to. He would get to the shaping room at 4 am and be done for the day by 9 or 10. He was a no BS kind of guy. He strove for excellence and found it through practice.
[Terry Martin and Tyler Warren]
P - Do you have a favorite piece that you've created or board design?
TW - I think my next painting or board will always be my best. Some of my favorite boards are the quads I have made. My favorite painting would have to be one titled "California Revisited" that combines my pen work with oil.
P - What do you hope to contribute, as a shaper especially, to the culture of surfing?
TW - As a shaper I just want to produce good surfboards and be well rounded. Most of all, I want to make boards that allow people to have fun in the ocean. The ideal surfboard for me paddles well, is loose, has drive, and goes fast.
P - What keeps you motivated as an artist? As a shaper?
TW - New boards, new swells, friends, family, pictures, films, knowledge, people I look up to, and everyday beauty.
All photos taken by Nolan Hall, see more of his work here.