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.

See more about Tyler Warren here, and pick up your very own Warren-shaped board here.   

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