Surfboard artist creates tribal design

If you like your surfboards decorated with tribal art, then you’ll love the latest work from surfboard artist Geniya Ignatova, who has transformed a plain old board into a functional masterpiece.

The process is simple but the skill required to produce accurate and symmetrical designs takes years to master. Geniya’s love of the ocean naturally extends to her artwork, but we wanted to find out more, so we asked where her love of tribal design originated.

Geniya said, “I have always loved Aztec art and the intricacy of tribal patterns and textures. They lure the viewer into the artwork and reveal stories about the time and place of creation.”

Geniya studied design in Moscow and has a penchant for creative expression, ranging from photography to sculpture, drawing to video editing.

“The act of creation is a precious thing. Time is fleeting and so much is wasted while we do things that don’t matter. Art is not necessarily important, and surf art even less so, but it can bring meaning into our life,” Geniya said.

When pressed further she continued, “The meaning comes from having reminders. My tribal surfboard pattern, it reminds me to be closer to nature, to spend time appreciating the plants and flowers on the way to the beach. To be thankful for the food that nourishes us. The flower of life design is significant to me and I suppose variants of it appear throughout my work.”

Drawing on the surfboard deckThe process for creating tribal surfboard art is:

  • Sand surfboard deck to prepare the surface
  • Sketch with pencil
  • Draw artwork lines using Posca pen
  • Seal the drawing with UV resistant clear varnish

Geniya’s advice for artists just starting out is simple.

“Begin with something basic. It doesn’t have to be tribal or symmetrical – you can choose a style that reflects your personality. Draw the design on paper first. Surfboard art is like getting a tattoo – once it is on it is hard to remove. So practice and get used to the feeling of drawing the lines you want to show in your artwork.”

We asked her where she gets inspiration.

“Pinterest is a great place to explore unusual things like tribal, psychedelic designs. Use it for inspiration, but then let your own creativity flow. Create what is inside of you – and then go surfing!”

If, like others, you would like a surfboard or other surf artwork painted by Geniya then you are welcome to contact her by email on geniya(at) – or find her on Instagram (Geniya_i).

Geniya said, “Creating surfboard art is not for everyone. I love it, it is my passion, so if people want me to bring my vision into their life I am happy to help out.”

Before and after - the surfboard artist presents her work

Watch the surfboard artist in action

This is what most people came here to watch – enjoy the journey as Geniya paints tribal designs on a surfboard from start to finish.