Interview with surf artist, Tiano Solana

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Tiano Solana is an Argentinian artist, graduated in fine and graphic arts, who has over 30 years of experience. He has lived in the solitude of the Uruguayan forests, he loves the ocean, and he was able to combine his art with voluntary social work in Calcutta and has been living in Punta Cana, with his wife and son, for the past two decades.

He has exhibited in Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, India, Dominican Republic and USA.

His paintings are in private collections in Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tahití, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Hey Tiano, how are you doing today?

Excellent. It has been a beautiful day. I just got back from surfing. The waves were small but the sea was beautiful.

Tell us about your last surf…

I live in Punta Cana and surf with friends especially in Macao and Uvero Alto. There are several different spots depending on the conditions.

These last days it has been windy and small. But we are expecting a good swell in three days. When the waves are small and slow like today I use a Firewire Cymatic 6.0 surfboard. When the conditions are better I use an Omni 5.9 or a Tomo SKX 6.2.

How did you first start the journey toward becoming a surf artist?

I always liked to paint or draw. At the age of 14 I entered an Art workshop (1988). And when I finished high school I studied Fine Art and Art Director.

So basically I’ve been painting all my life.

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, so I didn’t have the sea nearby. But when I was little we spent every summer at my grandmother’s house in Búzios, Brazil, where I started bodyboarding when I was 5 years old. At the age of 24 I went to the sea, to live in Punta del Este, Uruguay. There I could start surfing, which was what I had always wanted. Since then I have never stopped surfing.

As I am passionate about both art and surfing, for many years I wanted to paint on the subject, but I was not convinced by the results.

Only when I came to live in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, (2003) I found an identity of artwork and a process of artwork linked to surfing and the sea that I liked.

And for the last 5 years I have dedicated myself almost exclusively to surfing, and I enjoy it very much.

Who has influenced you both as a surf artist – and in life?

I had a teacher at the Bellas Artes academy, and who happened to live around the corner from my house, who in addition to teaching me a lot about painting, also taught me to live art and life focused on enjoying what I do and being happy.

I have made and still make that a way of life. And since family and friends, and surfing and art, is what I enjoy the most, that’s what I focus on, trying to share and transmit those passions and that joy with everyone I can.

What have been highlights in your life as a surf artist? What are you most proud of?

I really enjoy it when a person is moved by my work, when they stare at it and enjoy it. It never ceases to thrill me.

Words more, words less, some times I have been told that with my work I manage to transmit the essence of surfing pleasure, and that touched me a lot.

Whenever I publish an artwork in the networks I tag the surfer I paint (if it is someone in particular) and I also send the artwork by private message. I love it when they reply or say they like my artwork. In this context I was very excited when Kelly Slater told me that he liked my work and started following me on Instagram.

But my biggest thrill is everyday. It’s surfing, enjoying the sea, and then painting it. I feel very grateful for that.

What does a day in your life look like?

I wake up, I give my son a kiss (my wife has already gone to the office), I prepare mate (a typical Argentine tea) and something for breakfast. Then I go to the Atelier that I have at home and I start painting listening to the music that I like.

If there are waves, surfing is always a priority (2 or 3 hours) Luckily I have a couple of friends who can also freely use their time.

At noon I prepare lunch for my son and myself, and I continue drawing and painting. I never get tired of it.
Three times a week I take my son to soccer practice. And at night, twice a week I go to play soccer.

Every night I cook dinner and the three of us eat as a family.

Who do you most like spending time with? Why?

With my family and with my friends

What is a place you’re looking forward to going to? Why?

To Indonesia. It is a pending trip. Obviously to go surfing and also to get to know another culture and enjoy nature. With two friendly families we have the trip planned.

Who is your favorite surf artist? Why?

Wade Koniakowsky. I love it. I like what he transmits with his work. He transports me to dream places. It is wonderful.

Any words of inspiration or wisdom for those trying to pursue a path as a surf artist?

I firmly believe that you have to enjoy what you do. Enjoy the process. Focus on that. If the process is enjoyed, the result will surely be good. And do it with honesty and perseverance. I think that applies to everything you do in life.

Three words to describe your vision / goals for the next 12 months?

Enjoy, be happy

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

The less we have, the more we give. Seems absurd, but it’s the logic of love.

Mother Teresa

How can readers connect with you?

  1. From my point of view, it is really important to get an interview with creative personalities because they make a huge considerable contribution to the sphere of art and our world in general, making it more interesting. It is so cool that Tiano Solana dedicates himself to revealing the theme of surfing in his artworks because it seems to me that he is unique in his field and he implements it in an outstanding way. It is so inspirational that Tiano has devoted so many years to painting because it indicates that he has a passion for his business and it indicates that it is his absolute destiny that is so wonderful. What is most important is that Tiano gives his head and soul to this work and that people’s opinion and emotions regarding his pictures mean so much for him. I think that artists are very deep personalities and it is really important for them to see the return from the people.

    1. Hi Marina, Tiano is such a talented individual it was a pleasure to showcase both his work and his personality. I agree that artists deserve the platform whereby we can all see their work, this is something we are looking to develop even more on Surfd so definitely watch this space.

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