The art of brush, stroke and flow with Tyler Warren
Words by Morgan Williamson In a quiet adobe town resides a man by the name of Tyler Warren. It’s a funny little place, in the valley next to the Surfliner’s train tracks there’s a run down barrio casually juxtaposed by the hillside’s multi-million dollar mansions. The kind of homes that come complete with movie theaters, multiple […]
Words by Morgan Williamson
In a quiet adobe town resides a man by the name of Tyler Warren. It’s a funny little place, in the valley next to the Surfliner’s train tracks there’s a run down barrio casually juxtaposed by the hillside’s multi-million dollar mansions. The kind of homes that come complete with movie theaters, multiple swimming pools, ponds and horse stables. It’s a place for authentic Mexican food, tours of the San Juan Mission and much ado about swallows. Tyler’s got a small home tucked away in good old San Juan. He’s built an art studio and shaping bay in the back of his house. His back yard’s been reworked into a larger workshop and studio area. A few short miles from his circa 1929 home lays his home break of Salt Creek. He’s a surfer, shaper and artist. “Surfing and painting are similar,” he says. “You lock yourself in whether it be a canvas or a wave. They’re both kind of an act of meditation. Some sessions and pieces of work don’t go that way but the best ones do.”
Mr Warren in his show room. Photo: Lanna Lyon
“Surfing’s just something I enjoy doing,” he continues. “I always have from a young age, so it’s provided some inspiration for my art.” Which has an innate surf or at very least beach influence. When you grow up in coastal Orange County you’re surrounded by some of the best surf Southern California has to offer. If you don’t take fair advantage of the wide array of point and beach breaks north and south of you, as a surfer; you’re blowing it. “The thought process for a piece of art and riding waves is similar,” Mr Warren tells me. “You start with an idea, where you want to surf, what board you want to ride. It’s the same with art, it all stems from a rough sketch, an idea. Then you dive into it and the most enjoyable part is being immersed in it, then fine tuning. It’s always nice to finish on a good note, same with painting. I try and wrap it all up with a pretty bow on the end,” he laughs, “I guess.”
Pier View by Tyler Warren.
But he’s not a ‘surf artist’. It’d be pretty hard pressed to find any surfer who has talent in art to label themselves as such a thing. “At a younger age I was really into rock posters of the 60’s, like the psych rock posters for Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane. That whole San Francisco deal, you know?” says Tyler. “I like art that you can look at for a while and find more and more of what the piece is made of, where more’s revealed the longer you look. I’ve also always loved old illustrations from the 20’s through the 70’s, stuff that’s simple and well designed. That’s probably my favorite era’s for art. When I started working with my uncle, who’s an oil painter, he got me into Art Nouveau artists like Alphonse Mucha.”
The Partner by Tyler Warren.
Tyler works with Billabong on clothing collection and wetsuit designs. “When I first started doing art for work I would do hand drawn t-shirt graphics and patterns for trunks,” he says. “Or promotional posters. I don’t do that all the time anymore, but for the first five years it was good to have deadlines. Now if the opportunity arises I like to help out. I’m more into doing stuff straight from me with no filter. With painting I try to capture that ideal moment where everything’s in place, something that will provide a soothing feeling.”
Tyler poetically perches beneath perforated skies in a still frame above warm salt water. Photo: Mermaid Research
Apart from the brush, Tyler’s also proficient with a planer. “Shaping’s starting to take up more and more of my time,” Tyler says. “I made my first board when I was 14, then made one a year till I was 22. Then it kind of snowballed. Now I’m 29 and have my boards in 10 shops in California. I’m shaping about 250 boards a year.”
No shaping bay is complete without a sneaky can of Tecate. Photo: Tyler Warren
For more of Mr Warren’s art drag that blinking little arrow right here.
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