Since we can't get enough of his vibrant wave interpretations, we caught up with Brazilian artist and former Billabong collaborateur Tom Veiga to chat art, colours and beaches
Interview by Anna Langer, art by Tom Veiga
Where do you get the inspiration for their vibrant and colorful pictures? Besides the beach, of course...
God made the sea waves so perfect, each one around the world has a unique characteristic. There a big waves, short waves and short wave ranges, hot and cold waves, thick waves, thin ones and it inspires me too reflect these differences, that is the goal of my work. It aims to interpret the major unique characteristics of each place with minimum possible strokes, using color, curves and contrast. I'm even going beyond the waves nowadays and have done many other projects using the concept of waves in it. My style is very tropical, vibrant colors that show a bit of the Brazilian culture and its happy people...
How do you decide on colors and shapes?
My works are always based on waves, I am passionate about the movements of waves and use this concept in all that I do. The basis of my work is done in colors and curves, and I do not have a specific color palette, but when I'm in the process of painting I think in the sense that it needs to pass, I try to imagine myself in the art living that moment to get that color tones used to that moment. I do not really like dark colors though, I always prefer those that transmit more life and joy.
No, I was not interested in art, but have always been passionate about design. I used to work as a designer in an agency in Brazil, but after 10 years living in this rut of day-to-day campaigning, logos, and other projects, I ended up getting tired of this rhythm. That was when I started to like surfing, I thought I could work with surfing, traveling, seeing new places and started to pursue this goal of working with surf brands. I've tried it for almost five years and it did not work, God had another purpose for me... I express my passion through the waves and so got started to get involved with art as a hobby and to feel closer to the sea. I started doing it to relieve my daily run of work, but as that was taking shape I was falling in love with this more and more, and then the brands began to seek projects with me. It was fun so I started doing exhibitions and after I left the agency projects started to vary.
Why the focus on beaches?
The focus on beaches came as an objective to approach them, I do not live on the beach and the nearest beach is 1h drive from where I live, but when I'm drawing a beach I feel inside, I feel it next to me and it relaxes me distracts me. I'm happy doing it and I can approach them anywhere in the world!
I love the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, they are beautiful, and their curves and shapes inspire me so much. But I also really liked the beaches in France, they have a lot of inspiring scenery. And Hawaii as well of course but I think the one I like the most is in a city called Balneario Camboriu in Southern Brazil, that's the place I like to go to most.
And what was the most horrible, ugly one?
Well, the ugly beaches are near to where I live, even today I could not draw a lot of them... Haha.
Which one is your favorite of all times and why?
Again on Brazil's southern coast, Balneario Camboriu, a beautiful place with beach cafes where I like to work, the perfect place for me. I'm even thinking of opening a gallery down there...
We loved your collaboration with Billabong last year, do you have something similar planned for the future?
I was happy to do the project with Billabong, it was a dream come true, but I already have other new projects to be released soon! There is a collection of my shapes on the Globe Cruisers and I'm also doing something with Havaianas, next to mugs and cushions off my exhibitions.