Tom Viega is a Brazilian graphic designer and poster artist with a flair for vibrant colors and shapes. His modern and vintage-inspired designs beautifully evoke every surfer’s dream – the perfect wave. We join Tom and ask him a few questions about his work and his life.
What was life like growing up?
I had a very good childhood. I was born and raised in Curitiba, the capital of Parana state, a place with a good quality of life in Brazil. It was a city with no beach, but with lots of nature. A great place for growing up.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young man?
My dream was to be a football player. I played for 4 years in the youth team from the capital, but ended up hurting myself. When I stopped playing football did not know what I would do in life, but I was inspired and encouraged by my brother who is an illustrator Dirceu Veiga. I knew nothing of creation, communication, but he was helped me get started working in design.
Where did you interest in surfing art come from?
In 2003 I became interested in surfing after I stopped playing football. Even before surfing I began to delight in the surf culture, the lifestyle of people living in that environment. Life on the beach, travel, and always close to nature is something that had begun to intrigue me.
What is the Serie Waves?
The Waves series name comes from the idea Serie, something still is not something that has an end, is something that is always in motion. A surfer dreams of a series of large waves breaking and tubular, and Serie Waves has this idea and concept. It is a series of waves in various styles, colors, features. It is something that always has something new – a wave, a new work of art coming. It is also something moving – a new swell of creativity.
What is your process when creating your art?
My creative process varies widely, drawing inspiration for a wave can come on a trip with his family to the beach, watching a surfing magazine, watching a DVD of surfing, drinking coffee, walking down the street, anywhere or even doing anything. I always walk around with a pencil and paper, because when it comes to the idea. I’ve already spent the time to put it on paper. I scan the sketch and start to trace the basis of art in illustrator. Finally, I work out the colors, shadows and details in Photoshop to finish the design.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
I traveled a lot, but not outside Brazil. Here in Brazil I have encountered fantastic places, the best was Garopaba, located on the coast of Santa Catarina, a fishing village with a quiet beach for family, a beautiful place and made a big difference. I had a lot of inspiration in those days seeing all those beautiful beaches, waves and landscapes. I do have this idea of traveling with the family to see such as JBay, Mentawai, California, Pipeline, and Fiji.
What are you grateful for?
I very much appreciate the family that God gave me and my family. I am inspired by God who fills our lives and made us, and that also in the motivation to help people who are around us to make life more beautiful.
Who/what inspires you?
My inspiration comes from what God has done – He created waves perfectly, each with a different feature, different colors, different shapes. Also the surfing community has inspired me. Waves, travel, magazines, dvds, surf sites, anything resembling a wave inspires me.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
I wish I had known more of surf culture before I started with football.
What are you most proud of?
I am blessed and proud to have a family.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing has many benefits to a person, it brings us closer to nature, the beauty that God created, everyone who gets involved with a sport, a culture like this creates a change in lifestyle. Leave an urban center to go to a beach, either to rest or to ride or spend a weekend and just stop and admire the sea – It’s so great, so full of waves, it makes you appreciate your life.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
I have people I admire very much in the world of surfing. They are the artists, surfers amateur and professional photographers.
What’s your favorite meal?
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
At the moment I just listened to POD, Tom Curren, and Dominic Balli.
What causes/ projects/ organizations do you support?
I now work for a digital agency, working as art director, and in his spare time do freelance design work and also in WAVES SERIE. I am also involved in social work at an orphanage and also other social project that helps people have more hope in life. I work with people who have done drugs, have addictions and help them so they might have a better life.
What’s next Tom Veiga?
I want to be more involved with the surfing world. Partnering or even work with surf brands, work with my Surfarts for events, and being in art exhibitions. Also working on the project Surfarts to doing that which is inspired by the waves of the WCT. And my dream its someday live on the beach with my family.
More information about Tom Veiga and his work can be found here.