Tyler Warren is a California surfer/artist who appears in the film “One California Day” and the soon to be released “The Tyler Warren Experiments.” A fine artist, his paintings and designs have been shown both locally and internationally. We spoke with Tyler to learn more about his life and inspirations.
What was your life like growing up?
Great. I grew up in Dana Point and San Juan. My childhood consisted of skateboarding, bike riding, the beach, boogie boards, junior lifeguards, snorkeling, boats, surfing and drawing. My parents always enjoyed the beach and ocean, so it led me to love it too.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I think I was 9 or 10. It was a Bruce Jones channel bottom twin fin from the late 70’s I still have it.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood up on a surfboard?
“Yes! This is awesome!”
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a young man?
My older friends that longboarded (down at Doho and San O), local style masters like Darren Eudaly, Robin Kegel, Cody Faircloth, John Husak, Oliver Parker, and Cody Simpkins. Then the guys in the videos: Joel Tudor, Matt Howard and Tom Curren. Artists like Rick Griffin, Andy Warhol, Thomas Campbell, Barry McGee, Alphonse Mucha, Kenton Nelson, M.C. Escher, Norman Rockwell.
Where did your interest in art come from?
Well, my parents always encouraged my drawing and creativity. My mom was interested in art in high school and college. Her brother—my uncle Kenton—is a successful oil painter and my great uncle was a famous Mexican muralist. I have enjoyed drawing since I was very young. I would draw lots of helicopters, planes, boats, knights and Indians.
Who/what inspires you?
Life, vintage illustration and the ocean.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
All your dreams come true if you put the work in.
What are you most proud of?
The life I am leading. I am doing exactly what I wanted to do when I was younger.
How did the idea for The Tyler Warren Experiments come about?
It all started with one session on my new Mandala quad. John Smart was stoked on my surfing and we kept shooting for the next couple years. The project has led us to Mexico, Australia and beyond—meeting lots of great people along the way. The movie is going to focus on shapers, board design, a wide variety of surfers, art and having fun. Mark Jeremias (maker of One California Day) is teaming up on The Experiments, so its all a matter of time and some more good swells.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
It is to hard to pick one place. Each country is so special and offers so much diversity. My travels have taken me to Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Belize, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing is my escape and love. I have met so many great people through surfing and been able to travel the world.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
A perfectly-shaped wave with no one around. (Laughs) Or just an uncrowded wave, my girlfriend, family, completing a job and creating.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Richard Kenvin, Ryan Burch, Lucas Dirske, Justin Adams, Ryan Thomas, Nathan Adams, Andy Nieblas, Christian Wach, Alex Kopps and Alex Knost,
What is your current favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
A 4’10″ twin fin inspired by all my favorite shapers: Bob Simmons, Malcolm Campbell, Terry Martin, Manuel Caro, Greg Liddle, George Greenough, Steve Lis and Skip Frye.
I enjoy surfing the Trestles area.
What’s your favorite meal?
A burrito or a good sandwich—anything with avocado.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire, Benny Goodman, Iron and Wine, Bob Marley, Modest Mouse, The Cure, Hank Williams, Talking Heads, Radiohead, Kings of Convenience, Bridgette Bardot and many more.
What are you most grateful for?
My family, girlfriend, friends, my art and surfing.
What’s next for Tyler Warren?
Off to Costa Rica to surf and shoot with Chris Klopf. Then going to New York with Von Zipper to launch their new clear lens line. I did the art for their new ad campaign. I have been working on a film with John Smart and Mark Jeremias for the past three years titled The Tyler Warren Experiments. I am going to continue doing art, designing, shaping, surfing and traveling.