Surf Stories: Inspiring Polynesian Artist, Shar Tuiasoa
Today's Do Good Feature is the talented Polynesian artist hailing from Oahu, Shar Tuiasoa!
With her distinct creative style and pieces that capture the flow and energy of her home and the people in it, Shar is kicking butt and taking names with her art work.
First things first, where are you from?
ST: I am from Kailua, Oahu where I was born and have lived for most of my life.
Kailua is beautiful! Do you surf out there? How did you get into it?
ST: Yes! Both of my parents were surfers and I became obsessed when I was about 14. I couldn't get enough! I was going before school, after school, on the weekend...any chance I could! Since becoming a Mom and running my illustration business, I sadly don't paddle out nearly as much, but I am hoping to change that this year.
How did you get into illustration?
ST: I've been drawing my whole life. My mom studied illustration as well as she used to drag us to her art classes when we were kids, so I have been exposed to drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. I've always been one to have a sketchbook on hand and loved creating little short comic strips about what was happening in my life at that moment. After high school, I studied fine art at my local community college for 5 or 6 years before moving to California to earn my BFA in illustration from Laguna College of Art and Design. I've been back on Oahu since 2015 and started my illustration business in 2018.
Creativity and art must run in the family! What inspires you to create these pieces? There are a lot of beautiful bold colors and shapes. I particularly love the shapes of the women surfing and the waves.
ST: I am very inspired by living in the islands. I am so proud to be from Hawai'i and I love to share my perspective and love for Polynesia through bold colors and whimsical shapes! Every piece I create feels like a celebration of Oceania.
Any surf stories to share? How does the ocean inspire your art?
ST: I don't have any specific stories, only my experience with the ocean and what my relationship with it is. The ocean is where so many of us go to reconnect to ourselves. No words need to be spoken to heal. All it takes sometimes is to be in its presence, to smell that salt air and feel the sand and water on our skin, and we can be instantly transported to a more centered place. Sometimes I jump in my car just to take a quick glance at the ocean. Freelance can be incredibly isolating and working in the creative industry is an emotional rollercoaster of supreme highs and heart wrenching lows filled with self doubt. The ocean has the ability to balance that all out.
Any advice for aspiring artists/ creatives?
ST: My advice for aspiring artists is to keep showing up. Be a perpetual student: always learning new skills, developing your visual vocabulary, and striving to be your best. The same advice could go to any skill you are developing whether it be drawing, photography, surfing, diving...anything! Dedicate yourself to your craft. The journey is long and will be filled with obstacles and the occasional wins. Try to enjoy all of it.
A good reminder to enjoy the journey and keep learning. Love it! Thank you so much again, Shar. For more on Shar, give her a follow on IG: @punkyaloha or check out her beautiful prints on www.punkyaloha.com.