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Eco Surf Artist Titus Ruiz

Every surfer is an artist.

Think about it, each wave is a blank canvas and your art is the expression of your turn, the line you draw down the face, the way you carve the lip—if you surf, you are an artist. 

Robert Franken in his book Human Motivation defines creativity as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in entertaining ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like surfing, which is full of split second ideas with an abundance of alternatives and infinite possibilities. 

Some of us also use that creative and artistic energy outside of the sea—we build surfboards, write poems, take photographs, make music, and paint pictures. 

Every now and again, we come across a stoked artist who is inspired by the sea that captures the spirit and stoke of surfing. When I stumbled upon Titus, I was interested in the back-story of this surfer—having done a fair amount of painting in my own life it always amazes when someone chooses the life of an artist. 

One of the reasons we surf is to capture something magical, almost ephemeral, and for someone to capture that “thing” we all feel in surfing and translate it into an expression on canvas is a true gift. Enter eco surfer and artist Titus Ruiz. 

Where do you live and create your art? 

I was born in Peru, but in the last 15 years I have been living in different parts of Central America, North America and Europe. Now I spend most of the year in Tenerife (Canary Islands) and the rest in Peru with my family. The creative process is constant and everywhere, I always carry a notebook to write and sketch things that I see everyday: scenes or simple elements that serve as inspiration. 

How did it all begin? 

I am a graphic designer by profession, so I was always interested in art and graphics, but it was not until the year 1997 that I started experimenting with painting. I moved to town and started to live alone, far from the big city and friends, with no TV. The day grew long and I found two tubes of paint, blue and white, and that was it. I was slowly learning and teaching myself. 
 
What inspires you to be a surf artist? 

I believe that everything around us is always inspiring: the sea, sun, surf, women—the little details, music, and nature. 
 
Which other artists do you respect? 

I respect all artists by the simple fact of being, and I mean those artists who work with their hands, mind and soul—those who have the ability to convey feelings about what they do and create. 

What is art? 

It’s difficult to define. It involves a myriad of features to consider and that makes it relative, but I would say that it is the expression of what one carries inside and can transmit to others, generating sensations or feelings. 
 
What material do you use? 

I use mainly oil, yet I also like drawing with markers, acrylic, ink, and pencils—I like to experiment with any medium. 
 
Who buys your art? 

Generally everyone who smiles and is happy to see my work, and wants to keep this feeling close, but most people who buy my work are surfers and people connected with the sea and nature. 
 
You must be a surfer, what do you think of today’s surfing culture? 

Yes I am. I personally think that surf is now becoming fashionable and trendy—I am glad that there are still “soul surfers” who keep the essence of old school surf alive. Surf is something important, fun and part of nature, and I enjoy it in the simplest way. 
 
Do you have any thought on ecology and surfing? 

Definitely. All of us belong to nature, and we must take care of it, it is the environment in which we surf, and it makes us happy by giving us natural beauty. Being aware of this and spreading the form of caring is everyone’s responsibility—surfers are stewards of our ocean. 
 
Where can people find your art online? 

Well, I have a websitewww.titusruiz.com where people can find some of my artwork. 

And also a Facebook Fan Page with the latest news www.facebook.com/titusartwork 

Go create something today, either in the ocean or on land. Make your life an authentic expression of who you are and what you stand for, and show it to the world through your art. You are an artist; don’t let anyone ever tell you different. 

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. For more information on ecology and surfing as your art please write to derek@wavetribe.com or look for me on a Mini Simmons around Ventura county beaches.