Tinarity: Featured Artist
Twitter: : @tinaritys
Winter: Sailboat in the Caribbean,
A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through my twitter feed and came upon a lovely sculpture that has such motion.
I asked the person posting if she knew who created it. She responded with a cheerful “Me.” I went on to view other works by Tinarita and was fascinated by the process. She was gracious enough to participate in an interview.
Tinarity, I think I am as interested in your art as I am in your process and where you do your work. So much to cover, so let’s start with some first memories. Thinking back, what drew you to art.
Other than the painting that kids usually do, I remember carving a wooden old man when I was about 17 years old. I was actually supposed to be working on my exams for school. But I kept getting side tracked by sculpting. Luckily, I passed my exams and made some more wood carvings in the following years.
What was it about wood or sculpture that kept your interest?
Creating something you can touch and hold is always very satisfying. Wood has wonderful haptic properties (warm, smooth etc.) Since then I became a great admirer of Michelangelo’s and Rodin’s marble statues (a very tricky material).
When I read that you did sculptures and lived on your boat part of the year, I was fascinated. What about your environment keeps your creative juices flowing?
Nature and its close observation are always sparking my inspiration. Looking at macro photographs of plants or plankton is an endless wonder of forms, shapes and colours.
I live part time on a sailboat, so watching the weather, waves and wind is a natural part of everyday life. Even seeing the occasional turtle, manatee, cormorant, or pelican inspires me. With the ocean, everything is round, smooth (just look at beach sand closely) and a bit washed out. These are the forms I am mostly using. I have been travelling a lot and other cultures can give you so much new input, it can be slightly overwhelming. It certainly gives you new perspectives and/or point of views and a big supply of inspiration to feed on.
Since you live on the boat, I know you don’t carry around huge chunks of wood to sculpt. You have taken your sculpturing skills to a new level with 3-D modelling. How did you learn this and how does that work?
My present skill (3D modelling) is self-taught. When I became aware of 3D-modelling software (Blender, a free and open source software) I sat down and learned it (with the help of some very good YouTube tutorials). I was (and still am) amazed what wonderful things you can do with it (animations, sculpting, 3D-print modelling, movies etc.). So after wood carving it was a ‘natural’ development for me. In Germany I have 3 self-built 3D printers (for plastic only) where I test-print my models and do a few fun bits (like fridge magnets and desk toys).
Do you have some examples of what has inspired your work?
I came across a picture somewhere on Twitter. The caption was something like “this is what you find on a child’s hand after playing outside”. Not to scare people, just making them aware of what we carry around all day. Anyway, I thought the shapes and forms intriguing, so I sat down and modeled my very own bacteria to carry around the neck.
Using software and the 3-D printers, I translate the drawing into a a real pendant.
It is popular in science circles and a favourite of my nieces.
This came out of nowhere, or actually just playing around with shapes and forms (I think playing is a very useful technique to improve our inspiration and we all should nourish the child within.)
Being on Twitter, getting feedback and actually connecting to other artists is what this pendant represents. Connecting to people, ideas and/or the surroundings is important for me. It still keeps amazing me, to see and share pictures, music etc. with people from all over the world.
Modelling animals is challenging but utter fun and rewarding. You can find a frog, a weasel, a chameleon, a lion, a whale and a seal in my collection. I still have to work on the shark and plan to do a turtle.
The model below is quite dear to me as well. It’s an abstract pendant about the confusion of love. And love can be wonderfully confusing!
As you can see in my Shapeways shop, I love doing abstracts, so there will certainly be even more in the future. (There will also be a new website coming out soon.)
You have shared the positives and inspirations of living on a boat. Is there a down side?
I work alone. The isolation is to one degree good, as I can focus on my projects without distraction. Space on a sailboat is limited, so working on my computer (solar and wind power allowing) is the best solution. Besides I can upload my models to my shop at Shapeways from anywhere in the world. On the other hand discussing problems or ideas would be great and whenever we have friends aboard I am grateful for their feedback. Social media (especially Twitter) is a great source of feedback and inspiration for me. So many talented people out there and I love seeing also those wonderful creations and connecting to fellow artists. So the isolation doesn’t feel so hard.
What kind of advice would you give those who want to make a living through their art?
I am not a sales person at all and it is the most frustrating part of the whole process. Finding an audience is not easy and I won’t ‘elbow’ my way in (and I am glad and grateful to do this interview, maybe some new people may have a look at my creations) I still hold a job that pays the bills but carved out enough time to follow my passion. I think it is good for my art not having to go with what is popular (and therefore sells), but only create things I am happy with (and hopefully a few others). Everyone knows that making a living from art is a hard thing to achieve. My advice? Get a job that pays the bills and make no compromises to your art. Keeping this apart might keep the frustration level down and the inspiration level up.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and art with us in this interview.