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We’ve made some tees and boardshorts with Tom Veiga. Here’s the story behind this surf art collaboration…

At Lightning Bolt, we believe every moment, every piece has a tale to tell and you can become a part of the narrative yourself. We respect our roots by collaborating both with makers from the past and with new skilled artists, who share the same desire of search in a direct and pure way.
Tom Veiga is a worldwide recognized surf artist in his mid-thirties, who has been painting his passion for surfing and surf culture as an experienced craftsman. Tom was born in Curitiba, Brazil, known as the Brazilian surf capital and also as one of the most creative cities in the country, along with constant sustainable growth concerns.
Through perfect, unique shapes and colors, Tom illustrates his vision through a minimalist approach. Waves, sun, palm trees are embodied through simple lines, solid colors, bold contrasts, colourful patterns. When looking at Tom’s illustrations, you can feel the heat of the sun, the wind’s breeze and waves’ movements.
Lightning Bolt teamed up with Tom Veiga to create the SURF ESSENCE, a capsule collection of tees and board shorts. In a somewhat unexpected fusion of cultures, the south of Brazil meets the Hawaiian Islands, and the result is a unique and modern interpretation of surf on washed-out art prints for a vintage contemporary twist. With his very personal language and tropical style, Tom Veiga brings us surf art prints where the brand logo, the sun and the waves are infused by rich bright colors and movements.
Tom’s goal is to show that each wave is different.
To those who appreciate exclusive and artistic additions to their selection, we present our most recent collaboration with the iconic Brazilian surf artist, TOM VEIGA.

Tom, tell us when did you first find your passion for design and art?

I started very early enjoying creation and design was my first personal fulfilment. Working with creative agencies gave me much happiness during almost 10 years… designing logos, campaigns, websites, but there came a time when the agency work and projects didn’t bring me the same everyday joy. It was then when I began trying to express my passion for the waves through art. At first, it was only as a hobby, as a way to relax and to distance myself from the customers’ creative jobs and projects within the agency. But I got so involved in my art that I was taking more pleasure from it than from my job. That’s when I decided to quit design and choose art, that was bringing much more realisation.

And why do waves inspire you?
God made the ocean so perfect, so beautiful even when it’s flat… but when I see a wave breaking on the shore it appears to me as the sea is smiling, the curves, the movement, the colors… all fascinates me. It’s just impossible to see a wave breaking out there without smiling and one of the things that most strikes me is the difference between the waves. Each one has a unique characteristic, big wave, small, to the right, to the left, fat, slow, blue, green, straight or curved and that’s what I try to express with my work: the sensations each wave gives me, showing a bit more of its individuality, the differences and movements of the waves are what most inspires my art.

Are there any artists that influence your creation?
Two of the great ocean artists I most admire are the Californian Jay Aldres ad Phil Roberts, two awe-inspiring icons of surf art. And I love the curves of the architectonic work of the notable Oscar Niemeyer; movement and curves are the base of his work, just like in mine.

What is it about surfing and surf culture that inspires you so? Do you surf?
I don’t surf now, because I got this knee injury from the time I used to play football… I need to have surgery to begin surfing… but I’m really connected to the surf culture… I’m always showcasing at surf events, partnering in projects with surf brands and magazines, making trophies for surf competitions, etc. I’ve exhibited my surf art in Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, USA and Japan. My work is 90% surf-related. I live in a region which is known as the Brazilian surf capital although I don’t surf, so it’s kind of funny, but my way of surfing is through my art, whenever I create a new wave I feel I’m surfing it, my art is my way of riding a wave…
But we’re changing this scenery… both my wife and kids are taking the first stpes to learn how to surf, soon I will also be able to do it.

How do you describe your art and your creative process?
Actually, I really don’t have a creative process defined, I work spontaneously, because I understood that my creativity shows up when I less expect it… during a trip, walking on the beach with my family, having a coffee somewhere… so I’m always carrying a pencil and paper in case I have any idea or feel inspired, I just stop and begin drawing, because I know I cannot waste those swells of creativity…
Frequently, when I finish a project, the first thing I do is to prevent me from beginning another. Instead, I travel, I go for a coffee, I take the family to the beach, because these are the most inspiring moments to me. I’ve even finished many works far from my studio, on the street, on a plane while travelling to a show, etc. That’s why my creative process is quite open and without many rules, though I’m always prepared to surf the creativity wave wherever it pops in.

How did the WAVES SURFART SERIES project begin?
As I told you before, I was getting weary of working with creative agencies for ten years, it meant stressful days and many, many nights of work. On my time off, I began drawing waves to get closer to the sea, as I used to live far from the seaside, and that used to relax me, just as a hobby. But this hobby started growing till I found out, in an unplanned way, a line of work and my own artistic language to reproduce the waves. After making 15 arts in that style in 2009, I create my own website and soon my first projects, exhibitions and reviews began happening in different parts of the world, and in 2012 I quit the agency to dedicate myself entirely to my art. I also left the city where I used to live and fulfilled the dream of living by the beach, together with my wife and kids. Today I’m living my dream… living by the beach and working with surf .

What stood behind this decision of accepting this artistic collaboration with Lightning Bolt?
To be invited for a joined project with Lightning Bolt fills any artist with great happiness. Lightning Bolt is not just another a surf brand, but it’s a concept that is part of the surf history itself. For example, I’ve been watching again and again along the years the Bustin’ Down The Door DVD that and getting mesmerized by all those stunning Lightning Bolt boards and all that story of the beginning of professional surf, the huge Hawaiian waves e the legends that created a new movement and a new surf culture. And, suddenly, getting the opportunity of having my art linked to that history is absolutely incredible! It’s much more than work, it’s an immense satisfaction to have my art associated to the Lightning Bolt concept.

So, finally, what does the future hold for Tom Veiga?
I’m working on the exhibition tour with my series «Board in Colors», which is a new series of surfboards I’m painting. The first exposition has already taken place and I’m now closing more shows with other cities. Afterwards, I wish to take it abroad. At the same time, I’m working on a new project of a series of surf arts using old wood removed from the local traditional fishing boats. It’s a very rustic work, but the final result is amazing. This is wood, with 30-60 years at sea, infuses my surf art with original textures and colors. It has become a new way of applying my style of waves language.

Lightning Bolt x Tom Veiga capsule collection is already available online and at many Lightning Bolt retailers. For further information, please check or contact



  1. Pingback: Tom Veiga x Lightning Bolt | Serie Waves by Tom Veiga

  2. Pingback: Tom Veiga x Lightning Bolt – “Surfe Essence” 2017 (Coleção Cápsula) | The Hype BR

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