Meet the Artist: Chie Tamada

Meet the Artist: Chie Tamada
Introducing the visionary behind the latest Artist Edition Lens Cloth - Chie Tamada.

Chie is an illustrator and lettering artist based in Los Angeles, specializing in hand lettering, digital illustrations, and murals. Her work consists of playful illustrations inspired by everyday moments living on the Southern California coast.

What was the inspiration behind this artwork?

As a Los Angeles native, I find endless inspiration in the outdoors, particularly in the resilient nature of our iconic palm trees and birds of paradise plants. They stand tall and beautify the cityscape throughout the year, growing along their unique paths. And just like these plants, each of us is following our own unique journey.

My artwork celebrates this interconnectedness and serves as a reminder to keep growing and stay inspired. Through playful illustrations of the weaving plants, I wanted to encapsulate the essence of human life, encouraging others to embrace their individual paths that ultimately contribute to the collective beauty of our world.

Can you share the pivotal moments or realizations that led you to pursue a more creative path, and how did you navigate the shift in your career? Any advice for those looking to do the same?
Ever since I was young, I’ve always had the desire to create things with my own hands. But for many years I didn’t know that it was something I could pursue. I spent my early adult life working in corporate and placing my creativity on the sidelines, with this fear of forging my own unique path. It wasn’t until I turned thirty when I realized that every person is meant to follow their own journey and it’s okay if it looks different from the people around you. If you’ve always had this desire to explore a new path that could lead you to better understanding yourself, experiencing the dreams you always had, or creating the things you always wished existed, you have to take action or else you’ll always be left wondering, “what if?”.
If you could have an art studio anywhere in the world, floating on the ocean or perched on a seaside cliff, where would it be, and how would the surroundings influence your work?
My dream art studio would be a combination of half surf-shack, half coffee shop, located on the beachside somewhere tropical. The weather is warm all year long so I can start my mornings surfing in the ocean without the hassle of putting on a wetsuit. And after an invigorating surf session, I’d walk back and find myself in a calm community space where I can draw while co-working with other creatives. We’d be surrounded by lucious plants and yummy tropical fruits that bring a lot of color and inspiration to our work. 

What inspired your decision to choose Surfrider Foundation as your charity partner? How does this align with your artistic vision and resonate with the values you aim to convey through your work?
The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to safeguarding the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches. Since I began surfing in 2021, I've gained valuable knowledge from this organization. As a national nonprofit, Surfrider focuses on various crucial aspects such as water quality, beach access, preservation of surf spots, and the sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems.

As an artist, I draw immense inspiration from California's coastal life. Organizations like Surfrider ensure that I can enjoy the ocean and surf in a safe environment and their dedication to educating and raising awareness about ocean preservation is something I deeply appreciate.
Can you share your favorite surf spots in SoCal? In the world?
San Onofre is probably my favorite place to surf in SoCal. But of course, my favorite spots outside of California are in Oahu. I was lucky enough to pick up surfing while living nomadically there for a few months and the waves and weather there is absolutely incredible. If you’re someone that’s always wanted to try surfing, I highly recommend taking your first lesson out there! 

Favorite Covry frames?
It’s hard to pick a favorite since I have so many! For prescription glasses, I love my Deneb Champagne specs. For sunglasses, I’ve been wearing my Vega Walnut for close to 6 years now but recently got a new pair of Maia Black that make me feel elegant and classy with the gold accent!

Watch the interview here