Iuna Tinta's flowering, untamed art is inspired by ancient mysticism, indigenous art and sinister fairytales.

Iuna Tinta's flowering, untamed art is inspired by ancient mysticism, indigenous art and sinister fairytales.

Iuna Tinta is a bridge between illustration and art, with a pinch of typography thrown in. The nomadic Swiss-born artist has spent the last few years living in Costa Rica and Canada while producing board designs and artwork for Roxy Snowboards, Quiksilver, Landyachtz Longboards and others. She’s inspired by the colours and shapes of pre-Columbian America, dark northern fairytales and the representations of animals in Japanese Shintoism. Catch her on Wednesday, July 23 at Blue Balls Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, where she’ll be doing a late-night improvised live painting session.

Things That Inspire Me

1. Ethnographic Art and Nature

There is something very strong, ancient and powerful to be found within tribal art. To me it has always felt as if this strength relates to the old bond between humankind and nature. Simple shapes, complex and geometrical patterns, symmetry and a deep meaning next to or embedded within representations of animals and humanity. Often the colours are bold and the images strong. Nature and the planet itself are a massive source of inspiration, especially the forest, but also the changing weather and even space. Anthropological interests as well as extensive travels have shaped my preferences and made this aspect of inspiration become the most powerful one.

2. Philosophy and Science

What I have always loved about philosophy is the fact that it questions all knowledge. It’s the basis of my thinking and it has definitely caused me to look at the world and life differently. A different perspective leads to new ideas and is therefore very important. Through science we have the opportunity to glimpse the micro- and macrocosms – worlds within worlds.

3. Tales, Myths and Poetry

The magical world is full of extraordinary creatures, hidden places, and the unexpected. There are no boundaries whatsoever and everything is possible from one second to the other. It’s the stories about sailors whose ships got lost, myths about alchemistic experiments and animal gods that live in enchanted woods that open a gate into a creative dream world. The poetry of my friend Mike Galsworthy inspires me a lot these days.



I’ve illustrated his poem ‘On a White Horse’ and currently we have several projects going on. It is rare to find a collaboration where there is so much consistency in our inspirations and motivations, yet so much creativity in the medium through which we express our ideas.

4. Street Artists All Over The World

There is something very direct and honest about urban art. It speaks to all people in the same way and it speaks to society directly. It often questions the current system, and it does not pretend to be anything more than it is. People work with limited and unusual materials, use the urban landscape, get incredibly creative in each their own way.

5. Everyone Who Creates A Life For Themselves And Not Just A Living

These people are truly inspiring in all kinds of ways. Their life does not follow the path and therefore they have so many interesting stories to tell and enlightening advice to give. I’ve met people who sold the last thing they had in order to continue following their dream and now they are living it.

Find out more about Iuna Tinta or catch her painting live from 10pm to midnight, Wednesday, July 23 on the Plaza stage at Blue Balls Festival, Zurich.