Q&A with new Asymbol artist iuna tinta

There’s a lot of art out there, a capitol-L-O-T. Weed out the goods from the heap, and there is still an incredible amount of solid work.

Finding artists for Asymbol is both the easiest thing in the world and the hardest. The art and photography world that exists within the action sports community is relatively small, so that’s easy. The talent of this group, being at the extreme level that it is, that is the hard part. And then you see the impossibly captivating work of Corinne ‘iuna tinta’ Weidmann and it’s “check please!”

We brought Cori in to a group exhibition this winter, Wandering Eyes, a show of Asymbol heavyweights. This was her first work with us and her first time showing along side artists like Jamie Lynn, Mike Parillo and Adam Haynes, to name a few. Spoiler alert: her piece “Koma Kulshan” now decorates an entire side of the sled trailer for the upcoming Brain Farm film. She has also provided art for Gnu boards and Roxy with some next level prints coming out soon. Cori’s ability to take a choice portion of the natural world and give it an even greater hold on the imagination is unlike anything you’ve seen. So let’s have a chat with the newest member of the Asymbol roster. She’s definitely someone to know.

KOMA KULSHAN by iuna tinta

KOMA KULSHAN by iuna tinta

Cori you are one of Asymbols newest artists…

Hi! Yes I am a new member of the Asymbol crew and am very happy and grateful to get this opportunity. It is an amazing feeling when people believe in what you do, so thank you very much.

Let’s get everyone up to speed on the story of “iuna tinta.”

OK, so here we go: I grew up in a village in Switzerland. My brothers and I spent our childhood mostly outdoors, so I was a bit of a tomboy (probably I still am); you know, climb trees, dam streams, behave like a pirate.

In terms of profession I didn’t know what to do for a long time, there just seemed to be absolutely no job that I liked. It was only art and philosophy I was interested in – basically the nightmare combination of every parent. So I decided to earn some money until I knew what I wanted. I was everything, from dishwasher to mechanic, but finally found my place at art school. I loved it, every single day of it. Everyone was just like me.

That’s how I became a graphic designer, and later on a self employed artist / illustrator. Somewhere between graphic design and art, I left Switzerland in order to see the world – and ended up in a Costa Rican village that was even smaller than the one I came from. That was the beginning of quite extended travels; I think I might still be on that trip. I like to stay on in places for a long time, to get a life there, soak up all the impressions; get the place and its people fully. And when I do, I leave again. Not too long ago I took all my savings, packed my working equipment into a bag and went to Vancouver out of a gut feeling. That was when I decided that I’d love to do artwork for snowboards. Two weeks later I got the job from Roxy. My travels continue to take me to exactly where I need to be.

And your moniker ‘iuna Tinta’?

Iuna is a large black amazonian bird, tinta simply means ink, and doesn’t really belong to the name. I mean it does now, but it happened rather accidentally that people thought it was part of it.

Where are you living these days?

Currently I live in London. The forest is limited, but I finally made it into a philosophy class.

Your wanderlust really creeps up in what you create. One of your new Asymbol pieces, “Elders,” appears to directly express that.
I worked on Elders while I was living in Costa Rica. I went through a very difficult phase in my life, in which I got a lot of strength from this unknown place.
In my mind I visualized it as old indigenous spirits who protected and cared about me. So I created this painting, using leaves, wood and everything I found.
I always envision circumstances and emotions in a fairytale kind of way; it makes life just a little more magical. Eventually it doesn’t matter if things exist or not – if they do for you, then they do.

Explain the style and methods behind your work. What is your process?

My style is heavily based on folk art from all over the world. Traditional art is very strong in its imagery and symbolic meanings. They often contain simple and bold shapes, and speak deeply about ancient times.

My method is to work in layers: I mostly use acrylics, ink and marker, but I also enjoy experimenting with different techniques and materials. I don’t like to do the same for too long, so it is a constantly expanding visual universe.

Who or what is lighting your fire artistically?

Street artists from all over the world – especially Latin America, inspire me. A couple that I really like are the Mexican artist Curiot and Chilean Pobre Pablo. There are so many great artists out there and you come across amazing art somewhere and have no idea who did it. Others that I really like are Supakitch and Koralie from France and David Hale from Athens. What inspires me the most though is folk art, such as the carvings from the Pacific Northwest coast, the Swiss paper cuts or the Japanese representation of animals in Shintoism.

How has snowboarding and mountain life affected you? What does it bring to your art?
The mountains have always had a calming effect on me, even though they can be very dangerous. Raw, loud and powerful, but just standing there quietly. It is very hard to describe in words, easier in images.

While you are snowboarding, the landscape turns into the biggest, most beautiful playground – endlessly precious. You use its shapes and characteristics and you create something new in it. In that sense snowboarding has brought out a very playful and colorful aspect to my art, which always has an undertone inspired by nature.

Who are your heroes on the snow?

Terje Haakonsen, Victoria Jealouse, Travis Rice, Jamie Lynn (both; artist and athlete)… These people inspire me because they seem to have always stayed true to themselves. Oh and definitely Kjersti Buaas and Torah Bright – those girls rock. Essentially everyone who loves doing what they are doing for the sake of it.

The undeniable approach of dramatic climate change is certainly creeping into your work. Artists have a unique and empowering ability to express this fact.
The frightening aspect of climate change is that people can’t really see it. It’s a slow process that doesn’t affect you instantly. I believe that’s the most dangerous part of it. So it’s important to keep that in mind and to involve this knowledge into the actions of our daily lives.

Any ideas on how to move forward?

In terms of environment? That we wouldn’t use the poor trees for celebrity gossip in the newspaper.

You don’t really appear to be much of a stick-to-the-plan kind of gal, but if you were to venture a guess what does the future look like for iuna tinta?
I do have many ideas and am definitely not afraid to go into a new direction, but that’s out of curiosity rather than a plan. The plans usually show up all by themselves while I am in the process of doing something. I start everything out of curiosity, and so far this has lead me to all sorts of experiences – good and bad but never boring. I like that, it’s all like a big playground.

As it happens, there is an additional direction that has just recently showed up: I have collaborated with some local scientists recently and would like to take these relationships further. The aim is to convey conservation science messages into a visual language that speaks a bit more to people than facts only. I think we have to try everything we can to protect the environment, so I really hope this will have some positive impact.

That is certainly a plan we can all get behind. Thank you for your time Cori! I can’t wait to see where this twisting road takes you!

To see more of iuna’s work visit her page at Asymbol