Man with many talents

George Wasile a.k.a Tropic Thunda. Picture: SUPPLIED

George Wasile, commonly known as Tropic Thunda in the local art fraternity is our spotlight for this week.

He shares his story of becoming an artist and how his family has been supportive of his artistry.

He featured his work at the Arts Matter Exhibition last week which was organised by the French Embassy.

Name: George Wasile

Commonly known as: Tropic Thunda

Age: 35

Marital status: Married

ST: Thunda, please share with us a little about yourself.

I’m from Rotuma. I’m a graphic designer by profession and I also produce music for a few local artists most notably Sassy. I love art in general, anything creative and unique.

ST: What schools did you attend?

Holy Trinity in Rotuma and Tilak High School.

ST: Have you always had a passion to paint as a child or was it something that you later developed as a young adult?

Had a passion to paint while working at the Fiji Arts Council as a graphic designer. The council director then and Rako head, Letila, and established creative Lambert Ho encouraged me to put my graphic designing skill onto canvas and the rest was history. I am thankful to them both Letila and Lambert for the push.

ST: As an artist, what draws your attention the most or what sort of art are you into?

I’m a graphic designer first so I’m drawn to visuals that are bold and unique.

ST: How did it first start-off for you?

It started 12 years ago at the Fiji Arts Council.

ST: Does being an artist sort of run in your family or are you the only one into art?

I guess art does run in our family. My younger brother is also a graphic designer and our other siblings and family support our work.

ST: Who first noticed your skill as an artist?

I guess my grandparents who brought me up since I never got the hiding for putting “graffitti” all over their important journals and books.

ST: I understand that often artist usually paint according to their emotions or how they feel, does it apply to you as an artist?

I guess so. I hardly ever plan out a piece. I just let the brush explore the canvas.

ST: Which artists (local or international) do you find inspiration from?

Franz Kline and Lambert Ho. Recently at the Artists Matter exhibit I loved Kiti and Daniel Vesis pieces.

ST: Has your work ever been featured in an exhibition (apart from the Art Matters Exhibition by the French Embassy this month), if yes please tell us about it and how you feel about your work being featured?

Last year I exhibited twice for the Save the Children’s Fund exhibit. Thanks to Lambert Ho.

ST: Who do you hope to inspire through your work?

Young upcoming artists/creatives and my two sons.

ST: Have you ever sold a painting?

Yes sold a few pieces last year and this year during those exhibitions.

ST: Do you have any other career apart from being an artist?

Graphic design and music production.

ST: How do you view the evolution of art in Fiji and the rise of local artists?

Definitely a lot more individuals giving in to their creative side now, which is amazing.

ST: What are some of the challenges that you face as an artist in Fiji?

I think we should have more exhibitions/platforms to showcase art and make a living for the artists. More awareness education and highlights on art as a career is needed.

ST: What advice would you give to upcoming artists out here?

God gave you a gift/s. Don’t waste it. Nurture it, keep at it, showcase it and also help others around you with it.

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