A natural conversation
« My name is Tito Tomasi, I’m a 28 year old from Nice, France and have always had a passion for drawing and sports. For me they are the core to contemplation and choice. My lifestyle today is a cross-combination of all my passions, an MTBer and a surfer seen through drawings.
It has enabled me to consistently live my passions and although I’m not rich materially, I feel spiritually fulfilled. It’s my choice and it’s the life I’ve always wanted… »
Tito Tomasi is an adventure-loving traveler, exploring new lands and who defines himself as a living artist. Friendly, smiling and generous, between two bike trails and some sketches, he found time to answer a few questions.
* Where does your passion for travelling come from?
My family always travelled in an equipped minivan. We’d freestyle around Europe, sleeping wherever we wanted. This lifestyle taught me a great deal and it rapidly became a way of life for me. I find it natural to simply arrive in a village and settle down somewhere to sleep. I was also a boy scout, we’d walk and explore for weeks on end. These moments were the bases that lead me to explore the world.
When I was 20, I hitchhiked through Eastern Europe, all the way up to the Baltic Sea. I’d kip down wherever possible and pick fruit & veg on the way. My passion for surfing enabled me to travel a lot and it became very important to me. I then wanted to live the same adventures but by bike. Pro surfers travel to find the best waves, but its equivalent by bike wasn’t common.
I’d never found any info on biking in Ecuador, Cordillera Blanca or Peru. Each trip is thrilling, to discover local population, new trails, mountainous peeks, and to touch the landscape… Mountain biking in certain countries isn’t common. Where I like to go, such as Asia or South America, biking is a way of getting around. It provokes meetings, discussions, and generally attracts friendly people.
I enjoy being dependent during my journeys; I rarely travel with a tent and this forces me to ask for a place to stay! (Smiles)
* Does this make you the Antoine de Maximy° of MTB?!
Yes I’ve heard about this guy, but I haven’t had a TV for over 10 years! I sometimes feel like I’m doing all this for my personal satisfaction. Sometimes people give me advice on how to render my adventures more visible, to which I answer politely, but ultimately I believe that filming people can bother them so I try not to. I tolerate a camera as there’s lots of potential on social medias. I enjoy editing videos.
* When did you start drawing?
I’ve always drawn, and in the past it was the cause of a few problems…I drew all the time and it didn’t go down well at school. However, everything changed when I took up painting, it visually created much larger opportunities. My work became much more important when I started using paint brushes.
I always travel with notebooks, it enables me to link my adventures, art and watercolors. It thrills me to mix the different universes.
* Which artists do you admire the most?
As I am inspired by sports and adventures, I have always admired very visual artists. Basquiat for his virtuosity and the full-force of his power; and Pollock for his spontaneous style of Action Painting. My art is inspired by Maori motifs, Inca villages, African totems, etc. and all my adventures in general.
* Are you going to publish your notebooks?
I’m not that interested, but I would like to publish something for children. If travelling can inspire new perspectives, than that’s a good thing, right?
* Which trip has been the most important so far?
I’m not keen on comparing, as each trip is inspiring. Because it is so stunning, The Alps and The Mont Blanc remain one of the best. The Alps are near my home, and it was a fantastic moment. I wasn’t expecting to be so blown away, and the effect was fascinating.
I travelled in my own country, and it opened my mind to the fact that sometimes you don’t have to travel far to value what you see. . So now when I’m travelling, I am constantly appreciative.
"Surfing is probably the most fulfilling sport on all levels, hence the addiction!"
* Last summer you visited Kyrgyzstan...
Kyrgystan is an untouched country with very rugged terrain to cycle on. What attracted me the most were the beautiful views and amazing landscapes rather than the difficulty of cycling. I will always remember the immense hospitality of the people and the perfection of Nature. It is a country void of any construction except a few yurts here and there.
* How many countries have you visited?
Probably about 30, and I’d like to visit all the others! I don’t deliberately choose a destination, it’s more after having chatted with my friends that I decide. However things will be more organized in 2014 as I will closely be working with both print and digital medias. I’ll be travelling to Nicaragua, Madagascar, Indonesia, France and other surprise destinations. I also have book projects, so lots of work!
With my girlfriend we also plan to travel from Panama up to Canada. People usually do this trip the other way around, so we’re starting in Panama where we should find a van to drive up! We’d cross Central America through the desert, California, the Great Parks, and the Rocky Mountains to finally reach Canada. This is a paradisiac country for MTBing, it truly is the cradle of this culture, and many professionals come from Vancouver. However, I doubt this trip will be before 2015…!
* What do you get out of surfing?
When surfing you become “One with Nature”. You wait for the wave and experience the magical feeling of flying when it comes. You can’t control the weather or the waves; you can only play with them. When everything is optimum, surfing becomes natural. In Hawaii or Indonesia, surfing is a way of life, you get up, you surf, and that’s how you live.
Each surfer lives it differently. The saying that surfing is fun is actually true! The first time I caught a wave, that I stood on the ocean, I knew I would never turn back and that now I was in deep shit! I was hooked and said to myself “That’s it, my life will never be the same again.” I quit the fine-arts school as the urge to travel was too demanding…. Surfing is probably the most fulfilling sport on all levels, hence the addiction!
°Antoine de Maximy is a French reporter known for his show “J’irai dormir chez vous” where he travels to more or less remote places in the world. He has to invite himself to a local’s home to eat and sleep, and understand the different customs and lifestyles.