Beauty Will Save The World, Tino Rodriguez

When I was writing The Art of Fantasy, the final chapter presented a bit of a problem for me. It was becoming a real pain, to tell you the truth.

I’d covered art inspired by fantastical beasts and mythical creatures, powerful witches, wizards and incredible feats of magic, alternate histories, parallel dimensions, and otherworldly realms—but it begged the question as to who’s out there doing the heavy lifting of saving these worlds and their inhabitants from all the things they need saving from?

From realms at risk from wicked usurpers and maniacal overlords to worlds overrun by extraterrestrial aliens, ancient prophecies, and evil plots–cataclysms, calamities, and catastrophes abound, and it’s do-or-die against overwhelming odds! And, of course, artists in every culture have been capturing the essence of the idealized humans performing extraordinary feats…so I obviously needed a hero! A whole chapter of them!

But not a bunch of joyless, muscle-bound idiots swinging swords. Come on!


A Melody of Silence and Joy, Tino Rodriguez

Enter Tino Rodriguez. Tino’s art wasn’t about the steely-eyed warriors or the brooding ironclad crusaders and grizzled berserkers. Instead, it brimmed with tenderness and offered an expansive glimmer of something hopeful, a reminder that even the gentlest souls can rise to the challenge in a world teetering on the edge. It was exactly the kind of inspiration–and hero–that I needed for my final chapter.

Up until this realization, this had been a project wherein I questioned just about every word I’d struggled to get on paper, but once I experienced the artwork below, it became one of the easiest things I’d ever written.


The Wounded Healer’s Blood Nourishes the Earth That Gives Birth to Radiant Flowers, Tino Rodriguez

Infused with the captivating allure of celestial beings and Catholic saints, the whimsical charm of European fairytales, the otherworldly magic of Celtic fables, the vibrant energy of Mexican myths, and the timeless wisdom of Native American legends, and inspired by the wonder and magic of music, dreams, and childhood stories, Tino’s canvases are jubilant celebrations of ecstatic divinity, colorful butterfly-fluttered paradises, and brilliant floral explosions – sanctuaries for explorations of creative consciousness that transcend borders and language.

Personal transformation and universal connectedness are themes that tumble throughout Tino’s work, like so many spring blossoms on a sweet, laughing breeze: reminders that a hero’s work – this whole business of saving the world – often starts small, internally even, one precious human petal at a time.

The humble work of healing oneself is quiet and invisible, and it frequently doesn’t look – or feel – very good. Sometimes, it feels like ripping an arrow right out of your heart and fertilizing the ground with your blood. But you know what we call that? It’s an origin story. And it’s a great place to start.

Daydream Murmurations, Tino Rodriguez


The First Breath of Spring, Tino Rodriguez

But Tino’s art isn’t just a technicolor feast of kaleidoscopic opulence and psychedelic blooms; they are spaces of quiet revolution for creative spirits and gentle warriors of the heart, boundless realms where dreams take flight, transformation takes place, and where the questions that we carry with us are a beautiful, integral part of our complex and multilayered existence.

With regard to questions and answers and logic and reasoning, Tino says the following, and I love this sentiment so much:

“My work does not offer concrete answers. Instead, the poetic essence of my paintings questions literal and rational meanings. I am not interested in answers because I do not think there are absolute ones. Most questions are enigmas that we carry within ourselves, and they are part of our multilayered, complex existence. Novalis said: “Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.” I think the same of my paintings, which I consider visual poetry.”

Below is a gallery of my favorite visual poetics from this extraordinary artist, a testament to the idea that beauty can indeed save the world, one tender hero at a time.

Find Tino Rodriguez: Instagram // Facebook


The Sybil, Tino Rodriguez


Moonlit Lullaby, Tino Rodriguez


Autumnal Gathering, Tino Rodriguez


Stella Mundis, Tino Rodriguez


Stella Solaris, Tino Rodriguez


Persephone, Tino Rodriguez


Spring Ritual, Tino Rodriguez


Calaquichix Faerie, Tino Rodriguez

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