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About Us

Hawaii artist Thomas Deir, founder of Thomas Deir Studios has an attitude of gratefulness and deep appreciation for the beauty of Hawaii. This is the center of our values at Thomas Deir Studios.

Our founder’s unique approach to producing artwork always begins from the inside and is expressed on the outside. Thomas Deir’s positive approach to life and deep love of Hawaii is evident in his artwork. Our team of artisans and craftspeople share Thomas Deir’s core values. 

Our mission is to lead a positive life. To believe in the good in people; to be kind, compassionate, humble and patient. To think of consequences when making decisions, and to recognize mistakes as an opportunity to learn. To strive for perfection, then be satisfied because you have done your best and nothing is perfect. To know that gratitude is the key to happiness and that discipline is the key to success.

Our commitment is to provide you with excellent, professional artwork and customer service. That translates to unmatched value for the quality of work delivered and is certain to increase the value of your home or business.

Thomas Biography

Thomas Deir is the first born of three children to Lillian Sakai from Hilo, Hawaii and Thomas Deir Sr. from Queens, New York. The half Japanese, half Irish English mix is called “Hapa” in Hawaii, where he was raised after being born in Queens, New York. He currently lives in Maunawili, Kailua, Hawaii, where he grew up since 1970. He married Lyn Tatsuyama, who lived on the same street and they have two daughters.

At an early age Thomas Deir wanted to work in a creative field. He wanted to put his ideas into a tangible form that others could enjoy. During his adolescent years, Thomas explored the options that were available to him including drawing, photography, architecture, acting, and music. He became fascinated with visual arts and recognized that the principles of design and composition are foundational to all visual art.

When he discovered graphic design, he was eager to learn all he could. Thomas started from the ground up and by the time he was 15 he was an assistant in a signage department (Signs Unlimited) of a major advertising agency (Sellers Advertising) in Honolulu. He acquired as much knowledge as possible about sign fabrication and installation. It was a valuable experience. He learned to apply mechanical principals and developed a unique problem-solving ability that has served him well over time.

Creativity was his driving force. At the age of 18, Thomas was promoted to assistant art director. “Within two years I was promoted again to art director and quickly reached a plateau,” explained Deir, “and I began to look outside of graphic arts for something new.”

A former client approached Thomas with a consultation request regarding the design and fabrication of decorative tiles. Realizing the permanency of tile, Thomas quickly became interested in its potential and began the process of mastering the medium. As he developed techniques to produce graphic and decorative art in tile, he felt driven to develop as an artist.

Thomas soon met the classic surrealist painter John Pitre who mentored Thomas in fine arts and the skill of painting. This was a turning point for Thomas – his problem-solving skills were engaged as he developed as an artist. It was extremely exciting because he felt that he was equipping himself with the ability to bring concepts into tangible, artistic solutions. He realized that his dream to work in the creative field was coming together in a broader scope than he had imagined.

Within two years Thomas exhibited paintings in three Waikiki galleries and became the top-selling artist. He gained recognition for his inspirational painting, “Christ of the Deep” and in 1994 Thomas was awarded a $100,000 commission to paint the famed Loch Ness Monster for the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio. The 5 ft x 8 ft original, “Nessie Lives” is displayed on the second floor as you exit the elevator.

Through the Hawaii Artist-in-the-Schools program, Thomas taught children in 15 Oahu schools how to paint tile murals for their schools. Thomas was soon recognized as a tile mural artist. In 2002 he was awarded the commission to create the tile mural for a City and County of Honolulu restoration project – the entrance to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

The permanent quality of tile art was critical for the Hanauma Bay project. Hawaii’s humidity and salt air can be corrosive for many materials but not for the tile medium. Thomas fires the artwork into the tile making the artwork resistant to erosion. His tile murals will not scratch or fade and can be installed in direct sunlight. This is very attractive to his clients who desire one-of-a kind aesthetic treatment for their homes or businesses.

The accomplished painter and tile artist is making his mark in another medium – stone mosaics. Thomas has designed the honū (Hawaiian sea turtle) inlaid stone mosaics for pools, floors, entries, or walkways made of granite, slate, tile, or marble.

With his positive attitude and a combination of artistic creativity and practical problem-solving ability, Thomas says, “Anything you imagine can be created. I will work with a client to design a work of art that will enhance their interior or exterior environment. The custom process begins with an idea and is then transformed into a unique design for their space. Even reproductions (on canvas or tile) can be custom made for a given space for a more economical alternative.”

Now expanding beyond Hawaii, many of Thomas clients send pictures and dimensions of their space with their preferences, such as a certain painting Thomas has done. Thomas then sends back options of different sizes of that painting so the client can visualize the finished product.

“All successful plans start with responsible communication”, says Thomas. “Life is all about relationships and surrounding yourself with humble and responsible people. My clients are consistently happy because I practice transparent and effective communication."

His mission: Lead a positive life. Believe in the good in people; be kind, compassionate, humble and patient. Think of consequences when making decisions, and recognize mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Strive for perfection and then be satisfied because you have done your best and nothing is perfect. Know that gratitude is the key to happiness and that discipline is the key to success.

“I’m very thankful that I can make a career out of creativity and helping people”, says Thomas.
A professional Hawaii artist for 40 years his work is diverse; in style, from realism to surrealism to abstract;  in subject matter from landscapes and seascapes to marine life and hula dancers.
"A good work of art should be attractive from a distance, and more interesting the closer you get."

Client List

Alwyn Trigg-Smith Architects
Chi-Chi Rodriguez, Golf Champion
Tracy Allen, Real Estate Broker
Glenda Anderson, Designer
Pierre Omidyar, eBay founder
Wayne Parker, Designer
Susan Borachov, Realtor
Academy of Applied Science, Concord, New Hampshire
Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii
Castle Estate, Kailua, Hawaii
Fish Eye Marine Park, Guam
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Hale Koa Hotel, Waikiki
Kahala Hotel and Resort
Hawaii Prince Hotel, Waikiki
Watermark Hotel, Waikiki
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki, Hawaii
Ibusuki Phoenix Hotel, Japan
Kaneohe Ranch, Kailua, Hawaii
Kawaiahao Church, Honolulu, Hawaii
Sea Life Park, Makapuu, Hawaii
Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore of Oahu
St. Elizabeth Seton Children's Foundation, Yonkers, New York
Blue Water Shrimp and Seafood Company, Ala Moana and Hilton Hawaiian Village
Alexander and Baldwin