Slavko Tihec was born in Maribor. He studied sculpture under Professors Karel Putrih, Zdenko and Boris Kalin at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He graduated in 1955.
In 1967, he won the Prešeren Fund Award for his sculpture exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 1983, he won the Prešeren Award for his quality innovations in sculpture and for his creative new solutions of the National Liberation War Monuments in particular.