Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Tansy Myer
Global Location: US
Born and raised in Venice, California, Tansy Myer grew up among the eclectic artist community of the Venice Boardwalk. Part pin-up, part portrait, her work celebrates the link between adolescence and adulthood, innocence and sexuality, and is a look into how women define themselves. Based in Los Angeles, Tansy is an award-winning artist, illustrator and designer, creating digital art as well as painting and drawing
strange, pretty, and nerdy girls.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start?
TM: I have been making art my entire life - and drawing my girls since I could pick up a crayon.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ? And how does this influence your work?
TM: I currently live in my hometown of Venice, California. It has changed so much here since I was a little girl but the eclectic, free spirited vibe of this place still holds true. I have been drawing girls for as long as I can remember, and I was a Barbie fanatic when I was little. Surrounded by the cult of celebrity in Los Angeles can have a strong impact on one’s perception of what is important and valued as a female. I think my subconscious motivation was to create and control beauty, and not just any beauty but perfect beauty, which seemed to be the ultimate achievement for a girl.
AP: Did you have formal training if so what? If so can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training?
TM: I received my BFA from UCLA. I also studied at Goldsmiths College in London. I am self taught as far as the computer goes. Being an artist comes from your soul, and you constantly have to dig deeper inside yourself - no one can teach you that.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work?
TM: I have a little studio in our house and it’s where my cats and my girls and I congregate. Cats are excellent art assistants-A peaceful place to work is very helpful to me. I am so lucky to look out on our little garden with hummingbirds and squirrels and my flourishing succulents. Someday I would love to have a bigger space with paint covered floors and walls as I absolutely love to do huge paintings and I’m pretty much at my wall space limit right now!
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date?
TM: I really enjoyed taking part in the Sweet Streets 2 exhibition at Gallery Nucleus curated by Caro. The show was inspired by Japanese street fashion and I had so much fun creating girls in weird and wonderful outfits. To me, Japanese fashion is all about individuality and creativity so I appreciated how it encourages you to just be yourself and have fun. It was also an amazing bonus to see my art “Tomomi do Kazuko” on the back cover of Hi-Fructose magazine (my favorite! ) promoting the show!
AP: What is your medium of choice?
TM: Everything I do starts as a pencil drawing, whether it turns into a painting on canvas or a ‘painting’ on the computer. I began coloring my drawings in Illustrator when I graduated from college and was a starving artist living in New York City unable to afford paint. It just blossomed from there and I hope more and more galleries will embrace digital art. I love to paint and sculpt as well. It helps to get away from the computer and get your hands dirty. I love drawing in charcoal, it’s a very gratifying feeling to dig the charcoal into the canvas or paper and wear it down till it’s gone. I have recently started painting on wood and have found that to be a happy medium for me to still maintain the weight of my hand as if I’m drawing, but with paint.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
TM: In my work I’m trying to show the different sides of a woman’s personality - the contradictions, the vulnerabilities and how women use beauty to define themselves. My ’Nerd’ series and ’Girl’ series are 2 sides of the same coin. My slick, pretty ’Girl’ series is the character I might try to portray to the world whereas my raw, dirty, awkward ‘Nerd’ series is who I really feel like inside. I think this is something a lot of women can relate to. It makes sense - the appearance of perfection on the outside (the ‘Girl’ series) created through precise, mathematical vector art, whereas the insides (the Nerds) are clumsy, awkward, flawed, created on raw canvas with pencil, charcoal and paint drips.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years?
TM: I want to keep exploring and evolving as an artist, I’m not sure where that will take me but I’m excited for the journey. I would love to do some more fashion-oriented illustration work. I have so enjoyed making my Artsprojekt necklaces that I would really love to make my own jewelry and clothing in the future as well. In the meantime I am just trying to make as much art as possible and paint, draw, sculpt, and paint some more!
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011?
TM: My work is currently being exhibited at La Galerie Provocatrice in Amsterdam for their Winter show. Time Out Amsterdam magazine has featured my art as their #2 thing to do in Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day so that is really cool! My art will also be included in a new book from Monsa Publishing this year.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
TM: Coffee - decaf! Petting kitties, emailing, twittering, forcing myself to leave my studio and get fresh air and sunshine, and then hours upon hours of drawing….
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
Thanks so much for your support of my art AP!