Welcome to my monthly interview feature! I’m so excited to be interviewing all the fabulous artists, illustrators and designers I’ve meet over the years (both personally and virtually!) and sharing their artwork and experiences here on Bird Meets Worm. Look for a new interview on the first Tuesday of every month.
I apologize for the delay in this month’s interview (you’ll note today is Saturday, not Tuesday!). I was laid low by the flu earlier this week, but am THRILLED to now be sharing this month’s interview with the lovely, brillant Artist/Illustrator/Designer/Retoucher, Tansy Myer. Tansy and I met years ago thru our men, who both happen to design movie posters for a living, and we hit it off instantly. Tansy was born and raised in Venice Beach, California. She paints, draws and creates digital art and is inspired by strange, pretty, and nerdy girls. You can view more of her intensely beautiful artwork here.
|Venice Beach Babe.|
Q: In what ways can we see your hometown of Venice, CA reflected in your artwork? Talk to us about how the city has influenced and shaped your creative vision.
A: Venice is an eclectic, unique place. It is dirty and grimy but also funny and bizarre and beautiful. Growing up, Venice was not the bourgeois enclave it is now, it was a meeting place of artists and musicians and that's why my parents came here. I grew up at the beach, surrounded by the strange superficiality of fame and wealth, beauty and sexuality. I think my work reflects these issues women confront in defining who they are and what is important to them in this world.
|Debbie is a nerd girl.|
Q: You artwork explores themes of feminine beauty and identity. Tell us about how you see your work relating to women in the current culture.
A: I think we are in a very important time where women are defining their roles and sexuality on their own terms more than ever before. That being said I still think idealized, traditional and narrow slots are carved out for women in society and girls are being manipulated from a very young age what is the right way to look, act and feel. I hope my artwork celebrates all different types of girls and definitions of beauty. Uniqueness is the most beautiful thing to me. Being you and feeling you and following your own heart is the truest
|Circus Series - Elephant Acrobats.|
Q: You are gifted in your use of both traditional media as well as digital media. Tell us a bit about your process, how you decide which media to use and how it all comes together.
Lately I have been painting and drawing more than anything and have fallen in love with my Pentel Japan ink pens. I spend so much of my time on the computer for work that it is really nice to get dirty and use ink and charcoal. It is so different from my digital work because of the unexpected and happy surprises that happen from the flow of the ink or the stroke of a few stray hairs in the brush... I love to work big as well so drawing on full 20x28 in sheets of paper has been really freeing. My digital drawings start as a pencil drawing, which I scan in and color in Adobe Illustrator. That's what is cool about working in vector is I can print my drawings huge when I'm done. They satisfy and also personify the search for perfection I'm talking about in my work. My raw, stained canvas paintings and paper drawings juxtaposed with my mathematically precise, slick digital drawings represent the two sides of a woman—the flawed person inside the glossy exterior we construct for the world.
Q: In your career, you have worked for wide variety of clients ranging from art galleries to magazines to fashion powerhouses. What have you enjoyed the most, what have you enjoyed the least and why?
A: I enjoy when a client and an artist build a relationship of trust and mutual respect. That is when projects are most successful, when an artist is allowed to do what they do best. I love doing fashion illustration and something magical can happen when an artist and client share a passion for each other's art.
You will find a lot of people who are untrustworthy and say one thing while doing another in all of these businesses, which is what I enjoy the least, so it's important to have a consistent, open dialogue and to know your worth. You must empower yourself as a businessperson and as an artist.
|LOVE this girlie!|
Q: Describe your most perfect Sunday.
A: Sundays I like to stay home, cook good food, pet the cats, watch movies and make art.
Q: What are you working on right now? And what can we expect to see from you in the future?
A: Lately I've been all over the place, studying, learning new skills. I've really been enjoying my big black and white girl drawings and I am thinking of making my own graphic novel of sorts/adult coloring book. One of the best parts of being an artist is seeing how my art can speak to another girl out there and I'd like to take that to another level. It's been in my mind for a while, combining writing and storytelling with my illustration. I think it's time.