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Art & Life with Tamara Chang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamara Chang.

Tamara, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I became serious about pursuing art in high school, specifically the day I dropped AP Statistics and told my counselor I was going to focus on art. This was a highly unusual move for a student in the Silicon Valley and my friends’ concerned parents repeatedly discouraged my parents from supporting this decision. However, my parents did support my interest in art and continue to do so, which I am very grateful for.

While attending art school for two years, I experimented with painting, sculpture, textiles, and illustration. I found the business side of selling fine artwork too lonely and transferred to an animation program at San Jose State University, where I could find a career working within an interdisciplinary group of people. Also, I took an illustration class from Barron Storey, who has inspired me to keep a regular sketchbook to record my daily life.

A year ago, I moved to LA and now work from home, among a million plants, as an art director at Bad Dream Games. Really, it’s the best dream ever.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
On my own time, I create multimedia illustrations, sketchbooks, and zines that include topics like addiction to social media, a lack of ability to discern between reality and imagination, and plant and animal ecosystems.

As long as the people who see my art enjoy looking at it, it’s good. If it could lead to them thinking more deeply about their life or could even inspire them to express themselves more, that would be even better.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
With more networking and art education options available, life for concept artists have become easier in recent years because aspiring artists can readily learn about new, viable career paths. It is difficult, however, to navigate contracts and the business side of these jobs to make sure you are not being underpaid. It would be helpful and encouraging to start changing the mindset that art is not a real job or that artists should work for free. It is a real job and artists should be paid fairly!

New venues for selling art and shared online information on how to create prints, apparel, stickers, etc.. has helped independent artists start their own companies more easily. Cities can support independent artists by providing organization and funding for pop-up shops and galleries in places with high foot traffic that artists would not normally be able to afford.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Currently, I have an Instagram, @tamallamaa, where I post my sketchbook pages.

Though I haven’t found an art scene I really fit into in LA yet, my goal is to collaborate with different types of artists to create work with themes that we can talk about together for hours. I would also love to participate in and help organize group gallery shows in the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Henry Chau

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