Today we’d like to introduce you to Josey Tsao.
Josey, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Most of my fondest childhood memories involved being curled up reading a book or watching cartoons weekday mornings before school. My favorite thing was to draw the characters and worlds of my favorite stories – with a hope that one day I’d be able to craft my own.
Crayons and printer paper gave way to gouache and a computer tablet, but my fascination with creating illustrations filled with warmth and wonder persisted.
Being able to collaborate with designers and art directors in theme parks and other design studios have always been a highlight of my career – but also made me realize I had to be disciplined enough to carve out time for my own creative projects.
I continued to develop my own signature line of illustration prints and merchandise inspired by both real and imagined places and things. What originally started as a fun way to de-stress from a rigorous art school curriculum and a way to subsidize costly art supplies – turned into its own small business.
I find something indescribably personal and wonderful about handing someone a piece of work drawn and packaged myself. It strikes a contrast with working in a studio environment with lots of people involved. I’ve come to love both experiences and use them to continue to challenge myself and grow creatively.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My illustrations are largely inspired by the magic found in small, quiet moments. I want to convey that wherever you’ve been or wherever you will go – there are opportunities to stop, look around and feel gratitude.
There’s a certain smell to the air when you’re camping in quiet woods, and the dew has collected as you unzip a tent. Or a certain way that old, cobbled streets feel under your feet in a quiet part of a busy city. These small, fleeting moments of human happiness are both deeply personal and oddly universal.
I like to pay homage to these little memories – because they often are the unsung heroes that make life just a bit more special.
My next adventure is to illustrate a book – with the hope that I can grow not only as an illustrator but also as a storyteller.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
My definition of success is always changing – because I’m a work in progress!
But, for now, success is doing what I love for a living to make people feel uplifted and inspired in what can otherwise be a stressful and challenging world.
As a creative, I feel a great deal of resilience and ability to adapt can go really far. Unfortunately, not everyone will feel the same about the value of your work as you do. This isn’t a reflection upon yourself, so try to not let your value as a person be tied to your success in a creative career. Art can be both personal but strangely impersonal – what you create won’t be for everyone, and that’s what makes it unique.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I update my Instagram account the most often; pardon the occasional photo of plants and/or dogs. My work can also be found at www.joseytsao.com. You can find my online shop of prints and things there as well.
I also sell at conventions and local craft fairs like Wondercon, Designercon, Unique LA, Renegade LA, Jackalope Pasadena, and 626 Night Market.
Occasionally, I’ll do pop-up collaborations with J.Crew, Pottery Barn, and West Elm – so the next time you go shopping – come say ‘Hello’!
My next group gallery show will be at Leann Lin’s Wonderland on February 2nd, and my next convention will be Wondercon 2019 in Anaheim!
- Website: www.joseytsao.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: joseytsao
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joseytsaoart
Personal Photo Credit: Tiffany Maye
Artwork Photo Credit: Josey Tsao