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Meet Tatiana Diaz of Diaz Illustration in Koreatown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tatiana Diaz.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up as a tomboy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, all I cared about was basketball. However, peaking at the height of a ripe 5’4, I had to reevaluate my plans and aim for something much more attainable. So, I went to school for….art. At the age of 18, I packed my bags and headed to the Big Appl- I mean, Syracuse, New York. After I graduated, and a year at home, I packed up and moved to LA. I got my start as a freelancer contributing to magazines and working with local hip hop artists in Milwaukee, designing posters, merchandise, logos, and album covers. When I moved to LA, I began exploring who I was more as an artist and while I have continued freelancing as both an illustrator and designer, I have also expanded my personal work to include sculpting and murals.

Clients include: Adidas, Way of Wade, NFL Los Angeles Rams, Constellation Brands, Lugz, Grand Seiko, Rapper Bun B, Comedian Amanda Seales, Rapper Jazz Cartier, Singer Luke Bryan, NBA’s Miami Heat Tyler Herro.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle is always defining who I am and how I can put that into my work. I think art is always strongest when it’s connected to you in some way. From there, it’s how do I find an audience/clients that are aligned with that vision of myself.

Please tell us more about your art.
I refer to my self as a “basketball and hip hop obsessed tomboy turned illustrator”. I specialize in drawing and 2d design. I would say I’m known for my style. Just as I can’t be another artist, no one can be me. So my work has a distinct “me-ness” about it. I think it also helps that sometimes my illustration bleeds into my graphic design at times. With that in mind, the thing I’m most proud of has been how much I’ve grown as a designer. I taught myself all the programs and was my own teacher when it comes to graphic design. It’s always gratifying to think back on the nights where I was struggling with the programs and following YouTube tutorials; fast forward to being in LA and having seen my designs at events, on billboards, and associated with brands I love.. it reminds me of the work I’ve put in.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career so far was actually working on a design for Udonis Haslem for Dwayne Wade’s shoe brand Way of Wade. It was a small project, just for social media, but it allowed me to be on set with Dwayne Wade, an NBA legend, who played college basketball in my city of Milwaukee (he went to Marquette). Being there with him, having contributed to his company, even in a small way, was almost a surreal experience.

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