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Tiffany Tan

Tiffany Tan

Meet illustrator from Las Vegas, Tiffany Tan

GirlsclubAsia-Artist-Tiffany Tan-Profile Picture

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Tiffany and I am also known online as Apple Cheeks! I’m a self-employed illustrator running my social media accounts and my small business selling products that I make. I’m mainly known for my stickers, but I’m branching out into bigger products like plushies, patches, pins, & more. It has always been a dream of mine to be self employed and running my own business, so I worked really hard after I quit my job a year ago. So far things have been going well and I’m hoping that things keep looking up from here. One day I would love to have my own storefront or boutique combined with a joint studio with other creatives.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I currently live in Las Vegas. It’s one of the driest and hottest places I’ve ever been and I honestly didn’t like it too much when I first moved here. Over the past 2 years of living here, I’m slowly finding things I like about it like the beautiful sunsets and clouds, the smooth paved roads, more affordable rent, food, and so much more! Over time you get used to the temperamental weather and learn how to keep yourself moisturized enough to stand the dryness. It’s grown on me a lot and I can see myself staying here for a while.

 

The best thing about living in my city is the people that I’ve met. Recently a lot of creatives have been relocating to Las Vegas, and I can see it growing a lot in the future. I’ve made some of my closest friends here, they’re pretty much family to me at this point!

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing about living in my city is the people that I’ve met. Recently a lot of creatives have been relocating to Las Vegas, and I can see it growing a lot in the future. I’ve made some of my closest friends here, they’re pretty much family to me at this point! The worst thing about living here is probably the dry mouth I wake up to every morning because of the lack of humidity haha.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.
Fast, Free, Happy

 

How did you start your career in art?

I started drawing when I was in elementary school and had a passion for creating every since. I was very inspired by all the early social media artists on Tumblr and DeviantArt for a very long time before YouTube became a thing. In my late Junior year of high school, I made the decision that I would apply to some art schools to see if I could get in and I did!

 

I started drawing when I was in elementary school and had a passion for creating every since. I was very inspired by all the early social media artists on Tumblr and DeviantArt for a very long time before YouTube became a thing. In my late Junior year of high school, I made the decision that I would apply to some art schools to see if I could get in and I did!

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

People were generally supportive around me since they could see the passion I had for creating, but I did often get the very generic comment of “You’re going to be a starving artist!” as a joke. I think those comments made me believe for a long time that my work was worthless and that I had to charge very little to actually sell my work. Now that I’m more experienced, I definitely charge what I feel like I deserve. It is actually harmful to take on freelance art gigs that pay you really little because it tells everyone that illustrators aren’t worth paying!

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

My main drive these days is to work towards growing my business. I find the most joy in creating products, designing my website and my space. I definitely have a dream of traveling and having my work be influenced by the things I experience, but I do dream of a more slow-paced life of settling down somewhere to open a storefront with a coworking studio in the back!

 

My main drive these days is to work towards growing my business. I find the most joy in creating products, designing my website and my space. I definitely have a dream of traveling and having my work be influenced by the things I experience, but I do dream of a more slow-paced life of settling down somewhere to open a storefront with a coworking studio in the back!

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

This isn’t a person, but I would love to collaborate with Daiso just because I love their whole vibe and it would be so fun to see my work in there! Also, they really need a Daiso in Vegas…

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in working as a creative?

The biggest challenge is most likely finding time to stop creating and to just live life. Sometimes I work nonstop all day and I feel really bad afterwards. To have a fruitful creative career, you definitely have to find a balance to live life a little and experience it! Without experiences, our art becomes a bit drier and less relatable.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

When I was growing up, I would describe the women around me as being very conservative and traditional. It’s the main reason why I struggle so much today with being more confident and outspoken. These days, a lot of the women around me are more bold, confident, and unapologetic. All things that I’m striving to achieve for myself. I look up to them so much and they are setting new standards for confident women and girls!

 

When I was growing up, I would describe the women around me as being very conservative and traditional. It’s the main reason why I struggle so much today with being more confident and outspoken. These days, a lot of the women around me are more bold, confident, and unapologetic. All things that I’m striving to achieve for myself. I look up to them so much and they are setting new standards for confident women and girls!

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

I didn’t typically have too many female creatives around me growing up. All my art teachers were mainly men! I did however have one middle school art teacher that was female and she was great to be around. Now that I think about it, she was confident and did what she wanted.

 

Don’t listen to people that think you’re “lesser” or think you’re incapable of achieving your goals. I feel like that is one of the biggest ways to crush someone’s passion and ultimately lead them into pursuing something that they don’t want. Be able to plan for your own future and your own passion!

 

Do you have any advice for other women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Don’t listen to people that think you’re “lesser” or think you’re incapable of achieving your goals. I feel like that is one of the biggest ways to crush someone’s passion and ultimately lead them into pursuing something that they don’t want. Be able to plan for your own future and your own passion!

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I don’t have a preferred genre of music, but I typically am drawn to more mellow songs. I like to tell people that I listen to sad songs that I don’t relate to because I like to feel the emotions that the artist is feeling. If I can feel something from a song, then I’ll like it.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Some of my favorite places in Vegas are: Shang’s Artisan Noodle, Gabi Cafe, & Chikyu Paradise.

 

Sungmin Choi asks: What are your ways of managing body and mental health for continuous work?

It definitely took a lot of trial and error for me to find a good routine of taking care of my mental and physical health. I start off with putting down less on my todo list because I get the feeling of “always being behind” when I overload my schedule with what I think I can finish in a day. I try to exercise daily, eat meals at regular times and sleep 8-9 hours a day. Eating vitamins also make me feel a lot better! Getting bright light and Vitamin D also typically make me feel a lot more productive and healthy.

 

Owi Liunic asks: Have you ever experienced creative blocks? What would you do to overcome it?

I used to experience it all the time! I do think art block is linked with my mood and mental health. When I’m feeling poorly about myself, it’s definitely a lot harder for me to sit down and think of creative things to make. I learned that taking care of myself is the most important especially if I want to be able to also stay creative.

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

What is something creative that you like to do that is not your main art form of creating?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Tiffany Tan

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