Q+A W/ Illustrator, Steffi Lynn Tsai
Scrolling through Instagram and seeing one of Steffi Lynn Tsai’s photos is like getting a digital beam of positivity. Her craft includes hand lettering, illustration, and graphic design. Steffi’s work is both encouraging and playful with phrases like, “Comparison Will Kill You,” “I Get It You’re Sooooo Busy,” and our personal fave, “Work Hard Plant Hard.”
Steffi’s talent for design extends to creating murals (like this one for Governor’s Ball,) having her illustrations featured in Seventeen Magazine, and even hand-making the cutest cactus keychains. We loved chatting with Steffi and hearing about her upcoming projects and learning how she maintains an optimistic mentality. Check out our Q+A below!
by CHLOE.: Hi Steffi! Thanks for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself.
Steffi Lynn: Hi! I am Steffi Lynn and I am an illustrator, letterer, and small business owner from Texas living in NYC.
bC: From sweatshirts to stickers, nail decals and cards, we love your work! Tell us a little bit about your background…How did you get started in your craft, and have you always been an artist?
SLT: I have been creating since I was a young – my parents enrolled me in many forms of art from sculpting to painting, jewelry making to dance. So I think from a young age I was really curious about all the different medias and ways I can create with my hands and body. I believe that’s why I am always trying to create new things and work on different surfaces.
bC: Your aesthetic is optimistic, bright and refreshing. What inspires you? What kind of world do you aspire to create for your fans?
SLT: Everyday things, nature and color! I want to put a smile on people’s faces and cheer them up when they are sad. I want to create little reminders so everyone knows, everything will be okay.
bC: Through your art, you encourage a message of positivity. Why is this important to you, personally?
SLT: It is so easy to focus on the bad things and all the emotional stress that people go through, I feel like people forget, good things happen. Everything is temporary so I want to remind people to smile, give yourself a break , and keep going.
I think it is easy to look at my profile and think I am just someone who is naturally happy and I am beaming with positively all the time. But, I also go through emotional stress and have bad days! I create these messages for myself too. To tell myself, I can do anything and to tell everyone else they can too.
bC: How has social media impacted you as an artist, and business woman?
SLT: It is truly amazing how much information is shared on these platforms daily. I am inspired every day by something new and it pushes me to create more or think outside my box. Social media has also brought so much exposure to my work too – it’s great! Granted, it has its cons but it definitely changed the industry with how much easier it is now to connect with other artists or brands and provided more opportunities.
bC: Tell us about your new experiential project, Museum of Memories!
SLT: Museum of Memories is a series of interactive art installations inspired from childhood memories, experiences and imagination! I am creating this project with a couple of childhood friends and my brother! I wanted to create this series because I felt like in today’s world, there’s so much pressure to “grow up.” I wanted to create this world to bring us back to simpler times where all we cared about was playing and having fun.
I think what’s important is to not lose that imagination and freedom we used to have as kids, and help each and everyone of us remember that there are really no rules – we can be whoever we want to be. It is opening in Dallas mid-April 2019 and I am so excited for everyone to see it!
bC: Do you have any mentors? What is a great piece of professional advice you’ve received or learned?
SLT: My parents were huge huge influences. They’ve always been very “go for it” type of parents and always have been encouraging. Always have more than one back up plan. That is the best advice that I’ve received. You never know what’s going to happen so get ready to face anything that comes your way!
bC: What do you like to do when you aren’t drawing and crafting? Any hobbies?
SLT: More drawing and crafting! Haha, I actually am just constantly finding new ways to make something! I love traveling and watching cooking shows though!
3 objects you can’t live without? Deco paint markers, a giant hoodies, is creme brûlée an object?
Last song you listened to? Let’s Stay Together by Al Green.
Favorite place on earth? Tokyo, Japan.
Top 3 favorite fashion designers? Too hard to pick! But, I am more of a fave small business type person!
Whatcha readin’? Yikes, not reading right now… oops.
Savory or sweet? Wow both in one if possible! Like some salted caramel type dessert?
Dream dinner guest? My Grandma. From what I heard, she was THE smartest, THE best person and kindest person when she was alive. I would love to chat with her as an adult now.
If you could own any piece of art, what would it be? Anything from Yayoi Kusama would be a dream.