Artist Tiffany Tan is a woman of few words and prefers to let her art do the talking. Known as Lovage on Instagram, she has more than 43,000 followers who appreciate the weekly sketches she posts on her eclectic feed.
The sketches are a mix of realistic and stylised drawings that contrast each other: detailed and brightly coloured birds, and black and white floral skulls.
But she’s not just an Instagram artist. After graduating from Lasalle in 2013 with a degree in fine arts, the 29-year-old taught art part-time, and took up a full-time job as gallery manager of Kato Art Duo.
Five years later, Tiffany became a full-time artist. She went on to work on bigger projects, and saw her work commissioned by Clarins, Aesop and, earlier this year, Kipling, decorating their events with her murals.
This year, Tiffany was named one of G-Shock’s Game Changers for its latest 2019 campaign to celebrate 27 local heroes who have made a name for themselves. She shares tips on how she created a unique brand as an artist in Singapore.
Collaborating is a good thing
“Some of my favourite works are collaborative pieces I did for group shows earlier on in my career. I love collaborative work because the process of having two ideas and two minds at work fascinates me,” says the artist.
Her most recent collaborative work with illustrators Rachele Ho and Christopher Chai won the 2019 British Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Pencil Award earlier this year. The competition is recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best designers from around the world. The winning piece puts a graphic and local twist on a fictional character from the American television drama series Grey’s Anatomy.
“I love experimenting and dabbling. It takes my mind off a certain practice and allows me to go back in fresh,” she says. Besides graphic sketching, Tiffany also explores new forms of art. She has painted on surfboards and even makeup palettes at a Sephora event.
Adding personality to your work
A lot of her inspiration comes from the environment around her. An outdoor lover, the artist is drawn to the beauty of nature. “I’m constantly trying to improve my proficiency in terms of visual communication. It’s not about changing my style, but developing an understanding of what it means to use my craft as a tool to translate ideas.”
Tiffany, who also kick-boxes and windsurfs in her leisure, believes in letting art reflect life. As a kid, she played competitive softball. “Being able to engage in physical activities helps to stimulate my mind. Sitting there with my brushes and pens gives me peace, but I need to get out and experience more things to create better work,” explains Tiffany.