Artist Spotlight

How Amy Tan Abandons Expectations and Creates Her Own Magic



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Amy is the Founder of Amy Tangerine, a creative lifestyle company that creates online content as well as fun, tangible products like tee shirts and craft supplies. Amy wrote the book, Craft a Life You Love, has taught workshops all over the world, makes YouTube videos, and consults with awesome brands and clients. Amy’s mission is to inspire women everywhere to feel joy and confidence by infusing creativity, fun and intention into the everyday.

When we came up with the idea for the Season of Story, Amy Tan was the FIRST person who came to our mind. She tells her story so well through art, photography, memory keeping, art journaling and story telling. We were beyond thrilled when she agreed to share her art and her process with us this season. We hope that you take some time to browse through her work, get inspired and make something today. Now, meet Amy and learn how she tells her story through art.

How do you mix memory keeping and art journaling?

I think it’s almost become a habit and ritual at this point. After collaging and making my own planners and only filling in a few pages of notebooks, I have decided to just infuse elements of both into nearly all of my paper projects. In my bullet journal and traveler’s notebooks, there will be artsy pages sprinkled in. Photos and ephemera show up in my planner pages even though I was hesitant to include them for quite some time. I’m a believer in flow and trying different things – seeing my mementos next to some paint splatters makes my creative heart happy.

✨ Free class for creatives ✨

In How to Start Art Journaling, we’ll walk you through the art of art journaling, including how to start doing (🙌) and make your very first art journal page (even if you’ve never even opened an art journal before).

How do you approach memory keeping as a mixed media art form versus the normal scrapbooking approach we are used to seeing?

I try and abandon the rules and just do what feels right. I encourage people who feel stuck or have this vision of how things “should” look to try and free themselves from expectation. Sometimes I am led by the products, other times by the photographs, and other times I just need to get to using my supplies. Sometimes I have learned a fun new technique that I just want to try and haven’t seen on a traditional scrapbook page. I’m also not opposed to using materials and inks that may not be meant for memory keeping. I love mixing and matching elements – throwing in some watercolors for a background, then adhering patterned paper and stickers, and then putting some hand stitched elements on it. It’s always more fun to try and get your creative juices flowing in unique ways.

What are your tips for making your memory keeping more personal and unique to your own artistic style?

Do what makes you happy, use your supplies and abandon expectations. I have a rule that I take at least 10 minutes a day to do something creative. It’s almost like meditation and therapy. My family knows I need this, and I even included a permission slip in my book, Craft a Life You Love, that clearly states the reason for this time and how important it is. Inevitably life gets busy, but prioritizing just 10 minutes a day should not be difficult. We all are living full lives and doing a lot of things, but think about how much happier our world would be if we each as individuals just took the time to do what makes us feel good. Also don’t be afraid to try new things. While I get much of my inspiration from the world around me, I am more inspired if I do something as opposed to just look at something. Let’s say I see something I want to try on Pinterest. I don’t actually know how it’s going to make me feel until I actually try it. It could be something life changing, but it also could just be a fun little experiment that I don’t ever want to do again. And of course somewhere in between. There’s magic even in that space in between too. That’s a better answer. Find YOUR magic and embrace it.

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Amy Tan

Amy is the Founder of Amy Tangerine, a creative lifestyle company that creates online content as well as fun, tangible products like tee shirts and craft supplies. Amy wrote the book, Craft a Life You Love, has taught workshops all over the world, makes YouTube videos, and consults with awesome brands and clients. Amy’s mission is to inspire women everywhere to feel joy and confidence by infusing creativity, fun and intention into the everyday.

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