maker: amy tan of amy tangerine


1. please introduce yourself

hi, i am amy tan (not the author of the joy luck club). i grew up in the northern suburbs of chicago and moved to atlanta to start high school. i currently live in venice, ca.

and here’s a little background info:

born and raised in chicago, amy spent much of her childhood wallpapering her bedroom walls with the colorful and glamorous pages of fashion magazines. she learned how to sew her senior year of high school and what developed was her first passion: designing. within five years, she had become an award-winning designer and founder of the popular handcrafted t-shirt line amy tangerine. her collections were featured in hundreds of retail outlets, including bloomingdales, neiman marcus and barneys new york, and yielded impressive worldwide sales.

in 2007, her business expanded to include scrapbooking, with her fashion design work now being produced on a custom basis. her love for sharing her clothing and now also paper crafts has taken her all over the globe and given her the opportunity to teach creative classes from hawaii to tennessee.

she loves traveling, leisurely bike rides and relaxing in her little venice beach apartment, which she shares with her boyfriend, jc, and her two jack russell terriers, buster and bamboo. over the past two years, she’s been working on perfecting what she likes to think of as the “art of truly living,” which includes enjoying the everyday; working smarter instead of harder; globetrotting; achieving balance in daily life; and collaborating with other creative people.

2. what do you make or do?

i make hand embroidered tee shirts and scrapbook pages. also i’ve created a line of scrapbooking supplies with american crafts.

3. where can we find your creations?

check my website for tee shirts, and go here for amy tangerine & american crafts scrapbooking goodies.

i also blog 

4. how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?

i have been creating all my life and feel blessed to have had it as my full-time job for the past decade.

5. when you’re not making things, what do you do?

one of my favorite things to do is travel. lately i have been watching a lot of tv and am hooked on breaking bad.

6. is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?

it is both a luxury and a necessity. it is my therapy. having a creative outlet allows me to feel grounded. although i’ve turned 2 hobbies into businesses, i continue to try and expand my horizons by experimenting with different mediums.

7. where do you find inspiration?

i find inspiration in the world around me. i also love different books. my current obsession are little japanese books. super creative projects with wonderful photography, which means it’s ok to not be able to read a word. looking at the beautiful photos is enough. now that the internet has played such a huge role in our daily lives, sites like pinterest make it super easy to keep track of inspiring pieces from all over. traveling and meeting people is also inspiring. i think i find it just about everywhere.

8. what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?

i have an online workshop at big picture classes which starts on sept 22. it’s 4 weeks and is called the good life. here is more info

9. if money wasn’t an issue how would your life change with regards to your art?

i’d probably just do what i am doing, but more of it. maybe open a local studio where people can come and try different techniques. creating is so therapeutic, it would be wonderful to start a non-profit where craft carts would be available to people in hospitals and nursing homes.

10. what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?

do what you love, no matter what. share your art on a blog. you never know who will see it. and always be kind.







-nicole s.

One Comment

  1. Hello Amy – I’ve been following your Youtube videos and love them! I live near you, in El Segundo, and am wondering if you teach any classes or workshops in the area. If so, please let me know how I can sign up.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. Sincerely, Meg.

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