Tiffany Tan, otherwise known as Tiffany Lovage, defies the prevailing notion that an arts career is irrelevant by becoming one of the most acclaimed figures in said field. As an artist and illustrator, she has worked with names like The Disgruntled Chef and Guinness, and now Kipling, the Belgian fashion brand known for their crinkle nylon fabric and monkey keychains. As she launched her new mural at Kipling’s new Jewel Changi Airport space, we sat down with the artistic goddess herself to understand her thoughts on the partnership.
First off, I understood that you have sustained an injury early this year. Are you feeling better?
Yes! I’m much better, thank you for asking! I’m currently relearning how to walk. I feel that we take such simple things for granted at times, so it’s a good refresher and reminder.
What got you interested in art in the first place?
Since young, I’ve always been a visual person. I was pegged for someone allergic to words and I would used to fall asleep reading no matter what time of day. Once I realised that I could communicate visually, it instantly piqued my interest and I’ve been exploring this realm ever since.
What pushes you to carve a path as a freelance artist, instead of staying in your full-time job?
With freelance, I’ve opened myself up to a spectrum of illustration scopes in different industries. It has allowed me to explore and experience so much more with the flexibility of time and space.
I’m aware that you’re into fitness as well. How do you balance your life in between these two contrasting worlds?
It can be tough. I do tend to lean more towards one or the other depending on how work flows in but I try my best to strive for better balance as best I can. The best part of this is that my studio is right where the gym is too!
What message are you trying to convey through your works?
I see illustration in art as a communicative tool. I have fun with them and most importantly, with my work, aid people in relaying messages in an alternative medium. For example, my latest collaboration with Kipling allows me to convey my thoughts as an artist through the creative medium that is art mural.
I understand that you have a new theme envisioned for your artworks this year. What’s the general concept?
No matter how far I’ve progressed in terms of style and ideology, I find myself always coming back to the grounding where I deal with curiosity and exploration. The new theme will definitely toy with my curiosity for the world and its oddities. Hence, I find my collaboration with Kipling aligns nicely with my art inspiration and theme.
My latest mural painted in collaboration with Kipling, titled Voyager Singapore, signifies bringing Kipling over to this side of the world. It takes inspiration from the mega lifestyle destination, Jewel Changi Airport, located at the heart of the world’s best aviation hub, right here in Singapore. The mural depicts the touring of a concrete jungle that is Singapore – along with the idea of travelling and exploring beyond the city to the jungles and the seas. The circular frame is representative of a keyhole and monocular view into the expanse of the world – our oyster.
How do you feel about being the first artist to kick-start Kipling’s efforts to promote local artists here?
Curiosity and playfulness are fundamental to my creative and active nature. Kipling’s new direction, “We lighten your step, empowering curiosity to go your own way”, doesn’t only encourage that but supports my mobile and freelance lifestyle. Whether I’m out traversing the city and the great outdoors in search of inspiration for my next piece of art, or pursuing my passion in fitness, there’s always a Kipling that complements my personal expression.
I’m beyond honoured to be the artist to kick off this movement here in Singapore and always humbled to be appreciated in the craft I do.
What do you think should be done more to expand the arts industry in Singapore?
I think we’ve come a long way since but acknowledging the craft and its application in the world will do great. More of an individualistic approach for Singaporeans in this case no matter which sector.
Are you working on any future projects now?
I’m not sure what I can share for now but I’m excited to work on a series of some of the systems of the human body intertwined with nature as its counterparts.
Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?
It’s not always if not never a walk in the park but keep going and never lose yourself in the process – something I try to remind myself on the daily too. Keep trucking!