We had the good fortune of connecting with Tami Shelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tami, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from a single mother. I was born in NYC and when I was two my mother left the state she had been born, raised & married in, and ventured to California to start a new life. She was creative and supportive, and had big dreams. Who I am today is a direct influence of her and the choices she made.
My mother was the first feminist in my life. She taught me very early on that girls could do anything. This is why I had no fear (well, little fear) when it came time for me to quit the security of a full time job and open up my own design agency. Witnessing how she flourished with a job and a child, I learned how to empower my own life – both personally and professionally. Such as: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Have a strong opinion about things that matter. Don’t be afraid to begin again. You can come from nothing and still build something.
Most importantly my upbringing highlighted that everything is a choice. Every aspect of my day is made up of creative choices. How I run my business and present options to my clients and staff. Having been in business over 20 years, I think I’ve made more good choices than bad.
So, how did my upbringing impact who I am today? I became a strong and creative woman, because I was raised by a strong and creative woman.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m particularly proud to be the hands-on owner, of Greenlight Creative, Inc, for 22 years. Greenlight is one of the only women-owned design agencies in the entertainment industry. Which means we are not only 60% woman owned, our day-to-day is managed primarily by women.
Greenlight was started in 1998 out of my love for print design, and is now comprised of an award-winning multimedia team that includes print, digital, photography and event graphics divisions. Holding both an executive and creative position daily gives me a unique perspective. I’m able to fuse scalable possibilities, with on-brand solutions.
It never gets old seeing our work out and about. I live for #TBT & #FB to revisit our collaborations. One of my favorites is having our name projected on to the iconic Hollywood Bowl arc, for graphics we designed for Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Not many agencies have that on their corporate CV.
As a testament to our design work, we’ve achieved numerous award-winning projects, working with a wide-range of clients at Fox & FX, Amazon, Lionsgate, Disney, Grammy MusiCares, eOne, NBCUniversal, McCann, Grey and many others.
Our creative agility has allowed us to survive thru the 9/11 economy, 2008 financial crisis, the entertainment industry shutdown of 2020, and also (hopefully soon) Covid-19 lockdowns. I very much attribute Greenlight Creative’s longevity to the commitment and talent of my team – however we may be spread around right now, my team keeps it together!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I’m not working, I’m eating. So the itinerary would go from one restaurant to the next, possibly with an art fix in between.
My current favorite places include:
Zinc Cafe in the Arts District LA for lunch.
Old town Pasadena: 1810 for lunch, then Blick the art store and Copa Vida for a caffeinated drink.
CUT at the Beverly Wilshire for a plate of perfection.
Stout Burgers & Beers to split the Goombah Burger with my husband. It’s amazing with smoked mozzarella, parmesan flakes, crispy prosciutto and lemon basil aioli.
The Mandilli Di Seta… and everything else… at Factory Kitchen, DTLA.
The original Katsu-ya in Studio City.
And lately I’ve indulged an addiction for Hank’s Bagels in Burbank.
And once L.A. is open the MOCA museum and movie night at the Arclight! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dante – for his continued strength and unwavering support.
Plus, for their friendship and…
creativity – Melissa, Luz & Kelley
stability – Phyllis
mentorship – Richard, Fred
vision – Joey
All photos are copyright of Greenlight Creative, Inc Fox Prodigal Son, s2 (digital campaign). Freeform’s Love in the Time of Corona (key art and ooh). One Community (website). Greenlight’s key art poster for Magnolia Picture’s Once Were Brothers (and Akiko Stehrenberger’s The Jesus Rolls and Caelin White’s Portrait of a Woman on Fire).