We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamsyn Martins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamsyn, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I think it’s the only thing I’ve been fully comfortable with all the way from the time I was just a kid. I dabbled in a lot of other things; sports and music, writing as well, but nothing quite stuck like art did. I’d pick up interests and hobbies really quickly but then I’d also lose interest in them just as fast. Thinking about taking up a career that would probably make me miserable barely a couple of years in used to boggle my mind quite a bit until I realised that I /did/ have something that I absolutely enjoyed and could possibly get better at if I kept going (and then monetize, eventually, haha)–and that was art! I think I’ve always had a pen and a sketchbook or a paper napkin that I’d keep just to scribble on on me at all times; it’s a bit cumbersome when you think about it–sometimes my books and supplies get ridiculously heavy–but it just felt right? I can’t imagine doing anything else when my pencil feels like an extension of my arm.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I had originally wanted to get into animation, but ended up taking a character art class on a whim and fell in love with Visual Development instead. I enjoy mixing the motion I learnt from animation (posing, gestures and so on) with the vibrancy and detail I have honed from visual development. Relearning this part of my craft took a little while but with enough study and practice, I really like what I’m doing now!
I do need to let my mind wander sometimes; it doesn’t do to focus wholly on one thing for too long, so when that happens I take a break to just read something new or I draw some mindless fanart. It’s a great way to indirectly get my creative juices flowing again because I don’t need to think too hard about it.
Currently, I’m really excited to bring everything I’ve learned into my thesis project. I’ve been working on world building and design for a story that mixes fantasy with an inkling of steampunk and it’s been going well so far! I want to bring in more diversity with my characters and more wonder and excitement. Most of my favourite shows and books have something in common; large-scale plots, like space operas and fantastical allegories with a huge wacky cast and multiple, touching side stories and I hope to pull off something similar one day!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As an International student, I have only been in the States for a few years and being in university meant that I was doing more homework than exploring (I would have loved to do that however!) But. I still have a few places I really like. I visited the Port of Long Beach with my friends once and really wanted to check out the RMS Queen Mary which I heard was haunted and I just thought that would be really fun to visit (we didn’t get to go inside, but there’s a lovely beach around it to walk around) and I visited the Grand Canyon with my family once and thought it was really pretty. I would also definitely drag a new visitor to The Getty and finally, Little Tokyo; They have great food and the community has a lovely atmosphere! I found lots of inspiration for my art at these two stops. Little Tokyo had a bunch of small galleries and The Getty is just…really impressive.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t have gotten this far without my parents’ unwavering encouragement, as well as my high school art teacher and my close friends and family! I come from a community where STEM majors are encouraged, which is great, but unfortunately, the Arts get overshadowed and looked down on. It was rather frustrating at one point, but it’s because of the people in my corner that it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m really lucky to have them!