Stitches

Inspiration: Tuesday Bassen

Embroiderer, illustrator and brand consultant – these are some of the titles that separate Los Angeles-based Tuesday Bassen from up-and-coming artist and the entrepreneurial force she has become. Bassen studied at an art-intensive high school, and now draws inspiration from her teen years immersed in DIY art culture. “My style is influenced by the cartoonists I followed in high school, like Dame Darcy and Julie Doucet,” she says. “My love of Riot Girl culture, comic books and vintage style also shaped my work today, and gave it more of a violent energy.”

In 2011, Bassen graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design; her skills range from editorial illustration, event graphics, embroidery/patches and ceramics, to art direction of brand experience. She credits using social media outlets like Instagram, Tumblr and Etsy to amass a following that gave her brand the exposure it needed to grow. “With Instagram and Tumblr, people could easily share photos [of my patches], which gave me a much bigger reach,” she says. Her social media “reach” eventually turned heads at Urban Outfitters, for example, which allowed her to do a ceramics collaboration with the company, and caused other publications and companies like The New York Times, New York Magazine, Snapple, Tinybop, Fiat, Target, American Greetings and Etsy to enlist her artistic expertise.

Though her market has grown, Bassen says her production as small and collaborative. It takes anywhere from five to 15 hours to create a commissioned piece, and she only employs one longtime friend to manage all of her shipping needs. She describes a typical day as a delicate balance between managing the personal and professional. Only recently did I implement more structure in my schedule. Without structure, I definitely had more of an all-work, no-play mentality,” Bassen says. She starts work at 11 a.m., checking emails and looking over possible commissions. Generally, she works on projects from noon until 6 p.m. – sketching to the completion of the individual project.

What’s next for Bassen? She wants to expand her website (www.shoptuesday.com) to include all artist-made goods, and do more apparel collaborations. She explains, “Now that I have a more commercial, wide-span following, I can give exposure to others.”