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  • Writer's pictureTonya Vivian

Inspiring Female Artists: Art By Tiffanys

There isn't a better time to support the arts than now. So I decided to do my next series on Inspiring Female Artists. This is the very first in my series. Today I’m spotlighting Tiffany Splettstoeszer. Tiffany is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. Her style consists of mostly semi realism and realism portraits, and she also does illustrations. Currently, she is doing more digital art but also works with colored pencils, charcoal, pencil, acrylic and gouche paint. Her work caught my eye a few years ago because it's so unique and displays such strong, diverse female characters.

In a time of quarantine and social distancing I thought how sweet it would be to have a memory of my daughter Ophelia on the beach in Naxos, Greece from this past September.

Tiffany came back with this! I was completely blown away! My immediate reaction was tearing up. I'm emotional because it's not only completely stunning but captures her like I've never seen before. It also brings me right back to this special moment. There is just so much overwhelming joy and nostalgia when I look at this. I had to know more. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

1. Walk us through this amazing portrait of Ophelia. What was your thought process and how did you bring it to life?

"Well, Ophelia is such a beautiful little girl, so my goal was to try and capture that in a stylized way. So much goes into portrait drawings. Apart from the basic human anatomy, there’s things like skin tone and texture, and in semi realism, finding the features to slightly exaggerate while still being able to identify the subject. Digital art certainly makes it a little easier to play around while searching for that balance.

Both as a women and an artist, I am often drawn to peoples eyes and lips, so it’s no surprise that these are the features I spend the most time on. But I start with a basic layout and sketch the head and face before moving onto the body. Because I tend to be so focused on facial features, most of my portraits, just like Ophelia’s, tend to be just the bust, rather than full body. I want people to be drawn to the face, with less distraction from the rest of the piece.

From that point on, it’s really just finding the right color, tones, and textures to bring that portrait to life. Honestly, I wasn’t completely happy with my first piece of her, so I created another. And I liked that one even less! So often I find we are our biggest critics, and as an artist, it can be hard to vulnerably put your work out there and leave it open to criticism. The truth is we all have a different style to our work, and are entirely unique. And that is what’s so incredible about art and who we are as artists." 

2. Where did your passion for art begin?

"I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of my talent comes from my genes. My great grandmother, two grandmothers, and my dad, are all very gifted when it comes to art. However, even if you’re born with some natural abilities, it still takes time and consistency to practice and improve, just like anything else.

I’m an introvert with 3 younger sisters, so many times in childhood to escape the chaos I would sneak away to my room and draw. They had a career day at school where an artist came and gave each of us a B5 pencil and a gummi eraser. Let me tell you, having those “real” art supplies made 7 year old me feel really special, and I definitely put them to good use. To this day I still have that pencil (what’s left of it!). I would find pictures in magazines and copy them, sometimes changing a thing or two. So I guess you can say I’ve been drawing my whole life. But now I’m at a point where I’m spending a lot of time really honing in on my style, playing with different mediums and subjects, and most of all…just trying to have fun with it!"

3. What has changed for you during this time of social distancing? Style? Motivation?

"Like I mentioned, I’m an introvert, so this time for me has actually been fairly easy, if not in many ways preferable! I feel like I’ve been training for this my whole life! No, all jokes aside, I feel like this time really has motivated me to use this “alone time” to really focus on expanding my skills and personal style. I use fellow artists in the Instagram art community as inspiration and motivation, and have really developed a lot of my current style by participating in “Draw This In Your Style” Challenges, where an artist releases an original piece, and then you mimic it in your style. I’ve been finding this time to be one of great growth, and can only hope that all this practicing and preparation will somehow carry over into some success when the world opens up again."

4. What inspires you?

"My top inspiration is Disney! Ha! I feel like there is nothing unique in that answer, but the more I delve into Disney’s vision and style, the more fascinating and inspiring it becomes. The characters and worlds he created just through art and imagination are simply incredible.

And as I mentioned, I pull a lot of inspiration from fellow artists, especially in the IG art community. Certain color palettes, brush strokes, or even subject matter will catch my eye, and I will follow them and try and learn from any tips or tutorials they give, as well as just be inspired by something beautiful popping up on my feed. I find it to be a very supportive community, and there’s a lot of transparency with the time and journey it takes to grow your skill. It helps to feel like you’re not behind or “less than”, because everyone starts somewhere, and many people are very humble and open about their beginnings. And even though I’m just starting out in the social media world, to have the occasional comment knowing that my work has been an inspiration to someone is really the greatest feeling I think you can get as an artist."

Tiffany is multitalented and has experience doing portraits and character art, tattoo designs, storyboard art, book covers, and children's book illustrations. She has been certified in Graphic Design to create Logos and Branding Boards and also takes requests. This was the original photo I sent for inspiration. She took a picture-perfect moment and somehow gave it even more beauty and grace.

Be sure to follow Tiffany’s IG @artbytiffanys and her website is coming soon!

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