The latest in our series of creative profiles focusses on illustrator Tuesday Bassen.
We talk being ‘ugly’, LA life and making friends with yourself.
Artwork by Tuesday Bassen
Interview by Emily Beard
Hi Tuesday! Tell us a little about yourself for anyone who isn’t familiar.
My name is Tuesday Bassen, I’m a Los Angeles based Illustrator. I make zines, accessories, and illustrations for my own online shop, as well as for clients.
Tell us about your zines, how did they come about and what inspires them?
Making zines is intuitive, I’ve always been interested in comics and zines. They’re a quick, tangible way to share what you’ve been making.
The title of my zine “Ugly Girl Gang” has a few meanings. First, it’s about being unconcerned with your physical appearance while kicking ass at what you do. Second, the content of my work focuses on themes of empowerment and revenge through unpleasant, violent, and disagreeable women. I love the duality of “ugly.” Ugly is powerful.
You did a really cute ceramic collaboration with Urban Outfitters! Do you prefer collaborating with other people/brands to working on your own?
I think of them as being interchangeable. I am my brand and don’t mind lending my mind and hands to people and companies that are supportive of me. Especially because I come from an illustration background where I am hired to visually communicate ideas!
Would you say living in LA influences your work at all?
Absolutely, I’m currently working on a line with LA based clothing company Mowgli Surf based on themes of 1970’s Venice beach. I love LA because it’s a weird freaky nasty violent suburban bougie paradise; I have a palm tree outside of my apartment that has “FUCK” spray painted on it.
Your work also adorns clothing, pins and patches, have you ever spotted anyone wearing any of your pieces out and about/had any unusual customer interactions?
Yeah! It’s cool to see people wearing my stuff, it’s flattering that people care to spend their money on it.
I have awesome customers, I had someone cover my tab at a bar because they recognized me and like my work, which floors me. Thank youuuu!
When you’re not working, what do you love to do?
That’s a funny question because I’ve woven my life and work together so tightly that they are interchangeable. My love life involves work because I collaborate with my boyfriend so frequently, I spend my “free time” doing pop-ups around the country with other artists, and I have a supper club with Little Friends of Printmaking where we try a different restaurant every week and talk about work. I don’t mind, I love what I do. I’m obsessed.
What other illustrators/creatives do you enjoy the work of?
I’ve been really interested in the possibilities and limitations of pins and patches, some artists that I’ve been following include: Big Bud, Rosehound, Sara M. Lyons, Adam JK, Inner Decay, and World Famous Original.
Aside from your work, what are 3 things that make you the most happy?
My dogs, spam musubi, finding new art supplies that I love.
If we gave you $1000 what would you spend it on?
And finally what advice/mantra do you live by?
1. Make eye contact.
2. Be direct and ask for what you want. Be firm, but kind.
3. Recognize signs of manipulation and intimidation, understand that you have power in every situation.
4. Make friends with yourself.
5. Keep your aspirations higher than your expectations.