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Article: Noble Artist Feature: Tiffany Lusteg

Noble Artist Feature: Tiffany Lusteg

Noble Artist Feature: Tiffany Lusteg

Need some colorful inspo for Summer? Meet San Diego based artist, Tiffany Lusteg — best known for her colorful abstract murals and large scale installations. 

Today on the blog, we chat with Tiffany about her three dimensional work and how she's preparing for her soon-to-be Summer babe while her & her daughter Basil rock our 100% organic Utility Suits in her creative studio.

Tiffany working on her latest piece wearing our Paprika Utility Suit.

As a multi-faceted artist, tell us how you became involved in larger projects such as installations and murals? Was this always the direction you had in mind? My path to installation art and spatial design began by accident, really snowballing organically into what it is today. I stumbled upon weaving and the fiber arts in the thick of graduating college 9 years ago. Always being a creative individual that needed an outlet, I decided on a whim to order my first loom and dive rather blindly into the unknown. At that time, I really had no idea how deeply consumed or enamored I’d become with the craft, nor the influence it’d have on my life's path. I had shared a photo (on social media) of the first piece I made and someone had reached out, asking if they could purchase it. Many of my early days were spent creating fiber art and teaching weaving workshops in my community. 

When my husband and I got married in 2017, I created a 6ft. x 6ft. tapestry (my largest piece at that time) for our wedding backdrop. Having been 'bitten' by the bug of working at the large scale, I really consider this the beginning of my journey into installation art. During that time, people began to commission wedding backdrops from me and with my husband Aaron's background in woodworking, we began to collaborate together creating works that were an indistinguishable blend of both my design and creative direction and his fabrication and craftsmanship. 

Although fiber art began as my forte and first love, these days I am exploring a number of different mediums in my process, from digital artwork to three-dimensional space. With humble beginnings creating pieces from our garage and backyard, I am incredibly grateful to have since grown, creating artworks from my studio and workshop. My focused areas of practice continue to evolve through the years, now concentrating more heavily on large scale installation art and murals, creating experiential artworks for events, hotels, corporate clients, galleries, and private clients’ homes. More recently, I've begun exploring creative direction and spatial design, working with larger brands such as Gap, Madewell, Atelier Cologne, The Hilton and Marriott Hotels, and the Ritz Carlton. My work can be described as vivid, meaningful, and expressive, always trying to find new ways to brighten the world of those around me.You have a special interest in color theory throughout your work— do you have a favorite color palette that you tend to gravitate towards? I have always favored the nostalgia that warm tones conjure up, but go through different seasonalities of favoring certain color palettes depending on my mood or disposition during that time. Last winter, I was navigating through a difficult season of grief and this translated to a lot of my work incorporating vivid blues and deep tonal values. Since being pregnant these last few months, my work has unintentionally favored greens, palettes of springtide, and new growth. I don’t often dwell on the color choices I’m making but instead allow how I’m feeling to guide the way. 
I source a great deal of my inspiration and creative energy from nature, the way organic colors and forms interact, and artists from the past. My husband and I recently took a trip to Costa Rica to celebrate the imminent arrival of our little one on the way, and being immersed in the remarkable beauty of the surrounding jungle and wildlife for those few weeks inspired a new fire in me upon returning home, so I am eager to see where that takes my work next.Do you find that your work and connection to color reflect in your personal style as well? Absolutely. Drawing on my affinity for the nostalgic, much of my collected wardrobe is vintage, also reflecting color palettes and silhouettes from eras’ past. Similarly to my work, I’m choosing clothes based on an emotional posture so there is immense range to what I’m wearing each day, from androgynous utilitarianism to more delicate and feminine silhouettes. 

With a little one and a new babe on the way (yay!), has motherhood taught you anything new you weren't expecting as you navigate through creative projects? That I don’t have it all figured out or know exactly where I’m headed with each new day (both in parenting and in my creative endeavors) and that is okay. I am mostly following what feels right in my bones, chasing my curiosities, and surrendering to wherever they lead me. Motherhood has made me a more flexible person and in learning to be gentle with my children, it’s shaped how gently I treat my own heart as well. 

I’m learning to embrace the process and imperfections, rather than focusing on the polished finished product. Being a detail-oriented and self-critical individual, I’ve struggled to allow myself the space to make mistakes and only through motherhood discovered the capacity this way of thinking has to stifle and suffocate creativity. I’m continuously learning and re-learning to embrace the messier parts of life and find the beauty in our unique flaws. 

I hope my children, too, learn to follow their own curiosities, protect their heart from comparison to others, and know that most fulfillment can be found along the journey rather than in the destination. We are all on this parallel path, a lifetime spent carving away at the same sculptural self portrait, always starting with more than we need and narrowing, narrowing. Tiffany and Basil wearing matching Oat Milk Utility Suits.

What's something that you're reading or listening to that has you feeling inspired? Depending on the day, I am listening to anything from Chaka Khan to Mazzy Star to get into a creative headspace. Most of the artists and writers I look to for inspiration are those from the past; Helen Frankenthaler, Georgia O'Keeffe, Eva Hesse, Sylvia Plath, Simone De Beauvoir, and Denise Levertov. In addition to visual art, I share a deep enthusiasm for reading and writing poetry, with a sizable admiration for the women who were one of few during their day, pioneering the way for female artists and writers today. I’m currently reading through some of Mary Oliver’s early poetry and Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays.


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