Meet the Maker: Amy Tan
Ahead of our Papercraft Live demo that’s all about American Crafts, we decided to catch up with Amy Tan. Amy is a popular papercraft designer and creator of Amy Tangerine, and we wanted to know how she designs her collections, what inspires her, and how she got into crafting!
Describe your creative style.
Bright, colorful, and happy.
How did you first get into craft?
Growing up, my mom would encourage me to do craft projects of all kinds. We made friendship bracelets, tie dyed tee shirts, and got me obsessed with stationery. I have been making scrapbooks since I was a teenager, but I first discovered modern memory keeping when I stumbled upon a scrapbook store in Los Angeles and took a class led by Emily Falconbridge. From that moment on, I was hooked!
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
I find inspiration all around me! I love traveling near and far. It’s amazing what you can extract from just going and living your best life. Whether you choose to explore right outside your door or you get on an airplane for a distant adventure, you can meet people who inspire you in so many ways. From the textures in fashion to the colors of a sunset to the funny things my three year old says, I am always attuned to the inspiration around me.
Which piece of work are you most proud of and why?
I am so proud of each of my collections with American Crafts. Through working together for years, we have developed a wonderful synergy that showcases what we are passionate about. Every single line has represented a different season of my personal and creative lives and it’s such a treat to see others incorporate my products into their art.
Have you had any crafting disasters along the way?
Plenty! But I always try to work with my “mistakes” and let them push me to try new solutions.
Which 3 items from your craft stash could you not live without?
Tombow markers, Fiskars paper trimmer, and an endless supply of adhesive! And if I had to pick a fourth, Thickers!
Are there any craft trends you’re really excited about or expect to see this year?
I love anything where you can see the artist’s hand in play, including hand-lettering, watercoloring, and line drawing.
Which crafters or designers inspire you?
I adore so many different artists but right now I’m loving Geronimo Balloons, Gray Malin, and Lauren Hom.
What are your passions outside of crafting?
I love making videos for my YouTube channel, traveling the world, writing in my Bullet Journal, and of course, spending as much time as possible with my son, Jack, and my partner, JC.
Do you have any hints or tips for people thinking about starting their own business?
Go for it! There’s no way for you to be 100% prepared before starting; trust that you will learn and grow as you go!
Amy’s Top Tips
1. Above all else, believe in yourself. Let yourself be yourself and good things will come.
2. Look to others for inspiration and see how their style can influence (but not dictate) your own.
3. If you’re struggling to work out out a design solution, walk away, go for a walk or take a nap, and then return with fresh eyes. The solution will almost always present itself.