We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiera Knaff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiera, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a creative career because I feel it was destined for me. Honestly, I didn’t see myself doing anything other than creating. I’ve always been a creative person since I was kid, so it’s like I had a head start on my career path before I actually had to decide a route I wanted to take. Drawing my favorite cartoons was my first introduction into art. So, with my art you may see what I like to call “artificial realism” which combines my realistic painting style with animation. Innovation is my motivator when creating, so I’m always taking things I’ve created in the past and analyzing them to see how can I take them to the next level. Lately, my passion for sneakers and fashion has been my inspiration. Being able to put my canvas creations on sneakers and clothing has been a fun ride so far.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel what sets me apart from other artists is that I’m able to innovate, but still keep my pieces fresh and new to the market. I feel every artists has their own style, but are you able to use that to turn yourself into an entity? My goal with my art is to turn my name into a household item that is needed around the world. I never wanted to be the artist that just painted on canvas daily; I always challenge myself to learn something new. Recently, I created two sculptures of my very own cartoon characters for my solo show last year called “How does your garden grow?”. I’m very proud of them considering it was my first time using clay. It taught me patience and really understanding proportions when taking a 2D drawing and turning it into a 3D model. I also loved that it was something different from me that people have never seen before, which let me know that I need to do more of these.
A lot of my Inspiration stems from my favorite fashion pieces, favorite cartoons, daily life, and even my favorite artists. They all play a huge role in my artwork, and with each I try to take a piece and place that within my art to see if my audience would notice and feel nostalgia when seeing it.
It definitely hasn’t been an easy road, but what is? Life is all about trial and error, when one option doesn’t work try the next. I’ve been enjoying this artistry road for sure taking each day at a time. I love how everyday it’s something new to create and learn. It’s never a dull day. What I’ve learned so far on this art journey is to trust yourself and go with your vision. Never second guess your first motion, but definitely move with patience.
I’m so excited for what’s in store for my artist journey and to be able to share that with you all. Lately, I’ve been highly inspired with sneakers, so definitely stay tuned for the Summer to see what I’m creating next.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For starters, I would definitely take them to the DIA (Detroit Institute of Art). There’s always new and exclusive pieces there to see. You may even catch local artists in there too. We would also shoot over to the MOCAD, which is down the street. Best contemporary art around! Other great galleries we would check out for the next 3 days is N’Namdi center for Contemporary Art, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Library Street Collective, and Detroit Artists Market. Since I’m such a sneaker head, Bobs Classic Kicks and Nojo’s Kicks would be our next stop. Both great places to go to if you need exclusive sneakers to add to your collection. Next we would make our way through Eastern Market to shop and eat. There’s always great art and food to indulge in. Can’t go wrong with those combinations! I would definitely make sure we visit a Coney Island at least twice. As for the night life we would go to either Motor City Wine or Deluxx Fluxx. Both have great music, drinks and ambiance. I would also make sure to take them to Ready Player One and Barcade for fun video-games and drinks. I love these spots because you meet a lot of great people and it gets really competitive especially if you’re a gamer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m going to always shout out my family. I have the biggest support system ever and having that makes me feel like I’ve already won in anything that I pursue.
Michael Brown Sarah Fleming