TOFU SQUIRREL

Interviewed in April of 2014

LIZZIE SIEGEL aka
TOFU SQUIRREL

Hometown: Nuttytree

Current town: Boston,  MA

Website: Click Here

1. You’ve created tons of music posters for some pretty big acts. Does music play a roll in your creative process? if so, in what ways and what styles do you find work best for you?

Music almost always plays a roll in my creative process. I often listen to music while I draw because I find it to be meditative and creatively inspiring. I enjoy drawing to the beats of the music. Lately, I’ve gotten more into relaxing indie and folk songs, but I appreciate all genres.

2. Your art and characters seem to all live and breathe in the same world. You have a very original voice, when did you discover this “voice” and where do you think it comes from?

After my college graduation, I was not completely happy with the work I had been creating. My realistic pen and ink work was mainly based on photographs. One of my friends pointed out that it didn’t look like I was having fun with my art. They suggested I stop drawing from photos and try to draw from my imagination. Soon after, I picked up
my sketchbook and doodled imaginative creatures and monsters. The advice helped remind me how much fun art can be. I naturally developed my own art style with my signature striped eyes, and I started filling up sketchbooks regularly.

3. Your work almost exclusively in pen and markers. How important do you think finding "your" medium is for an artist?

I’ve experimented with all different kinds of mediums, but pen and ink was my calling. It is important for an artist to experiment and discover which medium makes them feel the happiest.

4. You have worked within a collective art group before (Paint Pens in Purses, Boston Artists Blog) and have curated groups shows . Tell us about these collective group projects. Do you find curating is a art in itself? Talk to us a bit about how working in a group compares to solo work.

I originally got involved with the Paint Pens Collective (formerly Paint Pens in Purses, an all female group) back in 2008. Founder, Shayna Yasuhara, discovered my work on the internet and reached out to me. She invited me to participate in an art show at LAB
(former street-wear and vinyl toy shop in Allston, MA). The show included some of the best female artists in Boston. The show was a success! Having group shows and organizing art shows has allowed me to make friends and meet new people in the art community. In 2010, I started the Boston Artists Blog (bostonartistsblog.com) as a way to
promote artists and help advertise art events in and around Boston.

5. Do you have a favorite client or project you’ve worked with recently?

Outer Limits Hot Sauce, a small father and son company based out of New Jersey, asked me to illustrate the label for one of their new flavors, Serrano Cilantro. They sent me 3 outstanding delicious samples in the mail! I am very pleased and excited to have my artwork on the bottle of such a tasty product! You can order their hot sauce on their website: outerlimitshotsauce.com .

6. Do you think it’s humanly possible for you to draw something that looks evil or
grotesque? or does adorable and cute simply ooze from your being?

I’m working on writing and illustrating a children’s book, so I’m sticking to drawing kid friendly creatures!

7. We love our city, but Boston isn’t known for it’s friendly attitude, why have you made it your home base and where do you find the positive energy to stay focused and create these colorful worlds.

I love Boston, and it will always be home to me, even if I ever move away. To stay
focused on my work, I usually sip a cup of coffee, listen to music, and draw. It’s like my own kind of meditation and I get “in the zone”. Drawing has always been my happy place, ever since I was a kid. I could be in the worst mood, but once I start to draw, I become completely content.

8. Are computers part of you workflow at all (outside of scanning)? if so... in what
capacity... Mac or PC?

I usually color with markers, but I have an iMac that I use sometimes for digitally
coloring drawings in Photoshop.

9. Have you ever thought about animating some of your work? or story books?

Yes, it would be really cool to have my characters animated! Hopefully, I can create an animation at some point down the road. I need to freshen up my animation skills first though!

10. Any new projects coming out that you could share with us? Where can we see your work in the future?

Other than the hot sauce label, I’m working on writing an illustrating a children’s book. Since my book is still in the works, you can visit me and see my work at different events and art shows.

11. Workplace or studio; a disaster or super organized?

I’m usually very organized with all of my art and supplies.

12. Can you give us a couple of artists you’ve been looking at? Who’s about to blow up? Give us a couple of people to Google.

Jonathan Reincke (VenusJaw on instagram), Kristi Lyn (Zombie Romance)

13. What’s been the most challenging part of building a career as an artist? i.e.; family, $$$, time, inspiration, networking, etc…

The most challenging part is not having enough time to do everything I want to do with my work.

14. Dream client? Go..

Since I’ve been an avid fan of comic books since I was a little girl, I’d have to say DC Comics, and I’m happy to say that I had the opportunity to work with them.**