dialogue with treehouse artists
Who are you and what made you that?
I’m Tiffany Cole. I’m female, fine artist from California. I live in London right now but I was born and raised in California.
I’ve done some form of art my entire life. I started in dance when I was three and I did that until my teen years. I really thought that was something I wanted to pursue but I didn’t like the life it would lead me to. I was then a musician for seven years. Around the age of eighteen, I got a normal job. I stopped doing art completely- any form of it. Nine years went by and I had this hole in my universe. I was acting like this person that I wasn’t. I had so much imagination going on. Almost everyday, I would take a walk and play through things in my head- movies I wanted to make, songs I wanted to make, this entire fantasy world in my head.
I started doing some counseling and that opened the door to being creative again. It’s funny, when I really made that decision, one of my good friends is an abstract painter and she brought over paints to my apartment. I started messing around with them and it seemed like every situation in my life came together to force me to this point- to be forced to create.
This guy came into my life and he was in the fine art world and I wanted to impress him in some way [laughs] and I just started doing it. My two best friends were fine artists. This guy had come in to my life. All of these things ignited the fine artist in me.
Isn’t it funny how love will push you to do things?
Ya, and I’ve never really said that in any interview because I didn’t want it be taken like “I did this for a man”.
What have you been working on recently?
Last year, I really had the goal of coming to London to start exploring my style. I began by exploring creating relationships with models and I really feel like I’ve begun a journey that will probably last for the rest of my life. So, right now I’m working on exploring new ways of communicating what I’m trying to communicate with my art. Saying what is in my mind. I’m going to States next week and going to stay by myself for a few weeks and start oil painting. I’m exploring new styles and just trying to really hone them in.
Last year, my goal was to become a full-time artist and I achieved that goal. I realized that right now, I’m trying to figure out what am I really trying to communicate- What am I trying to put into this world? What am trying to make myself feel with my art? I think that’s a constant thing that you’re chasing as an artist.
What self-resistance do you run into as an artist?
Oh my god.
I could write a novel about this.
I’m such a perfectionist. That harms me in many ways because I’m still quite new to my craft in the sense that most people doing what I’m doing started when they were eight and I started when I was twenty five. I think just letting myself create just for the sake of creating- not for having a perfect product- letting myself play. When I was young, I really let myself play. That’s what I used creation for. As you get older, you have more pressure to be successful and make money. Now money is an attachment to your creation- which is such an interesting dynamic. Allowing myself to freely create is something I’m trying to do.
What am I trying to put into this world? What am trying to make myself feel with my art? I think that’s a constant thing that you’re chasing as an artist.
Why do you make art? What’s the point?
I think for two reasons. One is a selfish reason. It’s just an energy that I have that I almost need to tap into and play with in order to be happy. It’s such a part of me to create that if I don’t do it, it’s like cutting off my own arm.
The other reason is that it’s such a beautiful feeling to create an effect on people. Especially with social media- it’s so amazing how kind people are with their reactions to the things you make. The beautiful words that they use. It makes all the pain of being an artist worth it; To feel that magic feeling in yourself and to make others feel that magic feeling.
It’s such a beautiful feeling to create an effect on people. Especially with social media- it’s so amazing how kind people are with their reactions to the things you make. The beautiful words that they use. It makes all the pain of being an artist wroth it; To feel that magic feeling in yourself and to make others feel that magic feeling.
What role does art have in society?
I think without art, society is almost lifeless, sad and solid. I think artists are almost looked up to like gods. They’re thought of as these different beings that have some sort of power and bring us these incredible feelings - whether of sadness, joy or sensuality. I think art is a universal communication that breaks through all the noise of our planet.
What form of advice would you give someone who’s a fine artist and wants to make a living from their art?
You have to work hard. There’s no getting around it. Ideally, I would love to wake update everyday and take two baths and put make up for five hours and just twirl around in my bedroom and make videos and that absolutely can be what you do but there’s also the business side of it. That’s what I’ve learned that I have to keep on. It’s constantly outflowing to new people, constantly networking. I love Grant Cardone. I’ve been listening to him a lot and I love that he says, “Everything you want is in the hands of a stranger.” Whether you want be in gallery, get a commission, sell a piece that you make. It’s all in the hands of a stranger. It’s not going to be fun all the time. It’s not the ideal way I’d like to live as an artist but here we are. I’ve achieved my first goal. I can sustain myself while doing this. My next goal is freedom- That there is such a desire for what I create, that I’m free to do what I’d like. But first, you have to do the legwork. You have to get out there and communicate.
I’ve achieved my first goal. I can sustain myself while doing this. My next goal is freedom- That there is such a desire for what I create, that I’m free to do what I’d like. But first, you have to do the legwork. You have to get out there and communicate.