ArielSimone Spotlight 1: Tari Johnson, One-Offs Yippee

PLEASE GIVE US A BRIEF BIO AND HOW YOU STARTED CREATING. I have always been an art and fashion appreciator as well as artist. I started painting when I was very young. (much to the dismay of my Mom when I left paint all over my bedroom floor) I have been an Art Director for about 12 years now with a strong focus on photo direction working mainly in New York, Miami and locally for small fashion boutiques as well as large companies such as Macy’s where I was a Senior Art Director. I have also been an Art Director for Mpls.St. Paul Magazine & at a local ad agency before going freelance full time.

DID YOU STUDY YOUR PARTICULAR FIELD FORMALLY? I did get a degree in Visual Communications from Brown College where I now occasionally guest speak as well as judge their portfolio shows.

APART FROM THIS, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO? I love to hate running! I usually go about 10 miles at a time and feel miserable the entire time until I’m done. Yet, I go as often as I can. I also have two creative children that I love to spend time with. My daughter is a serious ballet dancer which is amazing for me to watch and my 7 year old son has been fixated on being a fashion designer since he was 4. He drapes his dress form, draws clothing constantly and just started to learn to use a sewing machine this year. I love watching them create!

HOW DID YOU AND ADRIENNE MEET? I contacted Adrienne cold after viewing some of her work and being impressed with the color combinations, patterns and unique pieces I was seeing. I am delighted to now have her on my site as she is exactly the type of artist I built One-Offs Yippee! for—innovation, individualistic, quality product & bold.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I am currently building my brand presence, adding new artists, working on some upcoming events and maintaining the site.

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? I have such a huge love for art and design that it keeps me motivated naturally. The greatest part about it is that as I talk with each artist, you can see their passion for what they do and their creativity. The more they tell me about themselves, the more excited they become and you can just feel it. They each have a story, which makes the pieces so much more valuable, in my mind.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU? I always carry lipstick and gum.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT YOUR WORK? The hardest part about my work is conveying how amazing everything is in photos alone. I’m working on some more events where people can actually see the pieces in person. That seems to work well for us because when people see them in person, they are always blown away.


IF YOU WEREN’T CREATING AND DESIGNING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I always wanted to be a clothing designer myself but in High School the career counselor told me that a lot of math was involved and I got scared off!  How bad is that? If I wasn’t doing what I do, I would go back and learn to design clothing myself.

 WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? My creative process is all over the place. A lot of time when I design, I pull out anything that inspires me—magazine clippings, fabric and start on the computer. On occasion, if I get really stuck, I start painting colors around and that usually gets me going again. I keep my easel next to my computer.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THEN YEARS? I hope in 10 years that One-Offs will have grown enough that it will become a household name, further bringing attention to talented artists and designers.  I hope to l have a staff of talented people that will be working with me bringing fresh ideas to keep evolving.

WHO HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR CRAFT? I think the most influential person in my craft was honestly my High School painting teacher. He encouraged me to explore all of my ideas, even if they didn’t make sense. He allowed me to build a full-sized couch in the hallway made entirely of paintings with a stuffed, painted, canvas cushion. He also insisted that I go into Graphic Design so I guess he set my entire career in motion. There have been many influences along the way, but he was the first.

SHARE WITH US SOMETHING FUNNY THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU RECENTLY. Probably falling. I always wear huge heals and I’m clumsy so I tend to fall a lot—very graceful.

WHAT ARE YOU READING CURRENTLY? I am currently reading one of the True Blood books. They’re perfect, fluffy reading for summer.

 WHAT IT IS THAT YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR WORK? I love working with people, creativity, color, shapes and energy so what I do is perfect!

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 5 WORDS. Busy. Quirky. Competitive. Loyal. Honest. (I’m the worst liar. I can’t even begin to do it.)

LASTLY, ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS? My advice would be to be patient and seek out any opportunity you can. You never know when something small will lead to something bigger. No task is too small to get to your goal.

{Photography Credit: Mike Rupert}


One thought on “ArielSimone Spotlight 1: Tari Johnson, One-Offs Yippee

  1. Pingback: It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas! | arielsimone

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