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Meet Tammy Gu, Asian American; an illustrator inspired by stories

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

Tell us about yourself.

Hi there! I'm Tammy, a product designer, and illustrator living in the Bay Area.

What type of art do you feel most connected to?

I feel the most connected to art that is inspired by culture. As an Asian American, I absolutely love seeing art that I can deeply resonate with: art that creates a sense of familiarity, art that makes me feel as though I'm at home.

I truly believe that illustration is an opportunity to tell a story.

How long have you been drawing or illustrating?

I've been doodling and teaching myself to illustrate ever since I could hold a pencil.

What inspires you the most to illustrate?

Stories! I truly believe that illustration is an opportunity to tell a story. Memories, meaningful moments shared by the people around me, fairytales from childhood, experiences, conversations every day, inspire me to illustrate.

Do you remember your first-ever illustration? What was it?

I used to adore drawing anything that could fly. I still believe doing so taught me to dream and kept me hopeful. While I can't remember my first-ever illustration, I'm almost positive it included a medley of birds, butterflies, and dragons!

Describe your creative illustration process in several steps

1. Recall a story or experience!

2. put pencil to paper and create a rough sketch.

3. Iterate!

4. Finalize the sketch and add color!

5. Share :)

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future, I hope that I am still finding time to illustrate every day, that I continue to pursue a career that is socially impactful and pushes me to grow, and that I am surrounded by the people that I love. :)

What three things would you tell others to be inspired to make art during Covid-19?

I would say that every day is an opportunity to learn, experience, or create something new. If illustrating is a skill that you've always wanted to improve on, dedicate some time day after day to sketching - even if it's only for 5 minutes.

That being said, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself! Make sure you're doing something every day that makes you happy. :)

Which tools do you use to illustrate? Which one do you use the most?

I've started using procreate on my iPad more and more frequently to explore digital illustration! However, I will always appreciate simple pencil and paper and my favorite 0.5mm Muji pens!

How can others find your work or connect with you?

You can follow me on Dribbble at, or you can follow me on Instagram.



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