We partnered with Steffi Lynn Tsai to showcase her “Have A Nice Day” campaign across the city of Los Angeles. We hope that this limited edition series reminds you to make each day great.
Behind the Art
Q: How did you become a muralist?
A: I grew up creating things and then I worked hard to pursue my passion in art school. I exhausted all possibilities and just wanted to find what felt right for me. I started painting houses which allowed me to visualize large scale art installations. I worked lots of corporate jobs which helped me learn to manage myself and my business. I worked as a freelancer that helped me build and develop my style. It all started aligning. Sooner or later, the dots just started connecting.
Q: Advice for other creatives?
A: It can be really difficult to put yourself out there. If you want more opportunities you have to work for it and you have to put yourself out there. Even for the strongest people, having your work critiqued can be extremely hard. But it's also so rewarding to have things that mean something to you out in the world. I'm a big believer of people pursuing their passions in every way. If this is your passion and it gives you meaning, then I'm all for it. Share it.
Q: What's a main theme in your art?
A: I think in general I'm an expressionist. Using words is really important to me because I'm a communicator. I want to connect to other humans, and I think you mainly do that through words. I've always felt like a writer, in some way, and I'm lucky and privileged to be able to share that with others now through the platform I've built.
Q: What was the thought behind "Love is Trash"?
A: I've been thinking about things around this sentiment for a while, but when Rareform reached out it just clicked. I love to make bold statements, and a billboard is the perfect way to scream things out to the world. Considering this billboard would become trash normally, it's really just a play on words.
Q: First mural to now, how have you changed?
A: Creatively, you're always looking back and thinking how far you've come, but also thinking about how to grow. It's important to be confident about your work, but also desiring to improve and changing and experimenting. There's always a push and pull process. Physically, it's like a muscle that you train. You get faster and more efficient, it becomes like a performance. But there is always room for improvement.
Q: Challenges with this project?
A: It was certainly a challenge to think about how this would live in two different spaces. The design challenge of making it work up close and from a huge distance. I explored a lot and tried a ton of different things, but I'm really glad we landed on the style we did.
Q: What was it like seeing your billboards?
A: It was amazing to see it up and in such a grand setting and seeing it with the backdrop of Los Angeles. The palm trees the drone footage. I loved the whole vibe of it all. It's always amazing to see something come together after you've been working on it all.
Behind the Art
Q: What does "Have a Nice Day" mean to you?
A: It's a casual phrase - people say it every day, but it leaves an impression. I want my work to be a reminder that if you're stressed out, or having a tough day it's okay. Just take a step back, have a nice day. You'll have one tomorrow. It's all gonna be okay. I often have really low lows, which is a huge reason I create work that uplifts others. It's for others, but first it's meant to encourage myself.
Q: Advice for other creatives?
A: My biggest advice is to just go for it and be present. Let people know that you're there and available. You have to wave your hand in front of their faces and just ask for it. I used to say yes to everything. You never know what you'll like until you try it. If you need practice, it doesn't have to be something grand. Go to the hardware store and buy a big board to practice murals. Go for it, post about it. Tell people about it.
Q: How did you become a muralist?
A: I started doing murals when a friend approached me to do one for a music festival. At that time I was only designing small, but I thought "how amazing would it be to see this huge in real life". I used to be a dancer, so murals are a way for me to tap into that whole body movement. After the music festival I fell in love with it and was hungry for more.
Q: How did you come up with "Have a Nice Day"?
A: It's funny because I was basically a bit of a hoarder. I was just making tons of different things that had my art on it to see what it looked like in the real world. One night I was stressed out, eating takeout on the couch trying to think of a name for my brand and I just saw it. It was simple, catchy and perfect.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: I'm definitely inspired by mother nature and the earth, because it's timeless. As humans we need to nature to survive. It's the breath of fresh air that leaves you feeling calm. A lot of my work is motivating and about positivity and I wanted people to also feel refreshed when they look at it which is why a lot of my work includes themes from nature.
Q: What part of this process are you most excited for?
A: Of course it's really exciting to see your art up high and so large, but I think seeing the bags will be really cool. Knowing that it used to be this large scale and now it's in your hands. I think it's a great way for people to feel connected - we all have these bags and are connected by the art that was on this billboard.
Who is Steffi Lynn?
Steffi Lynn Tsai is an illustrator, hand-letterer, and designer born in Texas. She brings life to words and seeks to spread positivity through her murals and art. Inspired by a take out container, her motto to "Have a Nice Day" has grown into her very own brand. We were able to bring her campaign to the city of Los Angeles on three large billboards. Now they're being made into one of a kind bags and accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if I want to choose my exact bag?
When you preorder a bag, you will receive the item at a 10% discount and we will ship out your bags before anyone else. However, you won't be able to choose your exact color/design. If you would like to pick out your own Steffi Lynn design, you can sign up for our waitlist and we will notify you 24-48 hours before we release them to the public. You won't receive the 10% discount (which covers the cost of photography), but you will get to choose your exact design!
I pre-ordered, when will my bag get here?
Bags are expected to ship out in January of 2021. They are currently being carefully cut, cleaned, and assembled into your perfect one of a kind bag, but trust us, it'll be worth the wait!
If I signup for waitlist will you save a bag for me?
No, if you signup for waitlist we cannot reserve a bag for you. If you would like to guarantee a certain product style (i.e. Blake Tote, Cora Tote, Clarke Clutch) you should pre-order your bag. You won't be able to pick your exact product, but you'll still probably love it! Every bag from the series is cut from one of these 3 billboards, so no matter what, you can expect it to be 100% unique and an original Steffi Lynn Design.
What is the Artist Series?
We believe that creativity is a vital part of life and this series is a way to celebrate that. We search far and wide for artists, muralists, designers, and creatives who not only make beautiful pieces of art, but also inspire the communities around them. Each collection is crafted with purpose from start to finish, and support artists from across the country. Plus, you'll finally be able to know exactly which billboard your bag came from.
If you'd like to nominate a candidate for a future Artist Series, please send in your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org we'd love to see what art you want on your bags!
What's the deal with the billboard industry?
Here at Rareform, we fully support the billboard advertisers and those who use their services. We think the industry does an amazing job supporting and promoting businesses, small and large, across the world. Our goal is not to stop advertising companies from printing more billboards, we simply want to be the solution to their waste. Since the PVC material used for billboards cannot be traditionally recycled, our bags help to extend their lifespan by allowing the material to be reused in a completely new way.
Do you print billboards for this project?
Yes, we do print billboards for this project .
This project is about celebrating art and artists in our community. Billboards are a unique medium because their viewership is so high - they can make a huge impact and gain a lot more traction than other media forms. We're simply using the platform, resources, and connections we have to help promote an artist or message that we believe in. Every artist receives a percentage of sales and is featured by our brand.
Additionally, the billboards we do print for this project are nothing in comparison to the number we receive from existing advertisers. And they are still being repurposed into unique products, extending their lifespan by years.