OFFF Review: Designer Tara McPherson

OFFF Review: Designer Tara McPherson

PSFK talks with the multi-talented artist at OFFF Paris about her workflow and future plans.

Catalina Kulczar-Marin
  • 6 july 2010

The three-day OFFF festival showcases top digital artists, web, print and interactive designers, motion graphics studios, musicians, and more. PSFK was at OFFF Paris recently, and talked with designer Tara McPherson to find out more about her process and work. Tara is a Brooklyn-based designer that works for Kid Robot, creates band posters, makes sculptural art pieces, and has critically-acclaimed fine art being displayed in museums and publications all over the world.

OFFF’s  theme is “Nostalgia for a Future Past.” How does this relate to your work, your process and how do you feel about using digital software for your work vs. using your hands?

I know basic Illustrator and Photoshop but I use it as sparingly as possible. I love doing hand separations for my posters, but the reality of the time frame and the situation is that it’s just not always possible [because of time/deadlines]…to save time I do separations in Photoshop but like I said, very minimum.

…I’m a painter. It’s not the easy way out – yeah I could probably do my work in a painter program a lot faster but I feel that’s the simple way out…if there’s not blood sweat and tears in it, it’s less valid to me.

In your career, you have designed toys, made posters, paintings, fine art – what’s next?

That [fine art] is what I love doing – I want to move on and do museum shows but that’s already happening – I leave tomorrow morning for a museum show in Spoleto, Italy – that I think is the ultimate – to be seen in a gallery. With the growth of this art movement, it’s already happening – I can’t even believe I’m already showing in museums – I want to continue to do that.

One of your early designs in high school was the cut out heart, and that theme has come across your work over the span of your career – why the cut out heart?

I think it’s such an iconic, universal image – something that we all go through. The love, the loss of love, the cycle of life; it’s inevitable – it will happen again and again to all of us. I think it just encapsulates that emotion.

Thanks Tara!


Tara McPherson


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