Steph Tanner has always been an artist. Her paternal Grandmother was a talented seamstress as well as a fiber artist (she could knit, crochet, needlepoint) and she was hugely inspirational to Steph as she grew up. Steph learned to sew when she was 12. Throughout her life she has been a poet, a photographer, and a painter. In the last year and a half she’s been weaving and making jewelry using concrete.
Steph put it best herself: “Art making is just part of me..it’s like breathing.”
Yeah, we couldn’t have said it better.
Steph enjoys being able to share that part of herself with the world. Because she sees projects even in her sleep, it’s a great joy for her to get to create them as a business. “It’s liberating not being confined to a conventional 9-5 job, though I am grateful to all those who do,” Steph tells us.
Creating art is simply part of who Steph is. “It pours out of me like a river at times and sometimes it glacier-like…sitting still for years. Art is my mediation and my catalyst. It makes me look at myself from so many angles.”
(Maybe Steph should be writing these posts. She has such a way with words.)
“The drawbacks,” Steph says, “come from the uncertainty of being a one-woman show. It’s a ton of responsibility.” But she may not be a one-woman show for much longer. Her 9-year-old daughter has become quite the artist herself and has been stretching her wings at shows with Steph for the past year. “Her excitement and tenacity is endearing and keeps me motivated. I love being able to share this with her.”
Could you ask for more from a business?
Steph listens to all kinds of music when she creates, but when she’s weaving she likes music that evokes strong emotion. Her top three list?
- Elephants by Rachel Yamagata
- May As Well by Angel Olsen
- Starlings by Elbow
If those songs don’t make you want to make, then we don’t know what.
Sharing her gorgeous art with others speaks to a place deep inside Steph. “I really love sharing my writing. I sometimes incorporate them into my woven pieces. I love it when someone is touched by my work. Everything I make is one of a kind and deeply personal. I am giving part of myself with each piece.”
Want to get your hands on some deeply personal and stunning art? Come see Steph at Backroads Market on October 7, where she’s looking forward to meeting a new audience and connecting with all the wonderful people who will be there.
See you there!