We had the good fortune of connecting with Teresa Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teresa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Pursuing a creative career is always a daunting concept. But never more daunting than feeling uninspired, not having a sense of purpose, and/or no longer growing in your craft. I wanted to pursue a creative career primarily to obtain better control over the type of work I create and the type of people I would like to surround myself with. Some of the most important factors that I value in a career path include; learning opportunities, space for autonomy, and a sense of ownership. These values have really led my decision to transition into a freelance creative and in turn, has pushed me to feel more driven, passionate, and curious in my craft.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a fashion stylist who has recently transitioned to a digital designer, my skill-set spans fashion editorial/commercial/personal/product styling, art direction, content creation, graphic/web design, and branding. My experience and taste level is quite vast and I think what ultimately sets me apart from others. I’m most excited about bringing my unique perspective to the clients I work with and to the work that I create on my own. Being able to pull from various skill-sets and resources has pushed me to have a stronger point of view and creative input. I think any career path in the creative industry requires a breadth of knowledge of cultural/historical knowledge in addition to technical skill and I don’t think I would have progressed to where I am today without dabbling in and looking at just about everything. The ongoing journey to where I am now professionally is surely not easy but why should it be! I wholeheartedly believe that only way to grow and learn is to be challenged. And when challenges do arise, it’s helped me to realize that it’s totally cool to fail or make mistakes (despite the embarrassment or self-shame). There has been so many serendipitous discoveries that I’ve experienced in my own failures that I could not have possibly seen otherwise. Embrace that you’re going to make mistakes and use them to practice, grow, and learn something about yourself. I don’t think my story is much different than most others who are pursuing a creative career. However, everyone’s experiences and perspectives are different and what ultimately helps us share and grow ideas. My personal and professional experience is honestly kind of messy and I’ve just tried and seen a lot of things. My personal brand is built on these factors and I think it’s important to recognize the value in experiences in the same way that technical skills and accolades are valued. Without unique experiences and a strong point of view, there really isn’t a brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I currently live in Seattle between the downtown and South Lake Union districts and am surrounded by plenty of great restaurants, bars, scenery, and tourist attractions. Whenever my best friends or family come to visit, eating good food is usually priority on the itinerary. Pike Place Market on a weekday is definitely a go-to. For drinking, Belltown nearby is a great area for cool, dive-y bars–try Neon Boots, Shorty’s, and The 5-Point Café. For evening cocktails and small bites, I would maybe make everyone dress up a little and go to Deep Dive. For “finer” dining and pasta, Cascina Spinasse is high on the list. Other spots I would recommend; Tilikum Place Cafe (for breakfast), Lola (for brunch), and and 2120 (for happy hour). Seeing a live band or show (usually in Capitol Hill) would most likely make it on the itinerary as well. A week is quite a long time so perhaps we would drive out to Whidbey Island, catch a hike or two, go sailing, try to see some whales, and eat lots of mussels. The landscape and scenery is beautiful out there! But what I love the most about my best friends and family is that we generally enjoy chill sessions with cheap pizza and cocktails at home or on the rooftop.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been an incredible amount of people and experiences that have attributed to the accomplishments I’ve achieved thus far. I’m super grateful for my colleagues while I was instructing at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. There, I was able to establish an awesome connection to my director, Flore Morton who provided me with consistent opportunities, support, and mentorship. During my time there, I also met Briana Kranz (a crazy cool Fashion Illustrator, friend, and inspiration) and Danielle Rueda (a phenomenal friend, former colleague, and super talented Fashion & Lifestyle photographer) who both provided me with endless support and laughter. I would also have to send a special shoutout to my husband, Simone Magurno who introduced me to the prospect of a career in digital design and has been an indispensable resource in all things design (and life/love of course). Shoutout also to Golnaz Yamoutpour–an incredibly entrepreneurial spirit, long-time friend, and all-around major hustler. And of course, the Internet!
Kai Wai Wong, Danielle Rueda, Jeffry Raposas, Simone Magurno
Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.