Tessa Graham is a visual artist hailing from rural Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook in 2015. After receiving her BFA, Tessa worked as the Program Coordinator for Visual Artists Newfoundland & Labrador (VANL-CARFAC) until the fall of 2017. During these two years in St. John’s she volunteered at St. Michael’s Printshop and Eastern Edge Gallery helping with multiple events and workshops. As an artist she works primarily with film photography and has a keen interest in silkscreen printmaking and typography. Tessa is currently completing her Bachelor of Education at MUN.
Can you tell us a bit about your company OFTHENIGHT? How did that get started?
I started OFTHENIGHT to create clothing that I myself would want to wear. I work to create clothing that I personally find hard to come by around NL. Clothing companies that I like the most usually exist in places like the states, or the UK, and I find shipping costs and exchange rates too high to be practical.
Do you find any challenges in balancing between your work for school and managing your business? How are they connected?
I find it very difficult balancing my business and my school work. Mostly because I always want to be in the studio printing. I have found ways to integrate my products into my school projects and that has helped with time management a lot. I’ve always sort of had the same graphic drawing style that I use now in my product designs. Even looking back at my first semester in first year of the VA program, some projects were almost foreshadowing the brand that I would eventually create.
How do you get ideas for your artwork? Tell us a little about your art practice.
Basically, I just take notes of imagery and cliches that come to mind, and I write them down immediately so I don’t forget them. They’re all just ideas though, not all of them make it to being printed. I tend to be most interested in imagery that’s fairly dark, but also very playful.
What is the greatest challenge you face as an artist working in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Two things mainly, I find it very hard to expand my work out to different places other than NL. Even though I’ve just started, it seems to be growing slower than if I were somewhere else in western Canada. The other hardest thing is finding the right supplies for products I’m making. Specialized art supplies are very hard to find anywhere other than online.
Do you have any plans for the future after school?
Not really. I like to plan things as I go along. I imagine that I will continue to make things and purchase some more screen printing supplies of my own. But as for expanding, I’m not really sure. I guess I’ll have to see where it takes me.
Want to check out Marshal’s OFTHENIGHT products? Have a look at his Instagram page: @ofthenightofficial