FLOURISH: A Personal Project

Fresh off a summer trip to Japan, I returned to New York in July full of inspiration—the kind that you just have to get out on to paper. With my rekindled love of Japanese prints/patterns and a very specific creative vision brewing in my head, August turned into the perfect storm. All the while, a question that was posed to me at a conference last year had been slowly working its way into my psyche:

 “Because you have power, who in turn is flourishing?”

One could easily replace “power” with other commodities such as time, skills, abilities, or resources. Every one of us possesses something that can be used for the flourishing of another. I think back to the friends (and even strangers) who gave me their time, their gifts, their words, or maybe just their ears when I needed them. I am consistently humbled by the sacrificial generosity of those around me. In my own life, I find that busyness is often the greatest enemy to human flourishing. Personal work has become so much more important to me this year than ever before—no longer a maybe, but a must. Creating things for the sake of creating has helped me reconnect with unfinished ideas and rediscover why I love what I do so much. It’s given me a lot of freedom to experiment with no one watching.

So, looking for an opportunity to play with different mediums, as well as create for the sake of creating, I was reminded that most times you just have to initiate those opportunities yourself. I had a dream of drawing all over a dark-colored wall with gold paint pens—the metallic sort that ignites when the sun hits it just right, and recesses when in shadow. I envisioned a vast, open interior space somewhere in New York City, with beautifully worn wood floors and an abundance of natural light. Unsure whether this ideal location even existed, I moved forward.

When I put out feelers to my circle here in the City, my friend Michael Rudzena providentially had the keys to the exact kind of space I was envisioning—a second-floor loft space in a Tribeca landmark built in 1857 with original wood flooring, and two large windows on the South wall.  And most importantly, an 11’x36’ wall already painted in a deep charcoal color. After learning all this, I must’ve sat back in my chair and laughed to myself.

From there, I quickly looped in my dear friend, Andrew Shepherd—whose storytelling abilities, photography, and cinematography have endlessly inspired me over the last few years—to capture the whole process on video. I desired to bring this idea into existence simply for the joy it brought me. Yet, I also knew that the vision I had inside me was (hopefully) something worth sharing with the world. We loaded into the space on Monday, August 26th and wrapped that Wednesday evening.

And now two months later, I’m excited to share the process with you. Please consider this video a personal thank you letter from me to all those (read: you) who have put their weight, time, resources, and energy behind me these last few years. I hope to do the same for you. —dt

Photos by Andrew Ryan Shepherd 
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Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson 
Photo by Dana Tanamachi

Photo by Dana Tanamachi

Tanamachi Studio for Target

Season Framed Art (in stores only); Photos by Eric Ryan Anderson 

Season Framed Art (in stores only); Photos by Eric Ryan Anderson 

Autumn is the season when kids go back to school, traveling slows down, and most of us return to the normal rhythms of life. And as the temperatures cool down, some of the best evenings are spent indoors, around the table with dear friends and family. For this exclusive product line with Target, I imagined these pieces as the backdrop to many of those dinner parties and intimate gatherings—much like how I got started doing installations back in 2009, creating backdrops for my friend's themed parties here in Brooklyn. With you, the host or hostess is mind, I tried to create a cohesive line that would add even more warmth to your home during the Fall and Holiday seasons. My hope is that these pieces might fit perfectly among the beautiful decor that already makes your home uniquely yours. Available online and in select stores for a very limited time.

From my home to yours—Cheers!

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*If purchasing in person, please check availability/stock at your local store online by clicking "Find a Store" underneath the "Add to Cart" button on the corresponding product's page on Target.com; search your zip code.

*If purchasing in person, please check availability/stock at your local store online by clicking "Find a Store" underneath the "Add to Cart" button on the corresponding product's page on Target.com; search your zip code.

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*If purchasing in person, please check availability/stock at your local store online by clicking "Find a Store" underneath the "Add to Cart" button on the corresponding product's page on Target.com; search your zip code.

A Touch of Nature

As this weekend officially marked the advent of Autumn, what better way to celebrate than with a new poster? Screenprinted on 20"x 20" 2ply sheets of walnut and oak veneer, this square print is the perfect companion to last year's "Live a Quiet Life" poster. Visit the Tanamachi Studio Shop to purchase today!

Limited quantity available; $5 flat rate shipping in the Continental U.S.; Lovingly printed by Mama's Sauce.

The biggest thing, aside from it just being awesome to print on wood, was the fact that the wood grain is different on each sheet, which makes each poster unique. It’s something that people try so hard to build into their designs but on actual wood, it just happened naturally.
— Jesse Adams, Mama's Sauce
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20"x20" Walnut Veneer; Click to purchase

20"x20" Walnut Veneer; Click to purchase

20"x20" Oak Veneer; Click to purchase

20"x20" Oak Veneer; Click to purchase

On press at Mama's Sauce  

On press at Mama's Sauce

 

Tanamachi Studio x Burton Snowboards

Over a year in the making, I'm proud to release my collaboration with Burton Snowboards for their Winter 2014 Collection.  In May of last year, I had the opportunity to travel to Burlington, VT to create the artwork on-site at Burton Headquarters. Over a few fun-filled spring days, the type-heavy artwork came to life at roughly 20' tall, and 2' wide. I even learned to operate heavy machinery on this install (see photos below)!

My favorite part of our collaboration was getting to write and collect all the copy for this Deja Vu Flying V Women's board—I wanted to look deeper into the "extreme sport" of snowboarding, and really think about the beauty of swiftly slicing through fresh powder on a winter day; the sounds (or lack thereof) on the mountaintop; the rhythm of an adrenaline rush and the quiet moments of rest and recovery. My hope was that this board would be a representation of the beauty and bravery of the sport. Many thanks to Dennis Healy at Burton, and Marin Horikawa & Dana Sacks at JDK for making this collaboration come to life!

Initial prototype of the board

Initial prototype of the board

Original installation at 200% 

Original installation at 200% 

Installing at Burton Headquarters

Installing at Burton Headquarters

Photographing the artwork

Photographing the artwork

Instagram photo from Christina 

Instagram photo from Christina 

Puffin Chalk

What an honor it was to work with the delightful folks at Puffin Books— the children's division of Penguin Group—to create Puffin Chalk, a new, whimsical series of classic children's books. Inspired by child-like playfulness, adventure, creativity, and wonder, these covers were lovingly created completely by hand at 40"x 55", then photographed for reproduction. See below for some behind-the-scenes sketches and process videos. Peter Pan, Pippi Longstocking, and The Wizard of Oz are all available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble today!

Art Direction by Deborah Kaplan & Kristin Logsdon; Interiors by Kristin Logsdon

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Round 1, Pippi sketch from Puffin

Round 1, Pippi sketch from Puffin

Round 1, Wizard of Oz sketch from Puffin

Round 1, Wizard of Oz sketch from Puffin

Round 2, Dana's sketches

Round 2, Dana's sketches

Introducing Tanamachi Studio

Today, we are excited to announce the public launch of Tanamachi Studio, a boutique graphic design studio specializing in hand-lettering & custom typography for editorial, lifestyle, food, and fashion brands. We look forward to collaborating with you!

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Tanamachi Studio had the honor of commissioning John Passafiume to develop our new logo. Thank you to John for your unmatched skill and expertise.

tommy harajuku

In late April, I was invited to Tokyo by the good folks at TOMMY and En-One Tokyo to create a few installations for their new store in the Harajuku district. Needless to say, I was beyond excited and honored for this first international commission. Below are a few images and a new time-lapse video of the pieces we created! Thank you to the entire TOMMY team for their generous hospitality and creative freedom—Arigato Gozaimasu!

New TOMMY storefront in Harajuku

An interior view

Installation on main floor

Installation on second floor

 Printed billboard on the side of TOMMY store

Drawing letters for an installation in the stairwell

During a video interview

With some new friends from the TOMMY team

The Ace Hotel + Martin Greenfield Clothiers

Yesterday, I was honored to collaborate with the fine folks at The Ace Hotel as a part of New York Fashion Week. Not only was it great fun, but it was a treat to be surrounded (and inspired) by beautiful suits and fine fabrics all the while! The Ace called me in to create a piece for their partnership with Martin Greenfield Clothiers—an esteemed artisanal tailoring house, the last of its kind in Brooklyn.

Today, The Ace & Martin Greenfield are offering personal fitting sessions in the hotel Boardroom. Make an appointment to get fitted (lots of fabrics & linings to choose from!), enjoy some whiskey and/or Stumptown coffee, and get a glimpse of the piece I installed yesterday!

Here is a time-lapse of the new installation (featuring friends from The Ace Hotel!):

 

o magazine february cover

O Magazine, February 2012 | Photo: Ruven Alfanador, Set design: Sam Cook, Lettering: Dana Tanamachi

Happy New Year everyone! Just off the coattails of a mini-sabbatical, I'm honored to share my newest project with you: O Magazine's first hand-lettered cover! Departing from the traditional Valentine's Day-themed cover art for February issues, the folks at O called me up to collaborate on something a little different—and that we did!

A few months back, I showed up to the Chelsea studio where the cover shoot would be taking place. I arrived in the early evening and immediately got to work. The brief: Express Yourself! And so I did. Thanks to the team at O for basically letting me doodle whatever my heart desired. I was later asked to be present at the photoshoot in case any minor adjustments needed to be made—it was a lot of fun watching from the sidelines. Seeing Oprah stand in front of my work was something I never expected to see in my lifetime, that's for sure.

I have to give a shout-out to the O Editor at Large, Gayle King, for taking me under her wing and inviting me to participate in the shoot. If it were up to me, I'd be hiding behind a curtain somewhere in the back (I may or may not have been guilty of that). Gayle made it a point to introduce herself and offer many words of encouragement.

Oh, and she made sure this happened:

Photo courtesy of George Burns

Page 18 of the issue features a behind-the-scenes look at our collaboration

We had so much fun doing the cover, that I was called back in to create another large-scale piece for the feature story. There are also several other smaller pieces smattered throughout the subsequent article. I was also honored to be interviewed by O Magazine and featured on the issues' "Behind the Scenes" page (pg.18).

O Magazine, February 2012 | Feature Story Opener Spread

A terribly faded picture of me working in the studio (you get the idea!)

The issue is on newsstands now, so pick up a copy if you see it! Many thanks to Chris Pino and Eric Ryan Anderson for their skills. Happy February to all!

Dana Tanamachi + West Elm

Big news! Today, I'm finally able to announce my collaboration with the lovely folks at West Elm! It's been a long time coming, but I couldn't be more thrilled to share our little secret with you...

I was honored to work with West Elm to develop a set of Alphabet Paperweights—the perfect gift/stocking stuffer for for any typography lover. I had way too much fun drawing letters all over my wall for this project!

I'm also thrilled to show you a sneak peek of West Elm's 2011 Holiday Catalog—lettered by yours truly! Be sure to pick up a copy at your local West Elm later this month!

And, last but not least, you can see my handiwork at select stores nationwide—such as this one at The Galleria in my hometown of Houston, Texas:

Many thanks to my new friends at West Elm for letting me have fun and for supporting independent artists! Happy Holidays to all!

more rugby!

I'm so far behind on journal posts, but here are two more boards I did for Rugby Ralph Lauren back in September! Love those folks.

FNO @ Rugby

Fashion's Night Out at Rugby Ralph Lauren last week was a raging success! Probably one of my favorite nights in New York City thus far. Thanks to everyone for coming out to celebrate fashion and support independent art & music. It was incredibly humbling to see so many familiar faces— and great to meet new ones as well.

 

Above photos by Eric Ryan Anderson
Thanks to Rugby for styling me in their beautiful clothes/accessories for the evening!