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Life & Work with Tamara Garvey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamara Garvey. 

Hi Tamara, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have had a pretty circuitous path to becoming an artist! I graduated from SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) in 2008 with a B.F.A. in illustration – before that, I had already gotten a degree in biology and worked for a few years in D.C. 

In 2009 I won an Honorable Mention in Savannah’s Telfair Art Fair, which gave me the confidence to try out a bigger city and have a new adventure. So, I moved to NYC, where I spent 7 years gradually growing my art practice. I started selling my work in craft markets (and in Central Park) to art collectors from all over the world (including actor Adam Sandler and the late writer Elizabeth Wurtzel). In 2013 I was able to quit my full-time job, and since then I have supported myself either full- or part-time through my art. 

In 2017 I moved back to Savannah, and I am thrilled to be back amongst the live oaks and Spanish moss! 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has definitely been challenging. I like to say that I’ve been chipping away little by little at my art career. Living in NYC isn’t for everyone; the fact that you have to make so much money simply to pay your rent is just one challenge. 

There were definitely times when I was struggling to drag my laundry cart of art up and down the subway steps on my way to a craft show, that I wondered why I had chosen such a challenging type of life! 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I draw quirky, cheerful, pen-and-ink illustrations of forests, text, abstraction, desserts, animals, and absurdism, and then make them into prints and cards from home. So even the “products” – the prints and cards – are homemade. 

I’ve always loved to read, so my paintings frequently incorporate tiny handwriting hidden within the images — like a fun little reward for those who look closely! I think this is probably the most unique aspect of my art. 

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is for our country to work on our many serious issues, such as inequality, health care access, violence, climate change, and voting rights. There are so many concerning long-term problems in the U.S., and I’m very glad that there’s *finally* widespread attention being paid to each of them. 


  • Prints $20 and $38
  • Cards $4
  • Boxed card sets $20

Contact Info:

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