Fans of Tuesday Bassen will recognize her work anywhere. Her Ugly Girl Gang zine, signature collections of pins and patches, and growing line of apparel have all gained her an incredible following of people who love her cheeky, honest (sometimes brutally) work. If you’ve never seen her work, then you may seen the headlines that brought her story into the limelight as of late — the theft of hers and other artists’ work from fashion giant, Zara.
Even before this ongoing copyright infringement battle, Tuesday’s story was all about gumption, perseverance, and pivotal life milestones motivated by asking herself, “What do I have to lose?” Like any good artist story, it's one of metaphorical blood, real sweat, and real tears.
Tuesday’s latest project is her pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar shop in LA. The shop is what you might imagine Tuesday's daydreams look like. It's her happy place, a gem quietly nestled in the Mandarin Plaza of LA's Chinatown. The slogan of Friend Mart is “Good stuff for you and your friends from us and our friends,” and it’s where Tuesday and her boyfriend/shop co-owner Ben Goetting sell all kinds of apparel, art, and accessories from artists who's work they love.
“The level of privacy there is in LA, that’s what I wanted and was trying to create for myself, and I didn’t know it.”
To get to her happy place, Tuesday had to first spend time building out her portfolio and finding the kind of work she loved while doing work she didn't love, all while sleeping in a glorified closet through one of NYC's hottest summers.
After her first visit to LA, she moved across the country in an act of self-preservation. Tuesday felt like she finally found her place and her people. She was sharing work that she had been keeping in her sketchbook, and it was really gaining traction and resonating with her growing audience.
She started selling hand-painted ceramics and her first sticker sold out immediately. Then when she got to Los Angeles, Tuesday started taking advantage of the wealth of manufacturing options and expanded her product line to feature everything from enamel pins to a satin jacket, made locally in LA.
“For so long I was so worried about surviving, that I wasn’t being truthful about the kind of work that I wanted to make.”
Before Tuesday's shop and new fall line, it seems that Zara's blatant copyright infringement was only fuel for her drive to grow her brand. She and fellow illustrator Adam J. Kurtz are leading the charge, bringing to light all of the independent artists whose work was stolen by Zara while also taking legal action. You can see and shop the original version of this stolen work at Shop Art Theft. The fight isn't over and the impact of Tuesday's work on the illustration world is just beginning. You can shop Tuesday's work at Shop Tuesday, scroll throgh her portfolio at TuesdayBassen.com, or visit Friend Mart anytime you're in LA.
Also mentioned in this episode:
- Hello Holiday
- Bust Magazine
- Tuesday's interview with The Great Discontent
- Neil Gaiman's commencement speech
- Little Friends of Printmaking
- Zara's response letter to Tuesday
Featured image via The Great Discontent. Thumbnail image via Urban Outfitters.
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