5 Questions With Queer Artist Tyler Wallach
Photo Credit: Tyler Wallach New York City based Queer Artist Tyler Wallach Tyler and OJ...
Photo Credit: Tyler Wallach
New York City based Queer Artist Tyler Wallach
Tyler and OJ&B go way back as he is the creator of the first official logo for the site! In fact, if you look closely at the top of the page, you can see the OJ&B pin up girl between the logo and the site menu as a nod to the beginning days of OJ&B. Even though we went to Texas State University together, our friendship did not truly begin until 2010 when I moved to NYC.
Some of the best memories I have that year were with him and our friends in his tiny West Village apartment that was decorated by his "CLOUDZ by TY" artwork. You were surrounded by his colorful "CLOUDZ" and you felt as if you stepped inside his mind. Since then Tyler's art has attracted a giant following online and in the LGBTQ community. The self proclaimed 1988 love child of Keith Herring and Lisa Frank has also given people the chance to literally live their lives in his art by creating clothing and accessories that are splashed all over with his vibrant and fun artwork.
I am so thrilled to be doing "5 Questions" with Tyler! Check out his full interview below to see what is new with his art and apparel, which RuPaul's Drag Race winner he has dressed and which queens are fans and what celebrity he would love to have breakfast with!
Photo Credit: Harry Hanson
A Tyler Wallach original painting entitled "Daft Drunk"
1. What has been the biggest change for you creatively since the first “CLOUDZ by TY” drawing until now, where you represent yourself as “Tyler Wallach Studio”?
Tyler Wallach: I started out in 2009 drawing characters I called “CLOUDZ” and was covering my college campus in stickers covered with my artwork. It became an on-campus phenomenon called “The CLOUDZ by TY” so it was all very natural. Fast forward 7 years and I have transitioned into an incredibly vibrant and multifaceted lifestyle brand of colorful visual-art acrylic paintings that I then photograph and turn into textiles for clothing and accessories. The biggest change would have to be that when it all started, it was just for fun, an outlet for my overflowing creativity. Now it’s grown into a living, breathing thriving business which requires much more attention and care.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Valdez of Orange Juice and Biscuits
Tyler Wallach doing a live drawing and painting at Pink's in New York City's East Village
2. 2016 seemed to be a huge year for Tyler Wallach Studio in terms of apparel sales. Can you tell me what lead you to focusing on putting your art on clothing and what the response has been like?
Tyler: 2016 was an amazing year of growth for the brand! I think it’s important to always focus on inclusivity with art. I want as many people to feel loved and included by my art and by my brand. Not everybody can afford an $700 original painting, so the $40 t-shirt is a great way to take the art and make it accessible to anybody. And the response!! The clothing speaks for itself, you’ll have a hard time wearing my clothes without some asking you “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?”
Photo Credit: Leanna McMillin
Tyler Wallach merchandising his apparel at a NYC pop up shop
3. Who is the Tyler Wallach Studio Customer?
Tyler: The Tyler Wallach Studio customer is someone who isn’t afraid to make a splash and stand out; has original style and taste in clothing, and isn't afraid of color!
4. Some of the biggest names in drag have worn your stuff including the current reigning Ru Paul's Drag Race Winner Bob the Drag Queen. I know you are a huge fan of drag, so what does it mean for you to have these heavy hitting queens wear your art?
Tyler: Things really got wild when Bob The Drag Queen wore a gown I custom painted on the red-carpet to the Season 8 finale episode of RuPauls Drag Race. It was a beautiful collaboration between myself, Domino Couture and Bob. It was such a beautiful moment to see collaboration come together and see my design on TV. That night totally changed my life. Bob tagged me in a post he did about the dress on Instagram and thousands of new followers came flocking. It’s beautiful to see queer artists supporting each other in such a big way. Since then, I’ve also dressed other fabulous queens like JuJuBee, Courtney Act and right now I’m talking to Detoxxx about something fabulous!!
Photo Credit: David Laffe Photography and Imaging
The current reigning Ru Paul's Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen (left) wearing a custom Domino Couture gown that was hand painted by Tyler Wallach to the Ru Paul's Drag race season finale. Also pictured is RPDR Season 8 queen Thorgy Thor (right)
Photo via Logo TV and World of Wonder Productions
Rupaul's Drag Race Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen working the runway in a custom Domino Couture gown hand painted by Tyler Wallach in the finale episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 8
Photo Credit: Preston Buford Photography via Bob the Drag Queen's Instagram
A stunning portrait of Bob the Drag Queen that shows off the details of the custom Domino Couture gown hand painted by Tyler Wallach
5. What message do you want to convey about your place in the LGBTQ community with your art?
Tyler: Compassion and care for the LGBTQ community is a driving force of inspiration and has led me to produce many multiple large-scale paintings a year that are donated and auctioned off by national LGBTQ charities with 100% of proceeds going toward at risk youth and anti-bullying efforts. In the past, I have donated to The Trevor Project, The Tyler Clementi Foundation, The Miami-Dade LGBTQ Business Association, The Harrisburg, PA LGBT Center as well as many other queer organizations throughout the country. I think it always comes back to putting your blood sweat and tears back into the community that has lifted you up. As gay people, we sometimes do create our own families and my gays, my family, is always there for me.
Photo credit: Leanna McMillin
Queer Artist Tyler Wallach
Bonus Question: If you could have breakfast with anyone in the world who is currently living. Who would it be with, what would be served and where would it take place?
Tyler: Easy. Brunch with Stefani Germanotta at Joanne Trattoria over Mimosas.
A custom drawing by Tyler Wallach exclusively for Orange Juice and Biscuits
For more information about Tyler Wallach visit TylerWallachStudio.bigcartel.com
Would you be perfect for OJ&B's "5 Questions With" series? Do you know someone who is? Email Jonathan@orangejuiceandbiscuits.com and let me know!