We had the good fortune of connecting with TINA TRAN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TINA, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up, I navigated the world through my naive eyes and shy, reserved character, which weakened my ability to be able to express how I felt or thought through spoken words. But those long afternoons by myself, while my parents were at work, I remember how I would always draw things I saw around me, which then later led to stealing my mom’s phone to take photos of those things I saw, and that led to creating little videos of everything I wanted to not forget seeing and feeling. Coming to realization that I could capture these moments and emotions I was feeling, and keep them with me is what sparked my enamor for art and storytelling. I think through the eyes, we are able to touch the heart, so the idea of playing with light, color, and framing to depict these narratives and express certain emotions is why I decided to pursue such a field. The process from conceiving the idea to executing it fulfills my creative desire in a way I don’t think any career field can. Making films, taking photographs, designing art, and being able to showcase your inner child while at the same time, creating worlds that others can relate to is something I continue to strive for my work. There’s just something beautiful about understanding and sharing with one another that makes art worthwhile.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Through my eyes as a young Asian American creative, my determination and passion for creating work is rooted in the human perspective and the way romanticized way we tend to see the world. With my portraits and mini films, they acquire this old film-like and memory-based aesthetic and visual sense that are to depict that delicate and raw fleeting moments between. I learned that I could transform them into stories that could touch the human soul and make others feel something that has been longing to be felt.
Storytelling through film and photography is how I’m able to depict my true artist persona. I paint images through my camera in hopes of touching the hearts and minds of human beings that I do not particularly know. Throughout college and after graduation, I have worked to build up my portfolio by constantly conceiving photoshoot concepts, while at the same time, developing short film ideas in preparation for a directorial debut. But I wouldn’t say it was easy in doing so because I feel that works that require lots of creativity and the pressure to produce original, beautiful projects is something that can take quite a toll on you. There were times where I felt that I wasn’t good enough to continue to do the things that made me happy in fear that I would mess such a craft up without much real experience or knowledge. I struggled with that deeply while studying and entering the real world after I graduated. Yet, after some time, I came to the realization that if I don’t at least try, there’s nothing I could lose. And the fact that it was something that I loved doing, I can never feel ashamed or insecure about it because it is only mine to enjoy and work for.
With this, the foundation of myself as a person and my artistic brand is based on the idea of creating a world where people are given a chance to reminisce on their existence and the memories that make up who they are. By observing and listening to the people around me interact with one another and tell their stories, in a way makes me feel as though I know them, which gave me a sense of comfort and led to my love for capturing the essence of humans, and learning about their characters. And when I find myself in these characters that I meet, I feel understood and seen. So, I think seeing humans connecting and existing alongside one another is the root of my worldly perspective and ongoing work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in Dallas, I understood the beauty of existing in spaces that are meant to be explored and loved, which explains my love for travel and new experiences. I was introduced to such a diverse and artful city where people meet each other and bond over food and lively activities that remind them of home. If I were to become my best friend’s tour guide for the week, I would immediately take her to the Dallas Arboretum and have a sweet picnic, enjoying nature and its beautiful florals. On another day, we would visit the Dallas Museum of Art and spend the time viewing artwork and talking about how it made us feel. Since Dallas is the heart of everything art, the city breathes such bright colors and abstract visuals that would be a shame if not seen. For dessert, Cauldron Ice cream is a favorite of mine because of their unique flavors and presentation, ice cream shaped into a rose within a bubble waffle cone. Tasting the richness of a nice summer’s day is something that I cannot not share with my favorite person. With this being said, I am the type of person that enjoy those long, quiet afternoons just being in a space that feels welcoming, so I won’t forget to take her to other spots such as Klyde Warren Park or the Magnolia Market, so we could simply walk around and take in the delicate scenery of people and their loved ones being in each other’s existence, sharing moments in a place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My story wouldn’t be my story without the person that has taught me what it means to build your own life through love, hard work, and empathy, my dear mother. Having grown up in a 3 person family made up of just me, my mother, and my younger brother, I recognized my love and admiration that have grown over the years for her. I remember seeing my mother work endless hours to provide the best life possible for me and my brother, and from that, I wanted to be just like her. My young self desired to be everything my mother was, and ever since, she is my main motivation to strive for my dreams. Never once did she give up or lose focus on the things that made her happy and fulfilled, and that helped me on my own journey as a 20 year old navigating the real world. With this, my work carries a piece of her and her warming aura in the stories I wish to tell.
Other: graphic design portfolio: https://tinatran087.myportfolio.com/
all photos shot by me