Tessa Forrest Loves Typography
Breaking bread with Tessa Forrest, the designer behind Subliming. Take a look at where she finds design inspiration and how she nourishes herself.
Welcome back to Breaking Bread, Brightland's editorial series that fosters dialogues with creatives, makers and artists who inspire us. Our latest installment features Tessa Forrest, the Brooklyn-based visual artist and graphic designer behind Subliming and our new crewneck design. Through Subliming, Tessa combines type illustrations and inspirational mantras and quotes in order to find a blend between art and vulnerability.
How do you describe what you do?
To sum it up, I'm a creative. I specialize in graphic design with a love of typography, but I don't like to put myself in a box.
What drew you to the art/design world? When did you make your first graphic design?
My grandmother was an artist, growing up I would visit her cozy studio in the basement of her home. I've been drawing since I was about 3 years old, usually on my dad's copy paper. In my elementary years I drew many variations of a girls clothing catalogue, which I think was my first inkling towards graphic design, layout, etc. This carried into middle school when my dad gifted me Photoshop Elements, a simplified version of Photoshop. I made Myspace layouts for my friends, livejournal icons, anything I could figure out how to create.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Truly all over, any place I can get it. Signage, on the internet, going to thrift stores and flipping through old books and magazines. My dad's record collection. I recently just came back from Italy. They had so much good vintage store signage. I was drooling.
What did your creative process look like when creating our crewneck design?
I drew inspiration from 60's and 70's album covers and tee shirts. I wanted to make something inviting and wearable. I love the half tone sun beaming through the clouds— and of course, everyone knows anything Brightland makes feels like a fresh, sunny day. So it was easy to channel what a golden state feels like.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of summer?
Being outside more. I'm one of the lucky ones in New York who has private outdoor space. My favorite thing in the world is going outside and sipping my coffee in the mornings while I journal, or a glass of wine while I watch the sunset at night. It's so grounding.
What dishes currently nourish you?
I'm really into a grain bowl that hits all of the flavor profiles. I've been cooking quinoa, roasting some chickpeas with spices, then I prep a big salad of chopped cucumbers and red onion with Brightland PARASOL champagne vinegar and the ARISE basil olive oil — it's so good. Then I blend together a yummy sauce with garlic, agave, of course more Brightland oil and vinegar, and some walnuts for creaminess. The veggies add the tang, chickpeas add the heartiness, the grains add fuel and energy, and the sauce with a garlicky touch. It's been my staple lunch (or dinner) all summer.
Where do you get cooking inspiration (certain cookbooks, sites, etc)?
I have to admit, I love TikTok for meal inspo. There's something about someone funny or personable guiding me through a delicious looking recipe. It feels really immersive. Usually I see something I like but then follow my senses and maybe tweak a thing or two to really hit my cravings. I'm also an Aries who usually just *knows* what they want — so I'll realize I have a hankering for something and find whatever the best recipe online is.
What does “living in a golden state” mean to you?
To me, "living in a golden state" means living in the present and being present with yourself and your body. Going slow, really tuning in to what's best for you in any given moment, nurturing yourself and indulging yourself. I think life is too short not to access your golden state as much as you possibly can.