Tammy Huynh Talks Identity and Demi Lovato

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2018: Tammy Huynh                                               

Where do you work and what do you do? 
I currently work at Georgia Tech’s IT Department as a Graphic Design Consultant, while also being a student at Georgia State University, and currently launching my blog and brand to help other creatives in the Atlanta area.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I first became interested in the field of Graphic Design my senior year of high school through a rebellious-like act. The back story? We were assigned a senior hoodie that was really terrible compared to the years before that. We felt like as a senior class, it was not representative of us so as the class Vice President I took on the challenge and designed the hoodie. I made a huge return in profit in terms of collecting the funds, ordering myself, and then doing distribution but that’s not what made this experience great. The fact that we collectively worked together to make something happen under the noses of our school principals and his assistants was what truly made it fun and memorable as a senior class (don’t get me wrong, in the end all the principals wanted one too). Thus, from then going on into college I decided to pursue the career but daringly did it without majoring it in college. Currently as a senior at Georgia State University, I’m a Sociology major with Educational Psychology minor because of my passion to work with people specifically students. Every day I still use my design to work with this demographic at Georgia Tech and I absolutely found the middle ground that everyone kept telling me didn’t exist between Sociology and Design.

I never took a class in design, which is what I see my advantage point is. It makes me work harder to be as great as those who have taken the classes. Thus, I’ve been working endlessly in design for the past 5 years.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I always thought I was going to be some type of psychiatrist and a confused one because I also knew I always wanted to pursue both that and design/art.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
She’s still a live but I consider her a history-making woman: Demi Lovato. I would love to talk more in depth about her battles as a young teen. These battles have definitely been my inspiration to keep going toward my goals. She was placed into this spotlight at such a young age, but still faced peer pressure that made her stumble upon bad decisions. She use to be a very reserved person but over time has gained this confidence that is unbelievably admirable to me. Her confidence shows growth, strength, and determination. Three values I always try to instill in myself.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My family for sure. I live within two identities of American and Asian cultures. The Asian culture within my family restricted me from a lot of my goals and my own way of thinking while American culture has showed me a more individualize and freedom within my goals and own way of thinking. Because my family always instilled this Asian culture within me, it was hard for me to break out and not do what they wanted me to do but over time adapting to American culture, I was more supported. Without my family’s support I would never be in the position I am today where I am making impact, learning how to make more impact, and implementing more impactful things to the community.

How is art a passion for you?
I think of it as my drive. When I need something to knock me back into reality, I get more out of reality through art. I just create. I think of ideas. I write them down. I write blog posts. I draw or I design. Then when I come back into this reality of the real world, I see that it’s fine. Art is expressive to me, that’s why I’m so passionate about it. It’s healing to some people while others see it as a business. It’s open ranged enough to where there’s room to do a lot of things as an artist not just one art.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I may be bias on this one as I always found myself around women in the creative workforce. That may be because of luck or depending on where I apply but there’s always going to be an inequality and a lack of representation somewhere within any field. I think that’s the best motivator actually in order to break this “glass ceiling” is to compete and do what you can to be better, create better, and ultimately just be the best version of you as possible.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The diversity of the art in Atlanta. There’s so many different realms of art it’s unbelievable and there’s also so many different artists here in Atlanta. Being a student at Georgia State is what made this experience of being an artist in the city great because the campus is diverse, the art program is diverse. I see that as opportunity to network, to share ideas, and to create together.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do? 
I’m less about making profit and selling art but more about teaching. I want to use my work, experiences, and my leadership to teach others about what I know and hopefully learn from others too. I never think of myself as completely done as I always think there’s room to improve, always. I want to host events to teach others art or be a network hub for artists, especially for those who could not afford art school. Being a non-traditional myself, I never let the fact because I was non-traditional to get the best of me, I worked hard so that I could be compared to those who were traditional artists without feeling less than them. That’s what I want to instill in others is hustle and being knowledge hungry. Having that hunger to go above and beyond even if the means are against you will for sure pay off.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?
I’m less about making profit and selling art but more about teaching. I want to use my work, experiences, and my leadership to teach others about what I know and hopefully learn from others too. I never think of myself as completely done as I always think there’s room to improve, always. I want to host events to teach others art or be a network hub for artists, especially for those who could not afford art school. Being a non-traditional myself, I never let the fact because I was non-traditional to get the best of me, I worked hard so that I could be compared to those who were traditional artists without feeling less than them. That’s what I want to instill in others is hustle and being knowledge hungry. Having that hunger to go above and beyond even if the means are against you will for sure pay off.

Where can I learn more about your organizations and work (websites, social media, etc.)?

My blog/brand: www.thecreativefolks.org
IG: @thecreativefolks

My personal portfolio: www.huynher.com
Personal IG: @huynher__
(pronounced as “winner”)