08 Dec A Cross-Continental Colab by Tony Gum x The Expressionist
A while back Tony Gum found herself with the opportunity to do something simultaneously exciting and daunting: collaborate with someone whose work she was, in her own words, “hella infatuated” with. That’s pretty much how we feel about the results of the cross-continental colab that subsequently took place, a mash up of Tony’s editing and illustrations and the images of New York based style blogger and photographer Teff the Don, also known as The Expressionist.
“I was always slightly aware of Teff’s work,” Tony tells us, “but once I came across her Instagram I couldn’t stop liking every image she posted. The colours that exuded from her page were so intriguing.” Imagine her surprise then, when Tony received a message on her own tumblr from Teff, suggesting the collaboration. “I figured, all those stalker girl comments I had left on her images had paid off.” To start, Teff gave Tony a set of images to choose from and no guideline other than ‘go crazy’. “I was given the freedom to do anything,” says Tony, who played around on Photoshop and rather than trying to control the outcome, let the magic unfold organically.
“Receiving the opportunity to collaborate with an artist whom I admire dearly was a chance that I grabbed with both hands,” Tony says. Upping her illustration game from Paint to Photoshop was a huge learning experience, one that was very rewarding – though not without its challenges. “Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I cried so much in front of a computer due to frustration and lack of sleep. It definitely wasn’t easy and there were a couple of hindrances like my super ancient version of Photoshop (yes, the version with that eye icon) and these caused a few hiccups.” However, being in constant contact with Teff made the process easier. “Whenever I updated her she was pleased with what I had going. There was never the case of her wanting me to remove or change anything but rather, she wanted more of what I had. That was encouraging and gave me a boost of confidence,” says Tony.
Though Teff’s images are inspiration enough, Tony was also influenced by the punchy work of Vincent Michea – an artist who she recently discovered. For her, the end result is satisfactory: “Not only was I finally done, I was extremely content with the work and to top it all off, Teff was chuffed too”. So much so, that a third instalment of the collaboration is definitely on the cards but Tony isn’t telling us any more just yet. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the fantastic results of the colab so far.