Thanks to a small car, just a few prior connections, and ample curiosity, Tuesday Bassen ’11 started a New York-based career within months of graduating MCAD.The Nebraska native has translated and expanded the whimsy of her classroom work into growing relationships with clients and like-minded illustrators and designers.
Some define the start of a career as “networking,” but Bassen instead prefers to say, “I like talking to passionate people and think it’s important to make genuine connections with other folks in your industry.” Some of these connections came from the website she started for her senior project; called "Studio Sweet Studio," which led visitors to the illustration/design works of many others. “That [site] opened more doors for me than I could ever say,” she explains.
So far, Bassen’s clients include The New York Times, BUST Magazine, Fiat, GOOD Magazine, Target, and Thinktopia. And she’s done custom work for humbler clients, as in wedding-party announcements and family portraits. As an illustrator, she’s thrilled with the variety: “Illustration is incredibly broad!,” she exults. “Last year, I was scrambling to do work for ad agencies and newspapers—both of which can be fun, but also very stressful. After I started meeting other NYC Illustrators . . . I felt inspired especially by [their] entrepreneurial spirit.”
That new sense of community has led her to join up in small collectives—with her business partner Meg Lewis, Bassen organized The City Scout, a website presenting designer-led city guides. Also with Lewis, Bassen works as a web designer/Illustrator at Ghostly Ferns. And with two other illustrators, Bassen publishes a quarterly magazine of women-made works, called "Sad Girls." As if that’s not enough, she sells clever hand-painted ceramics in her online shop.
So, swooping into New York has turned out nicely for Bassen. She’s still fond of her home town (Lincoln, NE) and her college home (MCAD!), but is proud to say that her new Brooklyn home “feels relaxed, friendly, and has SO MANY TREES . . . and my neighbors within a one-mile radius include John Turturro and Steve Buscemi—two of my favorites!