The crayons and colored pencils from her childhood traced Tati’s successful journey as a renowned international graphic designer. With a client list that includes big brands like GAP, Lucky Brand, Reebok and Macys, she needed a lot more than luck to be successful in her field. Academic preparation, entrepreneurial skills and talent are all important ingredients to achieve success. Not surprisingly, her brand, “Pommy New York” products and stationary line granted her awards like the “Outstanding Achievement Award” (Interactive Media Awards).
The Brasilians: Tati, you became interested in design during your childhood, participating in many art shows at the age of 13. Tell us what spiked your interest in the arts?
Tati Vitsic: Drawing has always been a natural thing for me since my childhood, and I started taking adult drawing classes when I was only 10 years old, at the “Tijuca Tennis Club” Art Studio. My mother is an artist and my father is an engineer, so I believe I inherited their artistic vein. At age 13, I was already participating at adult Art Salons, like the prestigious “Naval Art Club” Salon in Rio de Janeiro.
TB: Were there any moments in your childhood that sparked your interest in art?
TV: Since I was a kid, I participated in many children’s drawing contests and won a few prizes, like a chocolate cake at a frozen food store. This was certainly an incentive for me to continue pursuing the dream of becoming an artist.
TB: Tell us about your trajectory as a designer in Brazil:
TV: When I was still in school, I used to create stickers to sell, make my own calendar covers, sets and costumes for theater plays, t-shirts, etc. Professionally, I started working as a graphic designer when I was in college, studying Visual Communication at PUC. I’ve worked as a graphic and web designer for cultural and non-profit institutions and corporate companies, like Petrobras and Globosat. Later on, I had my own stationery business in Rio, specialized in customized cards and invitations. Besides, I always try to incorporate my illustrations in my graphic design work.
TB: What brought you to the United States?
TV: I first came to NYC in 1996, to take some classes at the School of Visual Arts, in Computer Art, Illustration and Graphic Design. Then I came here a few times as a tourist, but always wanted to stay longer! Until one day, in 2006, I finally found a company to sponsor my H1B visa as a web designer. Since then, I’ve been back and forth a few times, due to visa issues.
TB: Tell us about the work you develop here in the USA:
TV: For a few years I’ve worked at the internet agency Cake & Arrow, where I participated in web designs for brands like: Citibank, Metlife, Kaplan, Ivanka Trump Collection, among others, and I received a few reputed awards in the field. After more than 10 years working as a web designer, I decided to change careers and to go back to college. In 2014, I graduated at Fashion Institute of Technology in Textile/Surface Design. Since then, I have been working in the Fashion and Home products industries, and I did work for: Roxy, Reebok, Macy’s, Lucky Brand, Burlington, Forever 21, Walmart, etc.
Besides, I also work as a freelancer graphic designer and illustrator, creating: logos, visual identity for brands, stationery, posters, cards, banners, etc.. One of my illustrations for the #Vaccinated Campaign at Amplifier.org has just been selected and awarded at a poster design challenge to promote vaccination against Covid-19.
I also develop work as a visual artist, and I have participated in a few exhibitions at FIT Museum, Brooklyn Art Library, Figment NYC and LIC Arts Open.
TB: Tell us about your company Pommy New York:
TV: As soon as I graduated at FIT, I launched my textile/surface design and illustration brand Pommy New York (www.pommynewyork.com), which has a colorful, fun, whimsical and youth style. My prints can be seen in products such as: apparel, bags, scarves, throw pillows, towels, notebooks, among others, and they’ve been sold to Gap/Old Navy, Walmart, Kohls, Rainbow Shops, Joann Fabrics, Uniform Advantage, etc.
TB: What difficulties you faced as a Brazilian artist living in the United States?
TV: The toughest part is undoubtedly the visa issues. It’s getting harder and harder to be able to get a visa to work here legally. Even with work permission, it’s still complicated to enter the market in NYC without having connections, because the competition is really high. Not to mention that some companies require a green card to be part of the job selection process.
TB: What artists influenced your work?
TV: When I was a kid, the Brazilian illustrator that influenced me most was Daniel Azulay, and internationally, Walt Disney was my inspiration. Since my mom is an artist, I’ve had contact with art books at a young age, and I admired Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Matisse, Picasso. At PUC university, I was greatly influenced by the amazing illustrator Amador Perez and by the children’s book illustrator Guto Lins. At SVA, I had an amazing opportunity to study with the reputed designer Milton Glaser, creator of the slogan “I ❤️ NY”.
TB: Where do you find inspiration?
TV: I have been in love with NYC since 1996, and this city is a live source of inspiration, for its diversity of people and culture from all over the world. I like to get inspiration from books, artists, magazines, sites, photography, movies, the streets, etc. But I also get inspiration from other aspects of life, from nature and travelling, by keeping my eyes and mind alert. A simple walk at the park, by the river, can be so relaxing that it opens my mind to new ideas. In fact, inspiration can come from anything, as long as we look at life with sensibility and attention to the details. The challenge consists in transforming what we see in art.
TB: Please share an advice to those who are planning to start a career as a Graphic Designer.
TV: The graphic design career is very broad and allows the designer to work in different industries, so there are countless possibilities to experiment. Try to do what you like, and enjoy the process from what you learn in college to professional life. If this is your gift, if you love what you do, go for it, study, be very dedicated and fight for your dreams! Life as an artist is not easy, but it’s much harder not to be an artist.
Journalist & Entrepreneur