In DIY DOCS, we take a look at how illustrators, artists, and designers put their stamp on a Dr. Martens product. Painting, tattooing or de-constructing — we’re giving them the creative freedom to express themselves off the canvas.
Tuesday Bassen’s got talent in spades. The LA-based creative is an award-winning illustrator, clothing and ceramics designer and zine creator — and in her spare time, happens to be the co-owner of the LA shop Friend Mart, which focuses solely on independently-owned artists brands. Tuesday is a busy lady, but we asked her to customize a pair of 1460s and she delivered with her signature atomic 50’s girl gang style. Check out the result below, and learn more about her inspiring career, and where she goes to get inspiration.
I’m Tuesday Bassen, a Los Angeles based illustrator and designer. I draw badass ladies and make clothes for them too, from satin jackets to dresses and blouses, produced in LA and in sizes XS-5X. When I make clothes, I design them to feel like a “power suit” so the wearer feels powerful when they slip it on.
Tell us about one of your favourite projects.
I’ve had the honour of working with a lot of rad clients, but making clothes for my own line is by far the most exciting. I’ve been working on a Valentine’s Day line that is inspired by vintage ‘no trespassing’ signs and sticker books.
You’ve worked with so many mediums – pins, ceramics, zines, clothing design, etc. – is there a skill that you want to explore next?
I want to hang out in the clothing realm for a while. I have some exciting projects in the pipeline and I’m constantly working to improve fit for different body types.
What motivated you to open Friend Mart? Was it difficult to transition from being a freelance artist to having a more rigid business?
I have to tell you: I couldn’t do it without my employees. It’s a lot to buy merchandise for the store, ship orders, check on clothing production, make art… I feel lucky to have a solid team that I love. I decided to open Friend Mart because it used to be a pop-up series I would coordinate with friends to showcase local talent. We only carry artist-owned brands and family-owned businesses.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your DIY Doc’s design.
A collage of badasses and LA inspired scenery.
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
I have to admit that I didn’t get my first pair until recently and when I finally bought some, I bought three pairs at once because I fell in love. My favorite of the three are the vegan Mary Janes, I wear them every day.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
I feel lucky to live in such a dirty/bougie/trashy/freaky/industrious place. As much as the LA you see on Instagram looks very squeaky and colourful, it is not that at all, which I love. I spend a lot of time in the garment district buying vintage fabric and eating bomb dim sum up in the San Gabriel Valley. Finding off-the-beaten-path gems is my favorite [pastime] and inspires me to push for the same feeling in my work.