Tiffany Howell

A Moment in Place with Tiffany Howell

Physically, where are you right now? Are you at home, on holiday, in the office or elsewhere?

I’m in our Night Palm studio in Silverlake, CA.

How does your current environment inform your creative process and what is inspiring you right now?

We are currently designing out of a country home in the hills of Silver Lake that once belonged to a silent film movie star. We have a view of Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, and two pet squirrels named Tubs and Wynette.

For every good idea there are many more we reject. Do you ever salvage ideas that didn’t come to fruition at a later stage or do you just move on?

I believe in the genius of mistakes. Although ideas are often personalized per project, sometimes when you work through them you realize they don’t belong. I trust that most ideas are born for a reason, and they may actually have been manifested for a future creation.

What have been some personal milestones that you have achieved outside the expectation or perceived expectation of others?

I was chosen to have my poem published in Leonard Cohen’s book for his 75th birthday. This was a personal milestone, as Cohen is my number one muse. I would also say others may have perceived the successful pivot in my career moving from music videos and film to interior design to be an unexpected transition, but for me it was extremely natural.

What have been some of your most profound personal challenges and have they ever informed your creative process or interrupted it?

Authenticity is what drives my creativity. When I don’t feel authentic, I don’t fall in love with the project. When I do, I know I’ve fulfilled myself and my vision. Others perception of the outcome means less because I know I’ve been true to myself. I would guide any creative to find their authentic voice.

If you analyzed the most important factors in your success, what would say these have been?

Hard work matched with consistency is number one, as I find my biggest feelings of success in the outcome of my labors. People don’t always assume highly creative people have these attributes, but I’ve found amongst creatives strong work ethic runs particularly deep. Tapping into spirituality is also my compass for success. I would say the marriage of hard work and spirituality balances my crazy, my madness, my everything. It’s all part of the scale. 

What are your personal and creative rituals, if any?

Although time does not always permit the luxury of ritual, music is a part of my process that consistently inspires what I’m creatively trying to achieve. Every project has a particular imagined storyline drawn upon the fictitious and truth. Initially, I introduce myself to the idea. I get to know it, and then I romance it for a while. But I leave some mystery and allow the idea to unfold.

Where do you go to find creative refuge?

I’ll be honest. Cozy in my bed, in a garden with tons of flowers, or in my library immersed in vintage art books.

If you could go back in time and begin again without knowing what you do now, would you?

Yes, I would 100% start again without knowing what I do now. I love the mystery of things and I alway trust that I am exactly where I need to be.

What piece of wisdom currently resonates with you and how does it inform your approach to life right now?

Letting yourself live in a constant flow. Being open to what is coming and accepting what has happened. Allowing things to come into your life that you couldn’t have dreamed of. For example, when you impose limits of what you want it may not actually be as good as what you can obtain. Oh and also, typically the first thing you thought of is what’s best.