The multi-disciplinary artist and set designer sheds light on the progress of the local arts and design scene, and lets us in on her daily habits.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Describe your personal artistic style.

Bold minimalist.

What is your fondest memory as a child?

I remember building a sculpture (really just a small pile of things) with Pringles cans and some objects lying around at home while my mother was preparing a meal. I was probably between three to five years old, and I showed it to her excitedly.

Name one of your favourite pets.

My adopted silky terrier, Pepper. Adopted dogs usually have behavioural issues due to their history, such as abandonment or abuse. Nonetheless, she has such beautiful love to offer! She has taught me patience and loyalty, and the sweet joy of little progress; I thought she would never learn tricks, but one day, she did!

Which aspect of Singapore culture do you draw inspiration from the most?

Our very interesting brand of identity that bleeds into humour, the way we communicate and our perspective on life. For the most part, I think we are largely confused — especially the millennials who were born into traditional homes and values. Then came the dawn of the Internet. We weren’t born into it; we were born at the cusp of it. But I would like to think that lends us some empathy as well as some complex issues that we straddle internally.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

One from my late grandfather, which is, “In the trying, you enjoy.”

Name one cause you will fight for and why.

Mental health. I’ve approached Samaritans of Singapore and the National Council of Social Service to see how I can be trained to work with youths.

What is the Singapore arts and cultural landscape currently like for young or emerging creatives?

I would like to believe that I’m hopeful and optimistic. Referencing history and our past, we have come a distance — maybe not at the speed of our liking (we would all like for things to happen faster), but there has been progress. Our growing gig economy allows for more work to go around. This is a key factor for young creatives to stay financially alive while balancing time for passion projects. The nature of our work asks that both are melded sometimes, and it’s a privilege to be able to like our jobs. Many of our parents didn’t have a choice when it came to their careers.

Which room in the house do you spend the most time in?

Lately, it’s the kitchen. I’ve picked up baking and cooking more due to the Circuit Breaker measures during the Covid-19 pandemic. It isn’t just skills that I’ve learnt, but the beauty and relief of being present in my immediate environment.

What is one thing you’ve had to learn the hard way?

Allowing time for trust to be built. It’s true when they say, “time will tell”.