Tamra Gibson Interview

October 15, 2018
Justin Ikerionwu
Muenfua Lewis

Tam Gibson, photographer and interior design extraordinaire. Tam is a friend of the By Design Magazine and somebody we are all a fan of. From her clean minimalist style and her love for rational pieces, her design skills will leave you inspired. We wanted to dig a little deeper.

Who are you?

A believer, a wife, a mom. Aspiring interior designer. Freelance photographer. Portrait and interior photographer.

How do these trickle into you creatively?

All of it is a part of who I am. Creatively I try to be creative from an authentic space and that shows in my content. Before my son my content was more lifestyle, me out and about. Now my content is more “Tam and home” and revolves around my son. All of it def influences.

How would you describe yourself?

Lover of all these aesthetically pleasing. Doesn’t have to be interior, doesn’t have to be photography. Sometimes ill pull up to the corner of the street and it’ll please me.

What inspires you the most?

Seeing others thriving in their creative zone, even if it's outside of my realm. Seeing my friends working and grinding inspires me. Music, some of the most random things. Things I'll see on instagram. Scripture. Tons of different things.

When did you realize this was something you wanted to fully pursue?

Creative in my 30’s I'm kind of late in the game. I knew it was a passion and my husband bought me a camera for my 30th birthday. Over the last 3 years I've really found that this is something I really wanna pursue. Family reaffirming me. They saw the ability in me. That got my mind on it and from there I knew I needed to reach out to God and he's shown me that this is what I'm called to do creatively and to express myself.

What are your major challenges?

Sometimes I can hold myself back. My heart sits in the spirit of excellence. Sometimes you can bog yourself down so much that you will end up not doing it.

Tam: I usually go for a more down to earth kind of style. Something like this, down to earth, traditional, minimalistic style.  I’m a big lover of interior design. I have always liked beautiful things, aesthetically ever since I was a little kid.

“I remember we grew up in the hood, we didn’t have anything but I'd love it when we’d go out to department stores. I'd always look and pay attention to the set ups. I was always so drawn to it, I’d look at it and be like oh man I love this.  Even though I couldn’t afford it and even though I had never seen a black interior designer I was just drawn to that. So as I got older and I moved into my first apartment, it was finally my first time to kind of follow that feeling inside. I remember going to the store and looking at furniture and telling the lady at the store I want this couch and this orange ottoman and she looked at me funny and asked why, but I just knew I had a certain eye and vision”. I didn’t even have that much but I knew I had a passion for it. After a few failed attempts of designing others homes I knew I didn’t want to be a strict interior designer, but I wanted to fuse my love for photography and interior design in some way.

My goal is to highlight beautiful spaces that are curated and designed by people of color.

Tamra At Home

Store/Brand Favorites and Inspirations

Tam: Ikea and West Elm are a couple of my favorites.

Justin: What do you love about these brands? Cause when you go into Ikea there are so many different options and looks, West Elm has a great variety as well.

Tam: Oh my goodness, what I love about Ikea personally is that it's cheap. I don’t buy furniture from Ikea. I think Rule of thumb is you need to buy quality furniture that will last.

On Creative Stagnation

Muenfua: Why do you feel stagnant?

Tam: because I haven’t been able to do this enough. I come home from work, and I’m with my son. Feed him, give him a bath, read to him and put him to bed. By the time all of that is done I’m tired. I’ll open up my laptop and I’m knocked out.

Justin: Life takes over all your time to be creative?

Tam: Exactly, but there’s no excuse because there are so many people that manage it and still push forward. I just do a poor job of figuring out of how to do both.

Muenfua: I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself, you’re still young. Just had your first child.

Tam: Well I’m ready to get this thing CRACKING.