Inspired by creativity

Tanya Stroh speaking at TEDx Windhoek

Tanya Stroh is an award winning creative thinker, maker and doer, living and working as a multidisciplinary designer and arts practitioner in Windhoek.
After completing an art exchange residency in Berlin, she started her own design studio in 2011 and she is now working with clients both large and small.

Tulipamwe Design is a multidisciplinary design studio that Stroh started as she felt the need to provide an authentic graphic design service that satisfies both her own and her clients need for creative, bespoke design solutions.
“After a few years of freelance and commercial experience, I felt ready to open my own studio, I literally started with a computer in my mom’s study and networked with the connections I had at the time,” she said.
She said that there is nothing wrong with starting where you are, even if it is small. “Today I rent a studio space in a creative co-op, working with a team of four designers, and much of what we create is a team effort, I am indebted to them for keeping me creative, sane and accountable.”
Stroh said the challenges she faced starting her business were getting the start-up capital and really not knowing much about running a business.
“It all came with experience, reading and practice and the FemTech training course was invaluable in teaching me everything I needed to know about running my business and I could realistically implement it, then and there,” she added.
Currently she is challenged by juggling the business hats, being the manager of day to day administrative tasks and being the creative problem solver. “Left and right brained thinking in one go can be overwhelming and putting a price on the value of creativity remains a challenge,” said Stroh. She is motivated by the future of creativity in Namibia and Windhoek’s growing creative community and their resolve to challenge, create, share and add real value to the industry.
“Success breeds success, it is about sharing it, and finding joy and gratitude in what I create,” she added.
Currently Stroh is looking to move her design work into a more value added retail and product driven focus in the next few months. “I would like to do work that focuses on collaboration across the creative industries, it just makes for more exploratory and interesting creative outcomes, which is more likely to grow the industry,” emphasised Stroh.
In her capacity as a designer she has worked on divergent project, ranging from teaching a pilot design course at UNAM’s Visual Arts Department, to production design for awarding winning films and large scale typographic installations for private clients. After returning from a IVLP exchange in the USA, under the theme titled ‘Social change through the Arts’ she saw the need to join forces with activist in the art community to create Art Nam, a voluntary association furthering Namibia’s arts industry.
She also volunteers as an organising member of  Spoken Word Namibia, a performance poetry platform currently celebrating its tenth anniversary.
To inspire Namibian businesswomen and girls she quotes Kalil Gibran, “Work is love made visible.” She added that women spend so much of their lives working, but their true power lies in doing what they love, the money will come.