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Maker Q&A: Meet Tiffany of Shifting Status Kuo

Tiffany Kuo of Shifting Status Kuo lends her own cheerful, warm personality to her line of screen printed greeting cards and gifts. Based in Southern California, her designs are bright, hand illustrated and full of love. You'll find her Red String love card included in the February Parcel.

Name: Tiffany Kuo

Location: Launched in windy Chicago, now based in sunny Southern California.

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I design and screen print cards and gifts for Shifting Status Kuo. Every design begins as my hand-drawn illustration and is then exposed onto a screen to create a stencil. Each layer of ink is then pushed through the mesh (often by hand with a squeegee) to leave a rich coat of color. Depending on my workload, I also work with clients to conceptualize and print custom projects like wedding invitations and premium event favors.

How did you get started?

I've always loved drawing, crafting, and making cards ever since I was little. During my college years at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I fell in love with printmaking. Instead of pursuing a gallery artist career, I decided to combine my two passions of screen printing and greeting cards to share my creations.

How would you define your brand’s aesthetic?

Lighthearted, colorful and endearing with a distinct hand-drawn quality.

What's inspiring you right now?

English wasn't my first language, so I'm always fascinated and inspired by puns. Everyday objects in my life inspire me. So in a way, most of my designs are like a combination of word play and still life illustrations. 

What do you love most about your work?

I love seeing people chuckle or say "awww" when they look see my products. It's so satisfying when they choose my cards or gifts to send to someone special. There's also a sense of pride when I see my products on the shelves of retail stores. It's like all the hard work has finally led to that moment when one of my products goes to a new happy home! 

Do you have a product you’re most proud of?

I'm most proud of my pillowcase design that says "I love FALLING ASLEEP next to you" & "I love WAKING UP next to you".

The design was inspired by my long distance relationship, and I'm delighted that so many couples appreciate the comfort of each other's company. When I sell them at local shows, I get to see the affectionate reactions from couples of all ages and orientation. I know this sounds cheesy but it makes me really happy when I see my work result in extra hugs and kisses in the world!

What are you listening to/watching right now?

I really enjoy listening to podcasts while I'm working on the computer or while I'm sketching. My current favorites are "Stuff You Should Know" and "99% Invisible". Both surprise me in the topics they cover and make me wonder more about how things work in our world.

Ok, I'll fess up... I often blast Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and P!nk while I'm screen printing in the studio. It's like my own little dance party!

Favorite quote?

"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle" - John Acuff

Any guilty pleasures?

Yes! I am such a Netflix junkie... I think I've lost weeks of my life from binging on shows! Sometimes I'll screen print or assemble cards while watching an episode but that's not always the case. Besides that, I love a cute gel manicure because they hold up so well even when I bang my nails up in the studio. 

What’s your definition of an amazing gift?

An amazing gift is thoughtful and reflects the relationship between the giver and recipient. I always love it when people share the reason why they chose a certain gift for someone. It can be anything from "this is her favorite color" to "this reminds me of our first camping trip". 

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