Ethereal Interviews: JULY 2014 x TYLER FEDER

I am happy to announce that Ethereal Interviews is back this summer! I had a lot of fun doing this last year because I got to dive into the depths of the unknown. Ethereal interviews is to see how genuine souls see the world differently, and how immaculately beautiful that is. For those who don't know, I interview those who I believe are true to themselves in some way or another. For July 2014, I interviewed Tyler Feder. She is a freelance illustrator, comedy writer, and all-around-creative-super-awesome-person. The moment I set eyes on one of her illustrations, I thought, "I need to hang this all around my future apartment." You can check out her art here.

1. Your art makes me feel happy just by looking at it. It's so unique and cute and, I can't really think of any adjectives that fit your art because it's really just that great. What do YOU feel like in the process of creating?
Wow, what a compliment!  When I'm working on a piece of art, I vary between frenzied excitement (more common) and a hypnotic-like zen state (the kind where I look at the clock and all of a sudden it's 1 AM).  It depends on what I'm making and what I'm watching on Netflix at the time.
2. You have gained so much success already, but you are still staying true to yourself which is something I definitely admire. You are always expressing yourself, and I just adore it! Why do you think it's important to "be yourself" at all costs?
As an anxious and introverted gal, the concept of "being yourself" is something I have really struggled with over the years.  I think I have finally just started to feel comfortable with myself, but the road is still long and bumpy.  When it comes to art, I would so much rather have a positive response to an illustration that really reflects who I am than something I made simply because it was on-trend.  I've met so many kind and wonderful people through my art, and the relationships are all the more genuine because they stemmed from posting such personal illustrations.
3. I love your love for NBC comedy. Although The Office doesn't produce any new episodes, I find myself rewatching on Netflix a bit too much. What NBC comedy character do you connect with the most and why?
I know every liberal, bespectacled yuppie girl says she identifies with Liz Lemon, but I really identify with Liz Lemon.  The obsession with food, the exasperation, the creative job, the plentiful embarrassing moments, the plaid shirts... it's all me!

4. Tina Fey once said, "You can tell how smart a person is by what they laugh at." I love this quote. You can tell a lot about a person by what they find funny, not just intelligence. For you, do you feel like comedy writing takes a lot of thought or is something that just happens? 
Comedy writing takes SO much thought!  Writing is the thing I procrastinate the most on because it takes so much brainpower to churn out jokes and I am a giant perfectionist.  My Second City writing group and I are working on a show proposal right now, and each sketch is like a diamond, something shiny that comes about from tons and tons of pressure.

5. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? What does that mean to you?
I've never been particularly religious or spiritual, but I do believe in bashert (pronounced buh-SHAIRT) which is a Yiddish word my family uses a lot.  It means serendipity, or destiny, or fate.  My mom and dad were 10 and a half years apart and met on the coldest night of 1985 at an event that neither of them wanted to attend, and yet they turned out to be perfect for each other.  That's bashert.  I make wishes on 11:11 and get emotionally invested in fortune cookie fortunes.  I think life feels more special and exciting if you believe in bashert.

6. What is something that you are very passionate about that a lot of people don't know about?
I'm left-handed and sometimes I get very preachy about how everything in the world is made for right-handed people even though lefties make up 10% of the world's population.

7. Who is your favorite disney princess and why?
Growing up, my favorite princess was always Jasmine, because she was sassy and confident and her coloring ever-so-slightly resembled mine, but these days I am WAY into Mulan.  Can you name a more badass Disney character than Mulan? ... That's what I thought.  (Also her eyebrows are amazing.)
8. I see you live in Chicago! I love that city. What do you think of Chicago and why? Is it the place you would call home?
I've spent nearly all of my life in and around Chicago, so it is definitely the city that feels most like home to me.  I love it so much.  The trails along Lake Michigan are the most magical places for jogging, the el is manageable, the comedy scene is incredible, and obviously the food is great (although I prefer New York pizza... shhh!).  Garrett's caramel-and-cheese Chicago Mix popcorn is objectively one of the most delicious things in the whole world.
9. Thank you for taking the time to answering these questions. What is a word of advice you would like to offer to readers?
It's okay to laugh at the hard stuff.

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