#whorunNYad: Elisa Tan
After interviewing June, she connected me with Elisa. I was supposed to meet her for tea at her beloved Bosie, but on my way there I run into Geronimo Ballons’ installation for Squarespace and had to stop and watch her work. I texted Elisa saying I’d be a bit late, and she answered saying “wow” and suggesting we met right there. Our connection began in a very spontaneous and colorful way, and continued like that while we shared advertising stories, digital creativity thoughts and app recos over tea and cakes.
Let me introduce you to Elisa Tan.
In the creative industry…
Who are you, what do you do and where?
Hi, I’m Elisa and I’m a Creative Director based here in NY (for now).
I work across integrated media but I love to focus on experiential work.
I’m currently working at Droga5, located down in the Financial district.
Why do you do what you do?
I just love creating things. And when I was trying to figure out my career, advertising seemed like a great way to be creative but with a steady paycheck. Well, steady enough, compared to other creative pursuits. But I always have to check myself to be sure I’m keeping both in balance, and remember why it is that I do this. If the opportunity to feel creatively fulfilled was lessened in the equation, I wouldn’t be happy.
What keeps you inspired?
I try to explore as much as I can (when I can). Sometimes I explore out of boredom. Or out of curiosity. Or even because I’m just sucked into some cultural wave or because of FOMO. Maybe it is the “kiasu-ism*” I have in me as a Singaporean. Singaporeans are famously ‘kiasu’ – which loosely translates into “afraid to lose out.” It’s almost part of our national identity, which I suppose is part of what’s kept the tiny nation so successful. Sometimes it can be a little distracting though. Especially if it diverts focus from the things I really want in my heart. So it’s important to take time to be mindful of those things that really inspire me to the core.
What brought you here?
Work. I tend to move for my career. Which is actually great, because the cities with the most appealing jobs are also inspiring places. And working globally has helped keep me challenged yet as been incredibly enriching.
What keeps you sane?
Occasional 10 minute “power naps” help me stay balanced. A few other distractions I dive into would be playing video games, crocheting, buying plants that I’ll eventually kill somehow. Dance is my only form of meditation. For longer-lasting effects – I like to travel to remote, quiet places. Being away from throngs of people, close to nature, helps me breathe. If all else fails to calm my brain though, I’ll scroll through pictures of cute, furry animals for a little while. That tends to make me feel better.
Where do you go to get great coffee / drinks?
Bosie Tea Parlor is my favorite local cafe. Again, a Singaporean thing. Singapore has this pseudo-English influence, and we always had tea time + scones. I had a really hard time finding scones familiar to my taste buds until I found Bosie. Their scones are on point and they also sell really great tea cakes and have a wide variety of tea selections. This is not an advertising. Though, it sort of is.