“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver artist Tierney Milne

Over the years as an artist, Tierney Milne has developed a particular brand of geometric abstractions and relentlessly joyful colour combinations, which combine into her own instantly recognizable style of broken grid patterns, seen throughout the Vancouver area. This artwork predominantly exists in the form of large scale murals, hanging art pieces, digital design and stop-frame animations. The sheer quantity and scope of her work is achieved through pure tenacity and an apparent lack of need for sleep.

Her practice is benefited greatly by her enthusiastic adoption of new technologies, such as lasercutting machines and projection mapping, and also by her gift for being able to quickly amass groups of people to help work on a shared goal.

Outside of Tierney’s commercial art practice, this personal aesthetic of hers continues in the form of aggressively cheerful fashion choices and an ever growing—and often overflowing—collection of anything that is simple, cute and colourful.

Tierney was born in Montreal, grew up in Vancouver and studied at UBC and CapU, before becoming the artistic juggernaut we all know today. Given enough time, it is estimated that a majority of walls in the Lower Mainland will feature her artwork in one form or another.

-Written by Mark Illing, best friend and studiomate

My home base is my shared studio space nook— It’s amazing to get inspiration from some of the other artists in there, and to have all of my hoarded gear in one central place.
My happy place is being surrounded by big playful colourblocking and plenty of wall space!
My happy place is being surrounded by big playful colourblocking and plenty of wall space!
I love taking a wander to a wall of mine during a rainy day to get some exercise and get some colour into my day (this one was through the Vancouver Mural Festival last year).
But my achilles heel and main energy source for work is any and all candy. Every job site of mine I always make sure I buy a selection of candy for my assistants to keep us rolling.
But nothing quite matches getting to finally meet with my fabricator and see this wood commission of mine come to life!
I love colour more than anything! I’m trying to get more confident with spray paint these days as it’s really fun for murals, but my safety blanket is latex paint.
When I can, I love playing around with cut paper to build 3D forms (even though my studiomates hate when I leave the scraps everywhere!)
When I’m not out painting or installing or building, it’s great to sit and sketch at my desk and watch TV shows or movies on the side. I love being surrounded by colourful, nostalgic trinkets for inspiration!


Which ‘hood are you in?

My apartment and studio are both near Olympic Village, Vancouver.

What do you do?

I work as an artist and muralist primarily, but I love getting to wear multiple hats to bring a creative vision to life for clients

What are you currently working on?

I just created illustrations for Puralotor’s BC Holiday Boxes and I’m so excited about seeing them out and being used over the next few months. Other than that I’m taking the next month to dive into some animation experiments (I love getting to play around a bit more when it’s too cold to paint murals outdoors).

Where can we find your work?

You can find my murals all around the city for clients like Footlocker, Plenty, Lululemon, UBC and public spaces like the basketball court on Great Northern Way. All of work can be found on my instagram (@tierneymilne), and my Purolator boxes can be nabbed at Purolator Shipping Centres if you’d like one.