UO Interviews: Tiffany and Zach Moldof of Twin Beast

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This Friday, February 16th, Twin Beast is hosting Origami Girls & Wavy Boys, at Space 15 Twenty Gallery. Prior to the workshop, we sat down with the duo to chat about creativity, snacks, and the interworkings of their unique creative partnership.

Who are you?

I’m Tiffany Moldof, and I’m Zach Moldof. We’re Twin Beast.

Where are you from, and where do you live?

T: I’m born and raised in Los Angeles, and I live in North Hollywood with my husband, Zach.

Z: Originally, I’m from Broward County, Florida. And I live in North Hollywood with my wife, Tiffany.

What’s your favorite snack (munchable + drinkable combo)?

T: I’m an LA girl -- it’s an avocado. Aaaand, coffee! All I drink is coffee and water.

Z: Too many to pick a sincere favorite. But here’s a top ranker: A glass with ⅓ grapefruit fresh juice, and ⅔ cold seltzer, and peanut butter-filled pretzels.

Who is one artist you really like right now?

T: Matisse. Especially in terms of the collages I did for this show. His shapes and colors have really influenced me since I saw a show of his in New York a while ago. 

Z: So Easy! Rauschenberg. We just went to San Francisco and saw his “Erasing The Rules” exhibit. He was my first, favorite artist when I started making weird art in college. If there is a “favorite artist,” section on my tombstone his name will be in the blank.

What is Twin Beast?

T & Z: Twin Beast is how we work together. It started out as customized denim jackets, zines, and vintage patches and pins. Then it evolved into us organizing shows and events, and things have just grown from there. We both make stuff, and this is the business where we focus our individual creative projects.

What’s it like working with your partner?

Z: Great and difficult. There is no one else who I would rather spend time with, and nobody else makes me feel so empowered and capable; there is no one else I would rather work hard to take care of. I think pretty much all the positive tropes are true, but it’s also really difficult. When things are stressful, it’s very easy for an isolated incident in our business to become an outlet for our personal frustrations. I think we are always learning and growing as people, and Twin Beast is a challenging and rewarding way for us to always be growing and learning about each other. Negotiating design with someone you love can be incredibly emotional, and destabilizing, but it’s also a great exercise, and we always get through it by returning to our foundation: we do this because we love each other, and we are at our best when we’re creating.

T: I agree, it’s about working with the person who brings out the best in you. Sometimes there’s conflicting perspectives or sensibilities, but in the end it makes Twin Beast well-rounded. The dynamic ensures that everything we do always has two balanced halves.

What is Creative League?

T & Z: Creative League is a solution. We give you the tools to make art, the information required to make good art, production resources to create and sell your own responsible merchandise, and a context that values the work of creatives like you. It’s a way for artists to stop getting ripped off by companies who monopolize production resources and take 80% of the artist’s revenue. 

Creative League is also a way for artists to participate in something more dignified than a digital clearinghouse for social media algorithm wizards. We come from a time when you couldn’t just 'be an artist.' While we love the idea of exposure and resources being accessible to more people, we think that you need the right culture to feed those resources, or else it’s just vapid egoistic capitalism masquerading as the total package. Creative League is a way for artists to produce and sell their work; it's a way for curious creatives to learn about art, and discover and value contemporary culture.

If you both spend so much time doing creative work, how do you stay balanced and inspired?

T: LOS ANGELES! I like going to museums and galleries; I like to read books by people I respect; I work out; I love to be inspired by people who I admire; and regardless of what I’m doing in the day, I always get to be inspired by my partner’s work. It’s interesting to think about the fact that I’m in a relationship with a creative person whose work I admire, and whose work overlaps with my own. Most of the time the ideas aren’t mine or my partner’s, they’re the product of our family.

Z: I skateboard; I smoke weed; I eat healthy and nutritious food that tastes good and satisfies me; I drink cold seltzer; I always try to be open to random and exciting moments hidden within the banal; I watch unabashedly fictional movies; I read books written by daring people, or written about daring people; I married a woman who never lets me half step, and always shows me something new; if I think I don’t like something, I force myself to find out why, and I only write things off when I have concrete evidence that they’re not at all rewarding.

What advice would you give to a single creative person who wants to be in your shoes?

T: I think that there are no mistakes in life. You really have to be present in what you’re doing to learn from relationships, and take those situations into whatever comes next in your life. You have to go into everything with your eyes wide open. In our society, lots of people focus on what has gone wrong and they get bitter, but you always have to try and focus on what’s going right, whether that’s relationships or your creative pursuits. I always think that Zach was all the positive aspects of different men I had met, wrapped up into one person. You have to take the time to get to know, and accept, and understand yourself before you can really understand how to find the partner that you’re looking for. And that same sentiment applies creatively: you do your best work when you know your best self as best as you can.

Z: It isn’t patience 'til it hurts, because you can’t spell patience without pain. If something is worth it to you, then the rest of this world is just a circumstantial construct for you to decipher. I spent nine years bouncing around the country, in constant agony going fromone1 unanticipated tragedy to the next until it was the exact right time for us to meet. And I was looking for her all along. If I told you all the things that I had to go through to get to Tiffany you wouldn’t believe me, and if you believed me you wouldn't understand it. I think we're usually taught about life and art in reverse. What’s on the canvas–so to speak–doesn’t matter, the consumable object is just the residue of a life lived beyond the constraints of society. 

Our lives are defined by our commitments to one another, and they were like that before we met. As a creative, your art lets you see how your life is truly malleable; who you are as an artist is not determined by what you put down on paper, rather by the values you choose to enact and practice. We both live by somewhat extreme values that we have defined, and we hold to those values with an unflinching level of commitment. It’s what defines us as individuals, and it’s what binds us as a family.

See more of Tiffany and Zach Moldof's work: www.twinbeast.com

Follow Tiffany and Zach on Instagram: @twinbeastla, @muneca_de_trapo, @zachmoldof