Local Highlights

Local Artist in Action: Jocelyn Tsaih


Last year, illustrator Jocelyn Tsaih made a cross country move from New York City to the Bay Area. We’ve been following Jocelyn’s career for a few years now (her work is everywhere!) and when thinking about artists for our latest coliving home in Point Richmond, CA, Jocelyn immediately came to mind. 40% of Common’s members are new to the city that they live in, and we were curious as to how the transition made a difference in Jocelyn’s life and art, and how she’s managed to make a home in an entirely new city. Keep reading to learn more about Jocelyn, check out her latest print Making a Home as featured in Common Cottage, and discover how to win the print for your own space!

Meet Jocelyn Tsaih

First things first, introduce yourself!

My name is Jocelyn and I’m an artist currently based in Oakland. I was born in Taipei and raised in Shanghai, and I eventually found my way to New York and California. I draw amorphous figures that are meant to represent and be inclusive of all beings.

Last year you moved across the country from New York City to Oakland. How has moving to a new city inspired your work?

My life in Oakland is a lot quieter than my life in New York. I have more physical and mental space to make my work in Oakland, which has been a really nice change. I noticed that since moving to the Bay I started to use more color in my work and also started to draw more flowers. I’m sure this is because Oakland has much more surrounding nature as well as colorful houses with similarly colorful gardens out front. I think because I’ve been able to have more interactions with nature on a daily basis, I started to illustrate my figures interacting with nature as well.

What tips do you have for anyone looking to start fresh in a new place?

Explore, meet new people, go to fun events! I still feel new in Oakland even though it’s already been a year and a half, but I love the feeling of being in an unfamiliar place and having all these new things to check out and learn about.

I love the feeling of being in an unfamiliar place and having all these new things to check out and learn about.


What does your dream day-off in the Bay area look like?

Day trip to one of the many crazy beautiful places to visit in the Bay, either with lots of trees or a body of water. It would be sunny and I’d read or draw outside and have a picnic. Afterwards I’d eat some good food for dinner and have ice cream for dessert. Then I’d get home, hang out with my cats, and watch a movie.

Your latest print, “Making a Home” is featured at Common Cottage. Can you tell us more about the piece and the inspiration behind it?

I made the sketch for this print during my residency at Almost Perfect in Tokyo earlier this year. I was creating pieces based on the subject of belonging and came up with this image during the process. Having grown up with a multicultural background, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to belong to a place and how that affects my sense of identity. This print represents the comfort that comes from finding your place, making your home in this place, and feeling like you belong to it.

What are your best tips for “Making a Home”? Are there any objects or rituals you have that make a new apartment (or city!) feel like home for you?

I like surrounding myself with objects, art, and books that I feel accurately represent who I am. Thinking of the space I’m occupying and living in as an extension of myself is a nice way for me to feel at home. I’m still navigating how to make a city feel like home for me, but I think part of it is learning the context, culture, and community of the place and interacting with these aspects.

Thinking of the space I’m occupying and living in as an extension of myself is a nice way for me to feel at home.


If you could have any celebrity as a roommate, who would it be and why?

I don’t have a good answer for this so I just took a random online quiz. It told me my celebrity roommate should be Harry Styles. There’s no description on why, though…

What’s your favorite place?

I don’t think I can just pick one place, but Naoshima is really up there for me. It’s beautiful there!

Win a print by Jocelyn!

We’re giving away a print of Making a Home to one lucky winner. To learn how to enter, head to our Instagram! Full terms and conditions are below:

(1) no purchase is necessary.(2) promotion starts on October 15, 2019 and ends on October 21, 2019. Winners will be chosen at 3PM EST on October 21, 2019.(3) eligible to persons aged 18 and over within the continental United States.(4) no purchase is necessary for entry, entrants submit their entry by following Common (@hi.common) and Jocelyn Tsaih (@jocelyntsaih) on Instagram, and commenting on Common’s designated post with tagging 1 fellow Instagram user. For an additional 5 entries, contestants can share Common’s post to their story and tag both @jocelyntsaih and @hi.common. All entrants must follow both accounts and have commented on the post at the time of closing.(5) every comment counts as one entry per entrant, and every share of the post to Instagram stories, with tagging @hi.common and the @jocelyntsaih, counts as 5 entries, with a total limit of 10 comments and 2 shares, for a total of 20 entries.6) 1 winner will be chosen at random, the odds of winning are determined by the number of entries.(7) the prize will be Making a Home, a print by Jocelyn Tsaih.(8) the winner will be selected at random, and notified in a tagged comment on the original post by Common and an Instagram story from Common. They will also be direct messaged on Instagram up to 3 times by Common. If the winner has not responded to any of the aforementioned attempts to get in contact within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen at random, and the following communications will be repeated.(9) This contest is sponsored by Common Living, 335 Madison Avenue, Suite 6A, NY, NY 10017.(10) This contest is not affiliated with Instagram.

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