Born in Amsterdam, Holland, Tanja was raised in a small fishing village by her mother, a math teacher, who also in her spare time embraced the traditional practices of sewing and knitting. Her father spend extended periods away working as a documentary film maker for National Geographic. From childhood Tanja was drawn to her mother’s creations and father’s travels. She developed her own unique visual styles through these memories in photography, drawing, sculpture, painting and design.
Tanja moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to study Commercial Art and worked as a color specialist for a silkscreen printer for 5 years. In 1994 she became the director of Santa Monica Fine Art Studios, a 10,000 square feet Artist studio in Santa Monica where she held workshops in a variety of mediums while exploring and perfecting her own techniques. In 2003 Rector conceptualized and designed the Santa Monica Art Studios a 22,000 square foot hangar in Santa Monica Airport.
She has exhibited widely in solo and group shows across California, Texas, New Mexico, New York, Seattle and Frankfurt, Germany. Her work has also been featured in numerous publications, including the LA Times, Beau Monde Magazine, Viva Magazine and LA Weekly. Rector founded Spot Orange Design, which creates art for the film and Hotel industry. Her work decorates the sets of movies including White Oleander and The Hangover and the television shows CSI and House. Her art and site specific installations can be seen in the lobbies and quest rooms of many high-end hotels in major cities, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Istanbul, Dubai and Shanghai.