It all began on the other side of the world: a 4 month stint of South American wandering and a desire to capture the moment in her own style gave Vicki Jones the inspiration to kick start her #dailydrawing series – undertstated, sketched moments presented on her instagram feed to an appreciative (and growing) global audience.
Vicki is a young yet highly accomplished illustrator, designer and surfer based in Bristol. She turns her talented hand from play to work with gusto – her portfolio of design work includes names such as Hurley, Nikita and Billabong.
She’s spent a year in Newquay, and tonight she kicks off an exhibition featuring a selection of her #dailydrawing series, at the illustrious Cafe Irie on Fore Street.
I caught up with Vicki for an all-too-brief chat… but I’m sure we’ll hear more from her down the line.
Do you still devote time to your art every day?
Yes I do, I feel I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to in a day if I don’t. I find it a therapeutic practice to do a drawing everyday as compliment to my freelance design work, a way to relax and to wind down at the end of the day. That said – it’s been almost impossible to do any drawing in the last couple of weeks as I’ve just returned from Glastonbury. As much as I had all the good intentions to do artwork while I was there, it just didn’t happen! Maybe a break every now and again isn’t always such a bad thing though!
It sounds like you had a bit of an epiphany out in South America…
You could call it that. To me, travelling does amazing things – in my mind it removes you from your comfort zone and allows space to breathe and gain a sense of perspective. It forces you to re-evaluate your life, values, what makes you happy, what drives you and ultimately what you want to do with your life and why. I went to South America on an open-ended journey, it was something I had to do, and I returned with a sense of purpose and vision. South America is a continent abundant in energies of the past, present and future, and on a whole the people are more in tune with themselves and the movements of the earth and the universe. Being exposed to this made me think about humanity as a whole and where we fit into it’s complexities. The more you see of the world and everything living in it, the more you realise that we are all in this together. It’s easy to feel helpless and insignificant when faced with todays problems on this planet, and that one person can’t make a difference to the world. I realised that discovering your passion is the first step. As long as one can pursue this regardless of what is thrown ones way, that energy is contagious and inspires others. It doesn’t have to be far reaching. I believe that even if I put a smile on one persons face in a day, it’s all worth it. After all, with enough time and energy, ripples turn into waves. It’s a long old slog and following your dream doesn’t always guarantee a healthy bank balance but it will fill you a sense of satisfaction that money can never bring. It might be a cliche, but everything one could ever want or need in this life is within reach, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
You’ve obviously found instagram a very useful medium for your work…
Absolutely, Instagram has been pivotal in the development of my working practice in the last year. I’m not a huge social media user but because of the visual nature of Instagram, I found it particularly lends itself to art. It’s a brilliant way of putting work out into the world. Essentially it is a digital exhibition space potentially open to an audience of millions! I didn’t join Instagram with this intention however, I started just posting my photography. The drawing and artwork I did put up, people started to comment on more and more, and I realised that actually my artwork had more of a positive reaction than anything else, so I started to post more of that. Whilst travelling, it’s hard to get access to a scanner to scan pieces to post online, so it was way to get my work out of the sketchbook for people to see. The feedback I received from people all over the world was very encouraging, and it’s always a confidence boost to know that your work is being appreciated! From posting my work up on Instagram, some interesting commissions and collaborations have come my way too. A whole international community of artists are at your fingertips and Instagram makes it easy to connect with them. I love also looking at other galleries and seeing what other creatives are up too, it’s a vast and unending source of inspiration.
Beyond #dailydrawing, what’s next?
Well I’d like to carry on the with the drawing project and develop it. I’ve been thinking #dailypainting might be next on the cards! Aside from this, I’m currently moving to Bristol and setting up studio there. Lots more exciting freelance design work with some awesome clothing brands on the horizon, as well as collaborations and more exhibitions. I also want to start my own range of environmentally friendly and organic textiles/surfwear. Whatever I’m up to – the best place to see it all is Instagram – find me at vicki_jones29, and see you there! VJ.
The #dailydrawing exhibition begins tonight, from 7pm – 10pm, and runs until the 31st of August.