Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lovely Ink: Interview with Victoria Johnson, Artist and Surface Designer

I am so thrilled to share this month's Lovely Ink created by the talented English artist and surface designer, Victoria Johnson. She has vintage modern sensibility that is full of cute lovable characters and fresh color palettes. Her "Choose Happiness" illustration has warm breezy feel that reminds us to enjoy our lives.

If you want to receive a free 8x10" printable and desktop wallpaper of this "Choose Happiness " print sign-up for Lovely Ink here. Every month, Lovely Ink delivers free inspirational art to your inbox.

I have this super special interview to share with Victoria. Peak inside her creative process, learn about her favorite artists, and see her lovely studio space in Rome. Enjoy! 

Take us through your creative process of making your piece for Lovely Ink?
I was in the middle of doing my Surtex promotional material when I did my Lovely Ink piece , so lots of elements of the piece found their way into the promo and lots of the promo found it's way into the Lovely Ink piece. The flowers were all inspired by some 1940's dress prints. They also inspired the palette.

What drew you to the inspirational saying you used in your Lovely Ink piece?
I like the saying 'choose happiness' because it implies that you can control whether you enjoy your life or not. It's so easy to slip into the attitude that life is 'happening' to you and your reaction to the problems it presents are incidental. I like the idea that you can choose whether to be defeated or not.

Was there a moment in your life when you first fell in love with making things?
No - I think I was born that way. Honestly. I know it sound's pretentious but I can't remember a single period in my life where it wasn't important to me to be creating something, even during my apathetic teenage years - and my parents actively encouraged it. I've always had access to loads of art equipment for as long as I can remember.

Where in your life do you find the most inspiration for your art?
I like old stuff - from all periods - old bits of strange furniture, old fabrics, old dishes and vases. I like finding ways to make incongruous things sit well together. The challenge of doing that inspires me. I do it with colour too, trying to find harmony with unusual colour combinations. I adore playing with colour - in everyday life as much as in design. At the moment I'm super inspired by geometric forms. They're creeping into so much of what I'm doing.

What would be your absolute dream project - no limitations?
Dinnerware at Anthropologie. Or bedding. An entire interior decor line with them if we're being silly.

Who are some of your favorite artists, illustrators or surface designers?
I like so many (obviously) but some of my current favourites are Lola Donoghue, Elaine Pamphilon, Josef Frank and Marimekko. I also love anything by Vera and a lot of Mid-Century Russian illustration/graphic design. I love Inaluxe because of the way they combine geometric shapes with painterly textures and imagery and fresh, feminine colour palettes - all my favourite things in one beautiful package. It goes without saying that I like the Mid-Century illustrators Mary Blair and Esme Eve too.

What are your favorite design or art blogs that you would like to share with your fans?
Print and Pattern - to be honest it's the only one I read with any regularity. But I'm always entertained when I have a look at Dawn Machell's She's really funny and massively talented.

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