Hi again, welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs Blog. It’s Artist Interview time again! Yay!!! How are you enjoying the Artist Interview’s so far? I’m hoping you’re loving them as much as I am. You know, it blows me away just how willing the art community is. My fellow artists are more than willing to share their stories, and I’m just so grateful. We grow through learning from others, and these artists are sowing some good stuff into us! We’re so blessed! And this week is no exception, I’d like to to introduce you to another Aussie and an all round amazing illustrator and friend, Vicky Pratt. Let’s get into this Artist Interview with Vicky Pratt.
Welcome Vicky, tell me a bit about your background and how you got into this style of art? It appears you are a very active illustrator…
I did an Art Diploma in Townsville, worked with all mediums, but fell in love with ink and pencil. I’ve worked as a theatre set designer, greeting card designer, background illustrator for TV animation, book illustrator and painter of children’s furniture, but I think I have only just come to accept my actual style. I feel like I’ve tried them all, but my current style is a combination of all of the above jobs finally coming together with ink and pencil.
Where are you located and what sorts of things in your area inspire your art?
I grew up in North Queensland, but now live on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. Being always near the beach and surrounded by nature is inspiring. The Peninsula is a beautiful area full of old growth forests but still really close to the coast. I draw mostly insects, animals and botanicals, so anything natural, this is a great place to be to keep me inspired.
You have developed a unique style to your work, what would you say is your favourite piece?
I am combining a lot of well-practiced styles into one that I can’t wait to do more of. Exciting times ahead!
My styles have changed with my many jobs, but the technique that comes through in every style is a black outline. It’s there in almost every piece. Orange Insect Collection is my favourite piece, see the picture of it below. It’s not my best, but I was in a good place when I created it, so it’ll be my go-to piece for quite a while.
Over the years I’ve watched you hone your skills and develop real precision in your work. Pens, pencils, inks … what are your favourite tools for creating?
Inks and colour pencils are my tools of choice. I’ve been passionate about ink for as long as I can remember. In 2014, I started the Facebook group called INKed which now has 3500 members. Seeing work being posted in that group is very inspiring. The members and admin team are all very creative and supportive. Helping promote other people’s work on Facebook and Instagram also helps me learn what types of illustration works and with each market.
All art is successful, but it’s hard to find your target audience. We all learn from each others art journey. People that share their process and experiences by hosting an art group or creating a blog, like this one is all learning. Putting what we learn back into our art is key. So I guess helping others by sharing ideas is my other favourite tool for creating.
What would you say has been the most difficult aspect in being consistent with your art and how do you handle this?
The most difficult aspect is the time it takes between each drawing. I paint way too slow! But to get them all looking the same, I have to break the process down like a formula, especially if they’re for a book or something similar. I picture what it will look like at the end, and how it can be produced with a series of other drawings. If it has to match other work then the process becomes very step–by-step.
Do you have one tip you can share with us for combating artists block?
I get artists block all the time and it’s always after a big project. My advice is have some genuine time off. Be kind to yourself. Don’t be flustered or angry but put everything away and really take the time away from the board, otherwise you’ll start to resent your passion for not delivering. How I get back each time varies too. Every block seems to be a different monster that changes its needs, so I approach it differently every time it rears.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have an exhibition coming up at the end of the year and I’m doing lots of botanicals with insects. The art will be put on to fabrics, wood and wrapping paper so hopefully production for those products will be in full swing by September.
And lastly, tell us all the places where we can find you online…
My website is Vicky Pratt -Illustrator
I’m also on Pinterest as Vicky Pratt Illustrator
And that’s a wrap on my Artist Interview with Vicky Pratt
Well there you have it. And yes, I did meet Vicky through the INKed group on Facebook. Vicky touched on it in her Artist Interview, but INKed is now on Instragram as well, just look for @inkedartgroup. Both INKed groups, on Facebook and Instagram, are very successful groups. Much of this success can be attributed to Vicky’s dedication and her heart to prosper all things inky. As I mentioned above, I’ve watched other artists look to her, be encouraged by her and receive wisdom from her as she shares so openly about all she’s learned.
For many years INKed has also been the home of Inktober. Inktober happens every October, and it’s where artists are required to use ink every day of October and post their work online using the hashtag #Inktober. Moderating this group at this time, while participating in it yourself, is full on! But Vicky does so, year in, year out.
I know you’re sensing it too, it’s all over Vicky’s work and her outlook… I’m talking about her commitment. It’s inspiring isn’t it? I love what Vicky mentioned in her first answer about how she got into the style she’s in today, “I feel like I’ve tried them all, but my current style is a combination of all of the above jobs finally coming together with ink and pencil.”
Sometimes you can set yourself a goal and then things don’t work out like you’d planned. There’s a verse in Proberbs 16:9 that says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” You think you know the path that you should take, but other things crop up on the journey and you end up having to take different steps. I love how it becomes something beautiful though. For Vicky, everything she’s tried has now come together to become something beautiful, something that’s truly her. I bet if we asked Vicky twenty years ago, what her plan was to get to where she is today, it was probably different to what has eventuated.
This beautiful work though, Vicky’s style…. it wouldn’t have happened without commitment. Sticking to something for the long haul has its own rewards. Are you committed? Have you made a commitment to yourself to stay with it, no matter what? That when things take a different turn or when an obstacle appears you remain committed? How committed are you? I challenge you today! Commitment is what enables you to take different steps as things happen. If you’re not committed, you will throw your hands up in the air at the first sign of something not going to plan. Commitment is what will get you through.
Head on over and follow Vicky’s work on Facebook, Instagram or her website and see what commitment looks like. If you’re a pen and ink artist, consider joining the INKed group on Facebook or following the Inkedartgroup on Instagram, to see commitment in action and be inspired. I hope that today’s Artist Interview with Vicky, challenges you to look at your level of commitment. Let me know how you’re getting on, I’d love to hear from you.