We had the privilege to interview Victoria from The Scenic Route. It has been a pleasure the past few months getting to know Victoria, talking all things sustainable fabric and hearing of her adventures as she travels the outback in her van.
Victoria is an Australian artist who has recently teamed up to Melco Fabrics to release a limited collection of Australian themed prints on our Australian milled fabric - what a match made in heaven! Read on to hear about Victoria's journey as an artist, what inspires her and the artwork she is most proud of to date.
So, tell me about a day in your life as an artist. What does it typically look like?
I need to have a pretty slow morning, I like to start the day super early with meditation and an exercise class followed by a walk with my dog on the beach and a big coffee. I have recently completed renovating a little studio for myself, I head there around 10am and try and get any admin out of the way in the morning and then work on creative stuff in the afternoons. I finish around 4:30pm unless I’m really in the flow, in that case I can work till quite late!
Who are your main artistic influences?
I’m very influenced by Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement, and I love the work of Florence Broadhurst, May Gibbs, Cressida Campbell and Del Kathryn Barton.
Are you formally trained as an artist or self-taught?
I studied visual art at Uni for one year, and then went on to study fashion design and textile design at Tafe so I do have some training, but I am also partly self taught and learned a lot of things through various jobs I have had.
What was your first experience of working as a professional artist?
I’ve never really worked as a professional artist but my first full time creative role was in 2003 working for a London design studio of Michelle Lowe Holder. It was incredible, I got to hand paint, screen print, embroider, sew and bead such beautiful textiles and garments and learned my practical skills.
What made you interested in this industry?
I have always been creative and loved painting, drawing and making things, and I got really into making my own clothes when I was a teenager. I became really interested in printed textiles after visiting the Signature Prints studio when I was a student at Tafe and seeing the Florence Broadhurst archive.
How has your style changed over time?
My style has remained pretty similar but my subject matter has become more honest and truer to myself over the years. I have really embraced my love of botanicals and Australian flora and fauna in recent years, when I was younger I was much more concerned about what might be on trend or try and do something that would be perceived as more contemporary.
What is the best advice you have received in your career?
To not lose your signature and to develop a unique and distinctive style, there is a lot of pressure especially in print studios to be able to pump out a high volume of designs closely following WGSN trend boards and it’s easy for everything to end up looking quite generic.
How do you overcome a creative block?
If I’m blocked I try and take some time out, go to a library and just look at books, or just spend some time in nature or go on a walk. I try and do a 10 day Vipassana silent meditatation retreat at least once a year which is the best way to reset your brain and remove blocks.
Describe a piece of art you are most proud of. Why?
I haven’t made that piece yet… I feel like I am always working to try and make something better and improve my work, but I am in general proud of everything I have created with The Scenic Route.
What are three words that describe your style?
Imperfect, Intricate and Nostalgic.