Illustrator Feature | Victoria Holmes
Describe your illustration style
Playful, characterful and eclectic. Because I am still developing my style, I don’t tend to adhere to a strict set of rules or have only one style, so my illustrations end up being quite unpredictable, but I am OK with that. I would say that fun and personality is always at the heart of my artwork though.
How did you get started in illustration? Did you always want to be an artist?
I always enjoyed drawing and painting, from being a toddler really. In my teens I wanted to do an arts degree but was given the usual ‘you’ll never earn any money with that’ so chose a PR degree instead! It took 15 years of working in PR to realise I still wanted to draw. So in 2019 I started an MA in Fine Art to explore my artistic side again, and in 2020 I set up Skribbl to help me and other aspiring illustrators to turn their passions into careers. I’m still learning every day, but I know that I am on the right path.
How do you approach a new illustration?
Either I brainstorm my ideas and write them down first, trying to visualise what they’ll look like, or just dive straight in! if it’s the former, then once I am happy with the general idea, I move on to sketching. I started doing my illustrations hand-drawn on paper, taking a photo and manipulating it in Adobe Illustrator. I have since bought myself an iPad Pro and I work in Pro-Create and Photoshop. Working with the layers is so much easier, and easy to correct a mistake.
What inspires you to create?
People, places, experiences. Inspiration is everywhere, but my failsafe is nature. If I am ever stuck creatively, I always find going for a walk in nature is the best way to reconnect myself back to creativity. I love to research ideas, but if I spend too much time in front of the screen I lose my ability to create from my heart, it’s all coming from my head.
Give us a tip for generating creative ideas?
I like to journal – I find it therapeutic; it allows me to get lots of ideas down on paper, and I find that allowing my ideas to stream onto the paper first in whatever way they come helps me to get into more of a flow. Sometimes I read back through my notes and I’m surprised by what I have written. A project I have been meaning to start for a while is to pair some of the words with my art, as I’ve now got years of material!
Tell us about your favourite illustration, or Skribbl topic to illustrate and why?
To date, I would say my favourite illustrations have been of animals because I absolutely love them. I haven’t shared any animals on Skribbl yet, but I will. I often get stuck in my head wondering what people would want rather than what I want to draw. Skribbl is such a great opportunity to showcase your talent and I think when you are drawing from a place of passion, then people will naturally love your work and you’ll develop as an illustrator quicker too, because you’re drawing what you love.
What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
I love creating hand-drawn digital artwork and learning new skills on software like Pro-Create, Photoshop and Illustrator, which makes creating quick and efficient. However, I do love to just draw on paper, or get my watercolours out and hold a paintbrush and create with the possibility of it going wrong. I struggle with perfectionism, so this is a good way to work through that and accept that sometimes what you perceive as wrong ends up being right. I also really enjoy watching patterns emerge from the paint – it’s more spontaneous.
What does your workspace or studio say about you?
I do most of my digital work from anywhere – the desk, the sofa, wherever I am comfortable! However, I am in the process of creating a studio space, because I really want to be able to make a mess. My studio will be semi-organised chaos, which is a lot like me – the freedom to be messy, but I will always know where my brushes and paints are.
Who is your favourite artist or an artist who inspires you?
There are so many but I find Jackson Pollock’s work inspiring, I love the idea of doing big canvas work and being really creative with the paint – throwing it, mixing it, splatting it. I find it fascinating that his now famous drips and swirls that to the eye look like a mess, are in fact fractal patterns that are like what we see in nature, but he was creating them 25 years before science discovered them – a true genius.
Creating art that is both chaotic and beautiful, being able to express that side of yourself without judgement or it being ‘right’. That’s the kind of art I would like to create – true freedom to express.
Draw yourself… Can be a doodle, abstract, whatever you want!
I needed to create some illustrations of the Skribbl team so this was a good exercise in trying this out – wild hair and big teeth. I think that comes across.
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