Victoria Case is an Illustrator based in Las Vegas, but to say she is simply an Illustrator would grossly undervalue her work. I was more than excited to interview Victoria as I have personal experience with her creative hand, having bought a blank inside card, her new zine and a custom drawn 5×7 portrait. As an avid reader of her blog and frequent visitor to her online storefront I was thrilled to read she was championing an effort to go green through her use of materials and immediately requested an interview. Her concern for the planet has existed for many years and she was excited to share how she is making a difference through her efforts.
What inspires you as an artist?
I love to illustrate the silliness of people and animals and life in general. My kids honestly are the best source for pure humor- they come up with the funniest things. Plus for a bonus- I live in Las Vegas- Sin City- so there is an array of inspiration here, as I’m sure you can imagine.
What is the creative process behind your art? How does an idea take shape?
I am a compulsive list maker and my daily activities are written out each morning so that I don’t get sidetracked. I am drawing by 7 am and don’t usually quit until 5 pm. Then it’s family time. After the kids have gone off to bed – back to drawing until the late hours of the night. I start with rough drafts of an idea in pencil and once I’m happy with the set-up and placement- I’ll ink, erase the pencils marks and do my most favorite part….color.
I carry paper and pen always, so whenever or wherever I have an idea I can quickly jot it down- whether it be a few words or a quick rough sketch. From those sketches- I’ll decide whether it should be an illustration or a note card.
If I could give everyone in the world a coloring book and crayons, I would. It’s amazing just how relaxing it is, your breathing becomes very rhythmic, your muscles relax and it’s I guess, spiritual- to create something. If you don’t believe me, grab a coloring book and crayons and sit by yourself at a table for awhile.
How long have you selling your art?
A little over 20 years. Although my online retail has only been for six of those years.
Do you remember the feeling of your first sale? How has that feeling changed after selling so many items?
Yes! My first sale was exhilarating and full of stomach butterflies. Each and every sale after that one feels exactly the same way. It is overwhelming to me when someone actually likes my work enough to purchase it. It’s the highest compliment someone can give. *smile*
I have been on the search for eco-friendly inks and pencils. I have always used recycled and/or earth friendly paper.
I also collect and re-use cardboard whenever I can find it for shipping my work. And I prefer working by natural sunlight.
How do you feel that recycled paper holds up in comparison to other papers you have used in the past?
I used to find working with recycled paper quite challenging. It always seemed to have a dingy quality to it and I would find specks and spots within the grain. Even more disheartening, it was the most expensive choice. The recycled paper that is sold today is very vibrant, smooth and although it may still have a higher price, it is always well worth the few pennies.
What does the Green Movement mean to you?
Standing up and taking responsibility for our environment/planet by educating ourselves and others and actively participating in it’s preservation. Most importantly, demanding LOUDLY to government officials and corporations for change.
When did you first become interested in living and working green?
I could not state that I’m a loving and nurturing parent to my kids and not take care of the surroundings that will sustain them. When I look into my children’s eyes I see my grandchildren, and their children, and generations ahead. How could I not be inspired? It’s just the right thing to do.
Has any one green practice become second nature, something you personally do every day?
Recycling of our plastics, cans, glass and newspapers. It’s a habit to carry items out to the bins.
What green practice do you recommend readers try?
We all shop. So, I would highly recommend that everyone use cloth tote/grocery bags instead of paper or plastic.
Is there an eco-friendly product you use that you would recommend?
The Strathmore paper company has a wonderful selection of recycled papers and a new Wind Power Series paper that is eco-friendly.
As an independent artist what is your greatest challenge?
What has been your greatest success to date?
I have had many fantastic opportunity’s over the years, but one that stands out in my mind, is an opportunity a few years back to work with Ted Bergman. He was the writer on Sanford & Son, Three’s Company, All in The Family (just to name a few). He had written a hilarious play called “Whoops”, and hired me to create the playbill artwork. Such a funny man and writer.
What is your advice to a fellow artisan who is new to their industry?
Be passionate about your work. Have patience. Practice every day.