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vĂŠcu Independent Artists.


artist AMY LEE



Independent Artists.

Publisher The Coleman Group Delina C. Editor-In-Chief Melissa Lee Advertising Director Lorena F. Travel Editor Murissa Shalapata Featured Contributor

Contributing Artists Amy Lee

Steve Kim

Anne Kobsa

Lilly Piri

Sergio Lopez

Kelly McKernan

Ericka Lugo


Frank Gonzales

Natalie J. Watts

Carole Wilmet

Jessica Luch

Joey Leung

Stephanie Matthews

Nicole Jarecz

Lisa G.

Ericka Lugo

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.4


EMMA BLOCK United Kingdom


mma Block is the delightful illustrator that graduated with First Class Honours in BA Illustration at Middlesex University and is currently being represented by The Bright Agency. She likes charity shops, tea and very sharp pencils. Emma is inspired by the people she meets in her everyday life, old photos, vintage clothes, travel, 1950s illustration and 1930s jazz. Some of her clients include Time Out, Woodmansterne, American Greetings, Hardie Grant, and Moo and her work has been exhibited in I-Spy Camden, Mail Me Art 2, I-Spy Edgware Road, Middlesex Degree Show, D&AD New Blood and New Designers. In this series she has created these wonderful stamp pen drawings of her highness. Emma is also available for commissions and other nice things.

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The Great Omar Peacock

MAKERIE STUDIO London, United Kingdom

Life size reproduction of a peacock inspired by the cover of The Great Omar, a collection of Persian poems known as the most precious volume ever bound. The sculpture was produced for London paper merchants Shepherds Bookbinders using papers from their range, and is currently displayed in their Holborn store. Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft are The Makerie; they design and create bespoke paper sculptures using rare and fine papers from around the world.


IVY NASSOPOULOS Frankfurt, Hesse Germany

This art installation by Ivy Nassopoulos is a one of a kind original. “Love of wire� symbolises the beginning of her quest for expressing Love through art. It was created back in 2004 and it is a combination of various materials. MATERIALS ~ two types of wire, handled by hand ~ beads (part of a favorite bracelet purchased in Saint Dominicus) ~ repurposed square ceramic pots ~ and golden sand

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anne kobsa


Großstadtbaum & Großstadtvögel “Large City Tree” FEATURING

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Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a freelance illustrator living and working in Hamburg, Germany. Am living in our appartment in Sternschanze and working in an atelier collective in St. Pauli, which is quiet cool, because there is just a way to work of 5 - 10 minutes ;) What are some of your early illustration memories? What surprised me, when I started studying illustration, is the “non perfectionism”. When I was younger, I always tried to draw the lines as perfect as possible or filled in the colours as perfect as possible including each little detail. So, it was kind of strange to me hearing advises like “Just let it flow” or “A good illustration has nothing to do with the perfect concept and drawn to dead pictures”. After a while I knew what the tutors meant, you have to grow into that new point of view.

What things have you learned about your craft since then? It´s ok to do several styles and techniques and not just one! It feels good to accept, that I personally could not do just and only one illustration style, but have to try out new things every once in a while and try to establish them. And I learned that it´s an ongoing process, like for example with the *Großstadtbaum & Großstadtvögel* work. I did that very free and mixed-media-project last year for an exhibition and still like it a lot, but ever since I did so many new things and styles. And I guess next year I will say so about my current work ;) Also it always depends on what my clients want and prefer, so I am offering my work and they can choose!

What inspires your style of illustration? I like combining things, like nature material and drawings. For example my *Botanical Business* work occured of a big file folder of dried plants, where a person in the 1950´s did a really assiduous job, from the fleamarket. Or the *Wooden Beings* are inspired from those old images where people made pictures out of very flat wooden pieces. So I guess I am inspired by the nature, vintage things and classical art. But of course it´s very important to me to update myself concerning what is going on in illustration styles all over the world constantly. Plans for the future? My plan for the future is to stay as happy and dedicated as I am ;)

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ericka lugo


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ericka lugo Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a 25-year-old puerto rican illustrator with a degree in Art History and I teach art workshops at the local museum.

What are some of your early art memories? Well, now that I come to think about it...I was always very exposed to art indirectly, especially illustrated art. I would say my earliest art memories are the pictures in my school books. I would spend hours browsing and marveling through them, plus enjoying the smell of a brand new book which is, to this day, one of my favorite smells. But after a while, I started drawing pictures of my own. Some adults around me took notice and told my mother about art schools where I could develop this “new found talent” of mine. Shortly after that, I joined an art summer camp at a museum in my town where I had my first “proper” exposure to art. What things have you learned about your craft since then? That is a nice way to put it. “What have I learned about it”... It’s almost as if my craft was like meeting a new friend, and little by little I get to know a bit more about it as I keep showing interest and being persistent. Sort of like being in a relationship. I have also learned a lot of technicalities, tricks and process to make picture-making a bit more easy but it’s been more of an internal process to discover an important part of myself.

Sometimes I love it, sometimes not so much but every time something new about it reveals itself to me, it’s a thrill that keeps me wanting to get to know more. What inspires you? I think almost anything has the potential to bring inspiration to us. I’ve sometimes found inspiration when I wasn’t looking for it, in the most unexpected places, but there are always things that have shown to be constant source of inspiration and, in my case, they have been: music, other artist’s work and literature. Preferred medium? Traditional pencil and ink for line-art and digital for painting. I’m working towards doing everything traditional, though. We’ll see how that goes. Formal training? I had a few years in an afterschool art program when I was in middle school where I roughly learned the basic principles of picture making but, after that, I pretty much developed my skills on my own by watching other people’s work and imitating their techniques. That’s how most of us really learn. Plans for the future? Meet up with my best friend at the end of the year. Illustrate for my favorite magazines and book editorials. Show at a gallery and travel the world.

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ericka lugo

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sergio lopez


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Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a full-time fine artist living in Santa Rosa, California. I am 28 years old. My parents are from Mexico, but I was born and raised here. What are some of your early art memories? I have always been drawing things since before I could remember. I used to copy cartoons out of Lee J. Ames books, and would devour coloring books. I had a lot of stuffed animals as a kid, and I would draw comics based on the adventures I would make them act out. I had quite the imagination, and I tried to hold on to it as long as I could. What things have you learned about your craft since then? I always thought I would end up drawing comic books or animated cartoons, but as soon as I started going to art school, I discovered a love for observation from life. I also learned art and illustration history, which showed to me the potential of what is expressable through painting. There is so much to learn. You have to live 100 lives to learn everything about the craft. What inspires you? My inspiration is ever-changing. It tends to follow what I am trying to achieve in my own art. I am inspired by lots of different things, but my biggest sources at the moment are the Early California Impressionists, American Realists, and photographers like Julian Humphries. September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.26

Preferred medium? I prefer oils for painting and Conte crayons for drawing. Formal training? I studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco for 5 years. Plans for the future? So many. I still have so many places to travel to. I would love a solo show in New York. I am working on a lot of different series. I plan on using these series to approach new galleries. I just want to see my art reach a wider audience. It’s been a really good year so far, and I am working to make it an even better 2012.

sergio lopez

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Grey drop waist dress, Kersh

je t’aime

photographer Jessica Luch model Chelsea Rea hair Kara R. Gilbertson makeup Ashley Parent

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Necklace, Urban Outfitters

Dress, Bootlegger Necklace, Urban Outfitters September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.34

Stripe dress, Ralph Lauren Sunglasses, H&M

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Grey drop waist dress, Kersh

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Stripe dress, Ralph Lauren September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.40


THE ART OF VINTAGE Evolution Vintage

Timeless Classics with Modern Flair

How long have you been selling vintage? Evolution Vintage opened its digital doors March 15, 2010 ( so I have been selling Vintage clothing and accessories for almost 2 years. I have however been a lover of fashion for as long as I can remember as well as a student of fashion history, design and styling I am self taught motivated on my passion for the art. What inspired you to open your own vintage boutique? The inspiration for the store came from several different areas. First, I have a very eclectic style sensibility. I love fashion history and the premise of styling vintage current. I don’t pay much attention to labels, price tags or time periods. I dress in what I love and think is beautiful. It is the re-use and repurpose of clothing and accessories that inspires me. Flexing your creative muscle where your personal style is concerned and trying something new can be an amazing experience that I wanted to share with other women.

vintage yellow caftcan, vintage coral dress

I also can’t stand to see the way we as consumers waste on such mass levels. The re-use and re styling of clothing helped me develop EVOLUTION VINTAGE as an eco-chic eBoutique. I have also always wanted to be a resource for women, not only to empower and inspire women through fashion but educate my clients on fashion history and styling. What are some of the perks of being an independent business owner? I love being able to set my own schedule and call my own shots. I have had extensive experience in a male dominated corporate setting and it is amazing not having to take direction from anyone. I am also able to “shop” for a living and put my time and effort into building something I truly believe in. I am able to do all this while I am in my home office close to my children.

“I dress in what I love and think is beautiful. ”

Evolution Vintage What are some of the challenges you face as an independent business owner? It is a very time consuming venture, especially in the “building stages”. The income is not consistent and you must expand your business fast in an attempt to open up as many revenue streams as possible. Vintage clothing is such a niche market and it is hard at times to reach my client. I have many one-of-a-kind items that come in one size; there is not much diversity which makes it more difficult. You have to be self-motivating and constantly creative which at times can be exhausting, but the overall rewards far exceed the challenges. The story behind the name Evolution Vintage? The term EVOLUTION is very powerful and will forever be relevant. Each day we evolve within our lives, we grow and change with the passage of time. Alongside our personal evolution and growth our personal style evolves as well as our lives change. Evolution Vintage is all about one’s personal evolution and the premise of re-styling fashions past into your fashion future; to evolve one’s style and inspire pushing one’s style boundaries. It is the juxtaposition of 2 key concepts: Evolution: future and Vintage: past. Why do you think ‘vintage’ has made such a strong comeback? Besides the fact that fashion has always operated in a cyclical manner, (trends come and go and then come back again) Vintage is unique in many ways. Many of the shapes, pattern/prints, textiles and materials are not used any longer. Some of the artistry in the vintage jewelry for example (fine or costume) is amazing utilizing techniques, designs, metals and jewels that are no longer or rarely used. It removes that mass consumption element from fashion and adds a more unique touch.

Mixing Vintage pieces (clothing and/or accessories) is a fabulous way to pay homage to fashions past while remaining current. Vintage will always be in fashion, after all the entire fashion industry is based on the recycling of ideas/concepts and designs. Any advice you would give upcoming boutique owners? I would simply say GO FOR IT. Give it everything you have and your passion will pay off. Be true to YOUR vision and don’t be afraid to ask for help, assistance or guidance along the way. Enjoy your EVOLUTION. vintage baby blue cocktail dress, vintage military style dress with belt,

steve kim

los angeles, CALIFORNIA

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Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a fine artist, illustrator, educator, curator, blogger and sometimes writer from Los Angeles. I am also a big nerd. What are some of your early art memories? Drawing Batman over and over and over again. It was all about impressing my mom. Now, it’s about impressing the internet. What things have you learned about your craft since then? How vital and necessary art is to living. Not just for me, but everyone I think. It’s a totally generic thing. Not unique at all. I used to be totally enmeshed in the talent/identity matrix and ultimately suffered for it. Now, I’m just another dude making art in a sea of dudes making art, and that’s ok. Of course, there’s even more people not making any art at all. That makes me pretty sad. What inspires you? The weirdness of life and culture. The older I get the more surreal and unbelievable the world seems. Weird enough to be

scary, and scary enough to want to avoid sometimes. In terms of visual art, I’m heavily inspired by commercial work. Video games, computer graphics, anime, illustration, design, fashion. I love a lot of fine art too but to be honest, like right now, I am way more excited about the art direction in Battlefield 3 or the new Evangelion rebuilds. I’m not necessarily proud of this. Preferred medium? Up until recently I had been working with oils exclusively. Right now I am doing a lot of technical, anal-retentive work with colored pencils. I really enjoy it. I’m also looking forward to working with watercolor and gouache soon. Formal training? I got my BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2006 and my MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2010. Plans for the future? A wife. Kids. Oh, and Team. (iliketeam. com)

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lilly piri


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Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Lilly Piri, I’m an australian illustrator and painter. What are some of your early art memories? Making straw bubble paintings, and my kindergarten teacher thinking the horse I had painted was a cow. What things have you learned about your craft since then? I’ve been lucky enough to have excellent teachers, and this has helped me enormously. The best advice I’ve ever recieved is to draw or paint from life, pets, willing friends/family, and your surroundings are free and available to paint. That said, I feel like I’m still at the beginning of my journey. What inspires you? Toys of all kinds, but especially old toys, vintage annual story and activity books, novels, seeing where and how other artists work, wild animals, pets, Wes Anderson films, insects, and where I live, too. Preferred medium? It depends on the day. I use colour pencils almost exclusively in my illustration work, but I’m also very fond of acrylics and oils. Formal training? I studied for years with Martina Pook, took courses with Greg Rogers, Marcel Desbiens, and Tony Champ. And finally, I studied at the Arts Academy in Brisbane, fine art with Kay Kane and Christine Kirkegard and illustration with Phil Blythe Plans for the future? I have so many ideas and plans, but right now, I’m working on making big acrylic paintings. I just finished the first one last night, and I had a great time painting it.

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frank gonzales queens, new york

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frank gonzales

Tell us a bit about yourself? I’m 35 yrs old. I grew up in Tempe, AZ attended Art School (Laguna College of Art and Design) in Southern California, eventually moved to Queens, NY where I currently reside with my girlfriend Christy, a cat, two turtles, some Orchids and Carnivorous Plants. I’m a big fan of music, coffee, craft brews, making art, looking at art, nature, pretty much being alive. What are some of your early art memories? I remember in grade school hanging out with my friend Robert. I would go over to his house and we would draw these abstract shapes and weird compositions on lined paper with markers and stick them on to his door. We were heavily influenced by skate graphics and stuff we saw in Thrasher. I had no idea what i was doing but it sure looked cool mixing checker patterns with bright blobs of color dripping. There was also this wall by the community pool in my neighborhood that was bombed with letters and characters. It blew me away. What things have you learned about your craft since then? Sometimes it feels like I haven’t learned a thing. Haha. I’m still learning and will continue to do so. There’s always new things to be learned about one’s

craft, otherwise you become stagnant and unchallenged. One thing I’ve learned is to work, work, work and when your done with that keep working. Everything else will fall into place. What inspires you? Being Alive

Preferred medium? Acrylics. Funny, everything i used to hate about acrylics I now love.

Formal training? Yes. I was classically trained, then learned to classically un-train myself. Haha. I was first introduced to the figure painting and drawing in community college. I had some of the best training from there. I was fortunate enough to take classes from some teachers that are no longer there. After exhausting all the classes I could take I was encouraged to apply to art school. I ended up attending the Laguna College of Art and Design. I had a great time and met some friends I will keep for life. Plans for the future? To keep painting and see where it takes me.

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kelly mckernan atlanta, georgia

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Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Kelly McKernan, I’m 25 years old, and I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I have been active as an artist and illustrator since 2008. What are some of your early art memories? I know that I spent a lot of my time coloring, drawing, and when I got my hands on paints or pastels, I ruined carpet after carpet. A few years ago I came across report cards from my elementary school years and all the comments mentioned how I loved to create things, or sit in a corner by myself with building blocks or doodled in class. What things have you learned about your craft since then? I’m learning things all the time and honing in on my style and skills constantly. But one of the major things that I’ve kept to is being open to variety and multi-media experiments. If I feel that I’m in a rut, I get out some odd materials and try something completely different to freshen my perspective. What inspires you? Everything. Lately it’s been color palettes in stylebooks from Anthropologie and other stores as well as the poses and angles that a model takes on in a fashion spread. But what really gets me inspired happens after I begin a piece: once I begin painting in the features of the figure, the piece takes on a personality I have little control of and it then becomes a sort of collaboration that makes me fall in love over and over again with the act of creating. Preferred medium? I prefer to work in watercolor. Also, gouache, ink, tea, and other aqueous media. I find that I work very intuitively with these, whereas with oils or acrylics, I feel that I have to think too much about what I’m doing and I enjoy the work much less. Formal training? I received my BFA in Fine Arts at Kennesaw State University in 2009. My concentration was in drawing and painting, but I also spent some time doubling in photography and printmaking. I originally went to college to become an art teacher, but I was too much in love with painting, so I switched. Plans for the future? For now, I’m just continuing to paint and work on commissions that come my way!

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nicole jarecz paris, france

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Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a fashion illustrator who recently graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI with a BFA in illustration. I moved to Paris in July 2010 and soon after found representation with my agency: Colagene. I’ve been freelancing through them ever since and feel truly blessed to be doing what I love to do. What are some of your early art memories? My earliest memories are drawing and coloring with my grandma when she used to babysit me. Throughout my childhood I always remember keeping a sketchbook and loving to color. What things have you learned about your craft since then? Going to art school really gave me a good basis on the fundamentals of illustration and design. After graduation I’ve continued to learn so much more about the business of illustration as well as the importance of perfecting my skill to finish quick deadlines. Going to school can’t teach you everything. I’ve learned so much this first year being on my own as a freelancer and through my agency as well. There are no limits with illustration. You continually strive to perfect your craft. What inspires you? I’m very inspired by fashion, traveling, photography and reading! Preferred medium? Graphite and photoshop. Formal training? Freelance illustrator at www.colagene. com. I’ve had contracts with Elle girl Japan, Glamour magazine Germany, Be magazine, Madame Figaro, and Company magazine to name a few. Plans for the future? I want to continue working in freelance illustration doing mostly illustrations for fashion magazines. But, I’m also interested in one day working in a fashion design studio or working in art direction at a magazine.

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the space between photography Natalie J Watts styling Rosie Williams makeup & hair Debbie Storey using Benefit, Tresemme, Laura Mercia & Blink Eyelashes model Erica at Models1 With thanks to


Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg Necklace (worn as headpiece): Coast

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg Necklace (worn as headpiece): Coast


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Dress: Stella McCartney Boots: YSL

Dress: Stella McCartney

Waistcoat: Balenciaga Skirt: Jacob Kimmie Belt: Stylist’s own Rings: Imogen Belfield Silver Claw bracelet: Imogen Belfield All other bracelets: Stylist’s own

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Picasso Citrus Tart

art in sin city The Bellagio Hotel & Casino by Murissa Shalapata The Wanderfull Traveler

Vegas has become a mecca for foodies to explore their decadent gourmand desires. However, it has also become a place to experience art, both Kitsch and “high-art”. I discovered, during my seventh trip to Las Vegas, what happens when the powers that be cross art and food in an effort to stimulate the senses to new heights. For my seventh visit to Las Vegas I chose to stay with the Bellagio Hotel and Casino for the first time. The famed fountains were always a point of interest for me and I learned from the 2001 film, Ocean’s 11, that they also feature an art gallery. This hotel is rarely calm with so many tourists flocking to see the impressive stained glass ceiling, the ever-changing flower Conservatory and, as previously mentioned, the fountains. The resort also offers a Cirque du Soleil show called “O,” an epic love story with water, fire and gravity defying acrobats. The show involves technicians and artists working together to offer guests a visually exciting and heart-fluttering adventure. This year, before guests entered the show, artist Richard MacDonald created an awesome showcase with his impeccably detailed Cirque inspired sculptures. September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.88

As for dinner, naturally, I chose Picasso, a restaurant at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, praised for it’s simple, inventive and delicious meals imagined by Spanish culinary artist Julian Serrano. Picasso paintings are on every wall in a dinning room that is elegant and carries the typical Bellagio pastel colours. You may recognize this dinning room from Oceans 11 where George Clooney and Julia Roberts shared their argumentative rendez-vous restaurant scene. As soon as you are seated in the restaurant it is indeed an experience with an extensive wine list that is more like wine’s story of origin. Upon being seated there are numerous waiters who will take care of any and all your requests. Of course, the luxurious service takes place while seated among the work of one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century, Picasso. If the paintings do not strike you as an interest then the views of the Bellagio fountains will be sure to entertain between the four to five courses and various glasses of Malbec or Champagne.

Picasso Veal Chop

I was given the option of choosing between two different menus that offer two gourmet experiences. The Prix Fixe menu is one hundred and thirteen dollars (US) while the Degustation is one hundred and twenty-three. I chose the most appealing and began with a dish of Warm Quail Salad. This is one of the more famous plates at Picasso and the flavour was familiar and yet exciting. I was eager to see what more was to come. The plating of each dish is itself an artful creation that I thought twice about disturbing with my fork. In this way the theme of art is well represented within the look of the food. However, with Picasso as a muse for a restaurant theme, I expected more edge, challenging flavours, much like the works that I dinned beneath. The food in this regard fell flat and was almost too simple to be related to Picasso and his work.

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My second course was a delicious and light Foie Gras au Torchon. I quite enjoyed the sprinkle of sea salt that brought out the creamy texture, however, this dish has been duplicated everywhere from Calgary (see my blog) to Texas. In this regard, I thought it would be more befitting if Marcel Duchamp and his L.H.O.O.Q would be a more appropriate inspiration for this dish, however, without any provocative challenge. Unfortunately, the main course did not impress either. A Veal chop with a jus that was less enjoyable than witnessing my dealer pull a Black Jack. I had much higher hopes for this restaurant but by the end I had the feeling that I was helping pay for one of the masterpieces upon the wall. I was warned by various other food critics and general foodies that if there is one thing about Picasso that will be memorable it is the final bill. I took a gamble with the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and my only bet that didn’t pay was the Picasso restaurant. Overall, the resort was a luxurious property that would be sure to fulfill the desires of art enthusiasts. However, foodies be warned, when art and food is combined, you may be paying for a small edible masterpiece that, in this case, broke the bank. Bellagio Hotel and Casino 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 888-987-6667 Picasso Reservations 866-259-7111 Thank you to the Bellagio for supplying me with photos of The Bank, Picasso’s interior dinning room and various dishes.

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amylee paris, france

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Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Amylee, I’m french and I have been a full time professional artist for 4 years. I was born in 1978 in the south of France (Nîmes). I have been working in Paris for several years. From design to fashion, fashion to decoration, and decoration to art and in 2007, I had my first exhibition in a gallery. What are some of your early illustration memories? My first memory is of a little woman I drew with a princess dress in a flower garden. I have always had very encouraging parents and art teachers. I grew up in a very creative environment and I learned The Arts very quickly. What inspires your style of illustration? I love telling stories about women, composing with different patterns, Haute Couture and the 70’s inspire some of my style. I am also inspred by fashion shows. I credit some of my influences to the Art Deco painters, french Fauvists, Mucha’s illustrations, Klimt and colors of Pop artists. Formal training? I always worked hard in school to hone my skills. I studied Plastic Arts, Fine-Arts and Design. I graduated from the French State University in Applied Arts and Design. I became obsessed with colors, shapes, and patterns. I have always wanted to be a designer like Marcel Wanders, Patricia Urquiola and Karim Rashid. Plans for the future? I love Italy and would like exhibit my paintings there. I am currently using (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Linkedin, etc) to show my work and communicate with people who love my paintings. It is really great and I have already booked several projects.

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carole wilmet belgium

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carole wilmet Tell us a bit about yourself? I’m an illustrator based in Belgium. I’ve studied graphic design but I have always drawn as far as I can remember. I’m very curious and interested in many things so I also studied webdesign, but now I’d like to concentrate on illustration. Drawing provides me a satisfaction that no other (even artistic) activity can provide. My style is mostly realistic and inspired by the fashion industry, I even like to draw ‘real’ people and situations of the everyday life too. I’m a hardworker even if I’m hardly ever satisfied with my work. It makes you get better I guess! :-) What are some of your early art memories? I can see myself very clearly drawing the Disney Princesses in my grandma’s kitchen. I think it’s the first thing I learned to draw, even if it’s not art strictly speaking. My love for drawing people and mostly girls probably comes straight from that time. I also used to read lots of comic strips (we have some great comics in Belgium) and then wrote my own little stories. As a child I wanted to become a comic strip illustrator or a stylist, and I grew up with this passion for illustration even if I changed my mind on the jobs I would want to do. On the other hand, I can’t recall the first time I went to a museum. I think you’ve got to be older to understand the true value of art. When you’re a child, you just want to make pretty things and, as a matter of fact, I still try to make pretty things today, even if I try to give them an more interesting background.

great apprehensions. I didn’t study illustration because I was terrified I would not to find a proper job. I don’t fear this anymore and I don’t regret any choices I’ve made! What inspires you? People in usual situations and beautiful things in general (a nice landscape, a nice face or a smile, even a nice coat or a nice umbrella in the street... it can really be everything). Beauty has a bad reputation in the arts because it’s supposed to be meaningless. Even if I give a lot of importance to the meaning of a piece, I think beauty has a role to play too. If it gives people happiness and comfort, than why not? Preferred medium? Graphite pencils and inks. I always draw on separate sheets, scan everything and create the final piece on the computer. Working with computers is such a comfort, you can make as many mistakes as you like, and always step backwards. This is not always possible with a pencil and this is exactly the reason why it is so interesting -- because it’s quite hard to use it well and you’ve got to really want it (and to really want to work too!). Formal training? Yes and no. I studied graphic design in ESA Saint-Luc in Belgium but never took illustration classes. When I was a child, my mother tried very hard to convince me to take illustration classes but I never wanted to. I thought I could learn by myself which is what I did. Now I fully realize how school can be helpful but I’m quite happy with the illustration level I reached by myself.

carole wilmet

What things have you learned about your craft since then? I’ve learned a lot during my studies. It was interesting not to study illustration but graphic design because we were given precious information about the creative process. I have realized that illustration can be more than just a nice little hobby but can become a real job -- this was one of my

Plans for the future? My greatest wish is to keep on working like this on and on and on... until I’m sixty and I can stop! :-) I just hope I’ll get better and better and that I’ll be able to attract bigger clients and contracts. I’d love to work for international fashion brands. Sometimes I also think of starting my own communication agency, but this dream seems a little further away in time...

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.112


travel designery San Francisco Street Art

by Lorena F., Travel Editor

You know, when it comes to San Francisco, you always hear about its beautiful Victorian homes, the bay bridge, and its hippie culture, but never did I hear anything about the city’s sensational street art! The Mission district runs rampant with colorful murals by local artists. Ethnic culture saturates the neighborhood with taquerias, bakeries and shops and you might just have to pause for a second and

question where you are again, lol. The most impressive street was Balmy Alley, a narrow little strip lined with art on the doors, walls, windows and any other visible surface suitable for paint. It was hard to stop photographing it all but you can only do so much in a given amount of time. The Mission was definitely the highlight of my stop in ‘the city by the bay’.

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.114

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.116

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.118

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.120

the quiet life ode to the land

photographer/art direction Stephanie Matthews stylist Jessica Strimbu @ Tin Roof Vintage All garments courtesy of Tin Roof Vintage makeup Olivia Moss hair Artra Edwards photo assistant Leslie M. Sheets assistant Stacyanne Headley model Taylor Thompson, Wings Model Management special thanks: Slate Run Historical Farm

Cotton gauze and lace blouse Silk skirt Tooled leather belt Leather boots

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.122

Antique cotton crochet gown Edwardian apron

Antique cotton crochet gown September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.124

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.126

Cotton day dress Leather belt Scarf: Stylist’s own

Antique cotton and lace tea dress Mohair/Wool cardigan Metal coin necklace Leather belt September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.128

Wool vest Wool and leather riding breeches Vintage watch & ring Boots: Aldo

Cotton petticoat Plaid shirt Leather and burnished brass belt Leather campus boots September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.130

joey leung hong kong

“Wishing Well”

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.132

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.134

Tell us a bit about yourself? I was born in Hong Kong and this is my origin and base for my artwork. I have loved drawing since I was a child. I studied biology in my first year at University of Hong Kong but I found that this was not my calling. The following year, I transferred to fine arts department at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Then, I started my career after MFA graduation. What are some of your early art memories? I learned traditional Chinese painting in university and I used this technique in my early artwork. I love

the slow and silent atmosphere of Chinese painting, especially fine brush painting (gongbi). What things have you learned about your craft since then? Besides Chinese painting, I also made some comics. I thought that it would be great if I could combine both in my artworks. So, I tried to use drawing pen to imitate the brush strokes of Chinese fine brush since 2005. It was an insteresting attempt because I had to imagine the brush stroke before making a line by drawing pen.

I also wrote peoms for my works. I hope they can enrich the stories behind the paintings. What inspires you? Everything in my daily life. I love to obseve people/things around me. Any of them can be the element of my creation. Preferred medium? Pen, colour pencil, Chinese brush and rice paper. I’d love to explore other media in future too.

Formal training? I received BA (Fine Arts) in 2000 and MFA in 2007.

joey leung Plans for the future? I don’t like planning too much but I’m sure I’ll keep making artworks :)

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.136

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.138


los angeles, california

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.140

Tell us a bit about yourself? I am a self taught painter living in Los Angeles. I grew up in a town called Riverside which is just an hour east of LA, and spent many teen years driving out here for music. Riverside was a land of suburbs and boring nights. I had attended College just after high school, but after 3 years of confining my style to appease my teachers, I moved to San Francisco to leave it all behind and start fresh. It was so liberating, and I first found myself there. After a few years, I was offered a completely new opportunity, so I packed up and moved home to start a tattoo apprenticeship with a friend of mine. I liked it ok, but I knew my real calling was painting. I have painted nearly every day since I was young, so I would come home and paint every spare minute I had. It calmed me, and fulfilled my obsessive need to create my own work. In 2000 fate gave me my first chance at a real art exhibit. I had so much work available, that they gave me the featured artist spot. And I sold works! It was unreal. Shortly after that, I started showing in LA with much success. I realize the timing was impeccable, and feel special to have had the exposure at the right time of the clock. But you can’t live off fate alone. I work hard to evolve and put every bit of myself into my works. I am lucky and humbled by my experiences to be where I am today. September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.142

What are some of your early art memories? I was always very encouraged to create since I was very little. My dad is a cartoonist, and back then a muralist for spare money, painting holiday windows in local shops. He always let my brother and I come along to help. It made me feel so important, even though I’m sure he had many mistakes to correct. I cherish those moments, and have tons of pictures to look back on. My mom was obsessed with taking photos of nearly everything under the sun. What things have you learned about your craft since then? I may have gone too far back on that last question! I’ve come a long way since then, but I put a lot of those types of childhood feelings and moods into my current works. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve. Being self taught is a process that takes endurance and must include a heavy heaping help of passion. I work incredibly slow and work tediously on small areas for probably too long. If you’ve seen my work, you know that you have to walk up right on top of the painting to see the precious detail. What inspires you? The most important thing to me is emotion, and it’s relevancy to every single painting I make. My work is very much about growth and learning on a personal level. So that inspires the feeling of the piece. Music is secondly and equally important as mood. It opens my mind, and speaks to me like nothing else in this world. I like to give my eyes beautiful things to look at as well, such as film, and illustrated stories, fashion, museum trips, toys, and travel. Certain things capture

me that stick in my head, and hold meaning far greater than anyone would assume. I like to take actual events and bring those to the work, but in a subtle way. Every day is my inspiration, and I just choose which experiences are most significant to make an appearance. Preferred medium? I find comfort in acrylic paints. And I apply it to masonite which is a very smooth board. My technique is very trial and error, but I found that thin layers of build up give me the quality I’m looking for. In the end, it has a very oil like quality. Formal training? I attended a few years in College under drawing and print making courses. I learned how to silk screen, work with linoleum prints, but never had any fundamentals to painting. I have painted very diligently since i was 13, with a practice makes perfect mentality. I know I still have so much to learn, and strive to challenge myself with each new painting or body of work. If you don’t have the desire, one can get lazy. I want to wow myself. Plans for the future? I’m just finishing the research stages of my next body of work for my Los Angeles gallery, and excited to be showing here again upcoming summer 2012. Excitedly I am going to try my luck at moving to England in the next few months. I have traveled there quite a lot, just returning from a 5 week stint there and I’m aching to live there for a while. Wish me luck! The new location will help my paintings flourish! And my soul rest, I’m tired of the hectic pace of LA. My mind wants serene lush landscapes and seasons. It’s all i can think of.

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.146

September 2011 VECU Magazine pg.148

VÉCU MAGAZINE September 2011-al  

Independent Artist The Art Issue {Collectors Edition}

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