Interview with Why Not Art
Amidst the bustling and energetic Brixton market lies Valerie’s creative haven. As we pass market stands, small restaurants and various shops, she smiles and unlocks a door to the men’s toilet. We are then led up a flight of stairs to find a hallway full of hidden artist studios.
WNA: What is your go to karaoke song?
VS: Any song really, I love singing and making noises for everyone around me.
WNA: If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?
VS: I would probably be my cat, I have always wondered what it would be like to go inside of her head and see the world as she does.
WNA: On the WNA website, you chose the owl as your spirit animal. Is there any reason in particular?
VS: I first started to think that my spirit animal may be a cat or maybe a wolf but I am most productive after about 6pm. I usually work at night, which is a bit weird, but that is when I get most of my inspiration to create. This is why I feel a connection to the owl.
WNA: When did you know that you were an artist?
VS: Since the very moment when I knew how to hold a pen, scribbling everywhere. There was a time in 2012, when I was still living in Latvia, that I studied chemical technology, however, I left that and decided to pursue my true passion, being an artist full time.
WNA: Would you say that you find more inspiration and creativity here in London or back home in Latvia?
VS: Oh here by far. In London, I am encouraged, by my peers and fellow artists, to experiment and everyone is supportive of your creative endeavors. Here I can also be around different cultures and it’s beautiful and inspiring!
WNA: Your work has a lot of graffiti like elements to it, what in particular do you love about graffiti?
VS: I love graffiti and mark making, as I have been doing it since I was a young kid. I especially love the large scale you can use to work with graffiti. I used to be in a little graffiti gang in Latvia growing up. We would leave our tags absolutely everywhere – on benches, walls, literally everywhere. It was so much fun! We all had different nicknames and it was definitely a fun period in my life. All together we were about 8 people and all classmates from school. Some of them still do graffiti today back in Latvia, which I love. They are always asking me for collaborations, however, I rarely go back home, maybe once every two years or so.
WNA: What is the main aspect that you would like your viewers to know/ take away from your work?
VS: I want viewers to look at my work and hopefully it triggers their own thinking process. I want them to be able to find answers to themselves through experiencing my work.
As we finished our interview, she plans to stretch and prime a few more canvases so she could begin painting new works in the morning. A lovely person, Valerie is very talented and a self motivated individual. We packed our cameras and said our goodbyes, hoping that this would not be the last visit to her studio.
Read full interview on WNA's website.