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.

 Photo by  Fraser Taylor , Feb 2018.

Photo by Fraser Taylor, Feb 2018.