A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories
This month’s featured artist, Vikki Vassar, is a multi passionate mixed media artist creating unique pieces that incorporate her love for nature, local flavor and all things pop culture. Vikki’s work invites viewers to come along for the ride of a one-of-a-kind creative journey.
Vikki Vassar | Mixed Media
How would you describe your work? Fun and weird. Nothing is ever exactly the same, and I work in a variety of mediums. Lately, however, I have been doing a fair amount of digital work. Given that my work experience for my entire working career has been some kind of retail, I take a very Lisa Frank-esque approach to things: Along with originals, I digitize and translate my work to stickers, prints, and I am always looking into other products.
What local landmarks have been your favorite to design? Oh, definitely the Silver Moon Saloon and the Shell Station. Those are two iconic Winston-Salem landmarks. The Silver Moon Saloon holds a special place in most folks’ hearts because it’s such a dive, but everyone there is so great. The Shell Station is a great piece of novelty architecture. There were only eight built nationwide, and ours is the last one standing, thanks to Preservation North Carolina.
What influences your art most? Most of my art stems from whatever I’m observing or learning about. I occasionally dive into Winston-Salem’s history for fun, and find things to draw there. For my non-Winston art, it’s more about what I’m doing at the moment. I like to work off of photos I’ve taken on my phone, so that’s why you see a lot of Winston-Salem, or a lot of nature. I love insects and mushrooms. I grew up watching Masterpiece Mystery Theater on PBS with my parents – it was Ed Gorey’s illustrated introduction to the show that has stuck with me all these years. You’ll see a lot of his influence in my work, along with pop art influences.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist? My mindset about art has evolved a bit, but I continue to maintain that everyone is an artist – they just haven’t found their medium yet. I love to watch people explore to find that medium. Art is inclusive. As for the way I make art? It hasn’t changed. My mental process for art hasn’t changed. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all – I think it means I’m consistent and I know what I like.
How do you carve out time to be creative? I make time when I am feeling creative. Either I’m working at home on my computer, or I bring my sketchbook where I am and doodle; art can be very portable.
What are you working on right now that excites you? Honestly, I’m taking a break right now. I believe artists need to practice self-care, and take breaks when they feel creatively tired. I hope to be in the Ardmore Art Walk coming up on Nov 5th and I am 100% looking forward to that.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists? If you’re online, use your accounts to show the world what you’re doing! Progress shots, videos, finished pieces… the exposure for artists relies heavily on the internet these days. Don’t be afraid of showing your errors and mistakes – it encourages others!
If you are interested in learning more about Vikki Vassar, you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook via @thatblondegirlvikki as well as find her work online at thatblondegirlvikki.com.