By Kate Marsden
It’s time to get to know another member of team Just A Card! Today I’m chatting to the awesome Victoria Wright about her gorgeous, colourful work and the reasons why she works so hard for our campaign.
Tell us a little about you. What do you do?
Hi! I’m Victoria, (also known as @littlepapervee) and I am an illustrator, paper crafter and designer/maker. I sell my work online and through craft fairs, as well as doing private illustration commissions, and I am a 10th of team Just A Card! (I am also a part time picture-framer. As with most creative people I know, I need more than one job to survive!)
My illustration work is all hand-made from collage and little cut out pieces of paper. I then draw into them and scan them in to digitise. It’s a very time consuming way of working but I love collage and paper in general so I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.
Where do you work? What is your studio space like?
I work from my home, which is in South Norwood, in London. My spare room is now a dedicated studio space, full to the brim with all my stationery and paper scraps (there are a lot of them!) And I’m in the process of redecorating and covering the walls with colourful and inspiring bits and pieces.
It is a really light and sunny room, and after years of working at a desk in the lounge, it is a pleasure to have a whole room to get messy in!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently trying to take advantage of having a little bit more time early this year, and I am working on some new designs and developing my portfolio. I love selling through craft fairs and Etsy, but Christmas time can get a little crazy, and this year I want to focus more on my commissions and exploring new areas for my designs.
What ambitions do you have for your business over the next few years?
There are so many ambitions I have for my business and in general, but the top ones would probably be - to build up my portfolio for children’s book illustration – it’s a market I’ve never worked in but I’d love to in future. I’d also love to join a screen printing studio – I did some screen printing at home last year and I was really pleased with the results. I’d love to do much more of this in the future, and in a more professional set up.
Finally, my life goal this year is to learn a new crafting skill. Last year it was paper flower making, I made all the paper flowers for my wedding, which I really loved. This year perhaps weaving…
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing designer makers at the moment?
It can be hard to have a constant income from illustration/design, and have time for creating new things and enjoying the process. I’d love to dedicate more of my time to my business but I also like having another income, as it is flexible and works for me. Plus it gets me out of the house, and talking to people, which is sometimes an achievement in itself when working from home!
Do you have any tips for fellow designer makers/small business owners who are reading this and may be just starting out?
I’m still finding my way (aren’t we all!) so I’m no expert, but for me one of the most important things I’d say is to get involved with your creative community. Whether it’s getting to know other makers at a craft fair, joining a local art group or taking part in #justacard hour every Thursday (which everyone should do!).
I think the best way to navigate the perils of being a small business, is to know other people who may be going through the same things.
Finally, what does the Just A Card campaign mean to you?
On one level, the Just A Card message is simply about something we can all get behind – championing the work of independent makers and businesses, and reminding everyone how important it is to support those businesses. Just simple, small changes in our purchasing habits can make a huge difference.
For me its is also so much about community, as I mentioned before, being a freelancer can be a lonely job sometimes, but the platform that Just A Card has become, allows us all to join the conversation and help each other out – it really is a fabulous thing!