Interview: Naomi Vona

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Naomi Vona has a love for collage and design. Naomi uses a lot of vintage photographs, stickers, pens and washi tape to make her designs. I was lucky enough to interview Naomi about her work and shop. 

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

Hi Rhiannon! Thanks for giving me this opportunity. I am great thanks!

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

I have always been fascinated by paper since I was a child. In 2002-03 I seriously started to work on collages, while I was an academy student in Brera, Milan.

Have you always been into illustration, collage and design?

Yes, as I previously said I always loved to paint and make art stuff. As a child I liked to copy characters from Disney comics or illustrated book, and experiment a lot with pens. I never stopped to be obsessed with pens! I studied art in high school, and then completed my studies in Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan (design and then photography).

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

Work on giant vintage portrait prints, like huuuuuge!

What equipment do you use for your work?

I mostly use found paper as vintage photos, paper ephemera of all sorts, stickers, washi tape and pens. Sometimes I also use “normal stuff” as acrylics.

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What tools or materials could you not live without?

Pens!

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

These online channels allow me to keep in touch with people from all over the world. This is also a great way to stay in touch with fellow artists that I cannot meet in person.

Who inspires your work?

I am more inspired by art movements and styles as Dadaism, Surrealism and Pop art. There are plenty of contemporary artists that I really enjoy and they are my daily source of inspiration too. I am grateful to many of them!

Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment?

I have always loved a particular piece by Joan Miró called “Painting” (1927) that is at the Tate Modern.

What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?

I am trying to organise more off-line events around London as markets and workshops. I am sharing these events through Instagram to give followers more insights about my art practice outside the online world. I hope that they will enjoy these new contents!

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What are you currently working on?

I am creating a huge postcards series of 200 landscape pictures. I am working on all of them together, so it’s a massive work and I hope that I will be able to complete it within this summer. Fingers crossed!

What’s your typical working day?

Every morning I take care of replying to emails, comments and update my online socials. In the afternoon I take care of working on my projects and prepare orders or commissions.

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Trying to have some visibility and recognition. It’s always hard, but I am quite stubborn!

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

I am hoping to increase my offline presence through workshops. I truly love to have a direct contact with people that enjoy art as I do, and these sessions are also inspiring. It’s more about learning than teaching!

Do you have any advice for anyone doing craft fairs?

Choose wisely the fairs that you want to attend. Sometimes it’s hard to determine which one will be the best for you, but don’t rush your decisions.

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What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Never look at what the world around you is doing. Art is not a fashion trend, so screw the trendy crap! I do what I do because is connected to my personal life, my past, childhood memories and personal inspirations. Always follow your life experiences, they will guide you through a unique style, because you are unique! 

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to do collage?

Practice, collect images that inspires you and always be fearless in experimenting with new tools.

What’s next?

Just continuing to learn something new.

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Always move forward, no matter what. 

You can take a look at all of her work on Instagram 'https://www.instagram.com/mariko_koda' and Etsy 'https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NaomiVonaArt'.

Tomorrow there is a collage workshop at CassArt Islington! All the the information can be found here:
'https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/vintage-collage-nostalgia-workshop-with-artist-naomi-vona-tickets-46544558026'.