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Feature Artist - Victoria Clare Gray


Thus begins our feature artist spotlight! This month, we'd love to introduce you to Victoria Clare Gray. An artist and maker from the UK, Victoria is a fine arts graduate, and has created a beautiful style of drawing that we've been obsessing over. It only feels right to feature Victoria as our debut artist! 

Finely detailed florals, insects and nature-inspired pieces cover her Instagram account - the best way to quickly view her work and what she's been up to. Themes of life, chaos, order and growth run rampant through her intricate works, those of which are available to purchase via Etsy. Victoria has smaller pieces to purchase too, including patches, canvas totes and enamel pins. She also runs a website where you can view her gallery of detailed projects.


Image: Chrysanthemum embroidered patch


"I distinctly remember drawing orange elephants at age 4 and feeling happy. It just became something I did. It was a big part of my personality. It's strange how I never really gave much thought into what I'd study if I were to go to university - I knew from a young age what it would be."


Finishing a Fine Art degree at Lancaster University, Victoria is now a practicing artist in the Lake District, and also works a day job at a local cafe. We spoke about what inspires her, what got her started, and how she's finding her feet in the online art community. 


Images: Victoria's studio workspace


How has your work developed since graduating your fine art degree?
V: Well, at uni I was still working on projects lead by my interest in animals and insects. I ended up constructing an installation of hundreds of hand made wax insect eggs. I also made layered drawings on acetate of insect skin seen under a microscope and built them up between sheets of Perspex to create these small 3D drawings that appeared to float. I'd say I still have the same interests and concepts but I decided to start at the beginning again and just draw. It's also super expensive to produce the things I attempted at uni, when I graduated it was just one of the worst times economically in the UK, I just needed a job - any job. I moved out and art just wasn't a priority sadly. 

Images: Insect egg art installation

Where does your inspiration come from?
V: My inspiration comes from other female artists online, just browsing through my Instagram feed feels so good sometimes. When you've got mutual followers on Instagram that you've been following and growing with for years, it's great getting a peek into their lives and hardships and thinking, 'they're doing it, look at them go, I'm gonna draw something today too!'. 

Image: Waratah print

How do you overcome self doubt and a lack of inspiration?
V: I just went through a little patch where I was lacking inspiration, and it's because I just wasn't trying anything new. The littlest things, like watching a movie you wouldn't necessarily choose to watch, can help you relax your mind and open it up to something new. I overcome self doubt by doubting constantly and still doing stuff anyway - and worrying about it through the whole process. How else do you live!


"I've got these naturalist roots in my family that are now showing through me." 


How are you finding your feet as an emerging artist in the online world?
V: I guess I just hope the hate stays away for as long as possible! I'm here because it feels good to share something, to contribute. To show others that you can start a small business and run it how you want, especially when you have day jobs on the side. I think it's so under appreciated how much experience and how many transferable skills you gain from running an independent online business. I always get real nervous when applying for jobs and going to interviews. I've always felt as if I'm not good enough, so finding my feet online has helped me find my feet offline too. 
I need to get better at communicating online; I'm not really a part of any online art communities, and when I get invited to join such things I'm just too shy. Please know that if you contact me to get involved with a social art collective and I stay quiet, it's because I'm nervous!

Image: (Top) Opium Poppy & (Bottom) Shedding Cicadas

What project are you currently working on?
V: I'm getting back into birds. I'm starting a new series that is kind of taking me back to how I used to work. I just want to push myself to make these the best. The best I can achieve. More detail, not rushed, getting that composition just the way it should be. While incorporating my love of botanicals too. 
My Dad is a bird photographer so I have this source of amazing reference photos that I should really take more advantage of. He also has a friendly moth trap, which attracts moths by night and then they're set free by morning - but he takes photos of all the different species he finds and they're so beautiful. I've got these naturalist roots in my family that are now showing through me. 

Images: 'Struggle'

Victoria hopes to be travelling around the world in the near future, viewing art and galleries along the way. We cannot wait to see more of Victoria's work, but in the meantime we encourage you to check out her social media links and website (links below), and support her passion with a follow, a message, or by purchasing a piece of her intricate art - be it print, patch or pin. Victoria is blossoming into such an incredible voice for aspiring artists, and we're beyond excited to continue watching her grow.

Instagram; @victoria_clare_gray
Etsy store; VictoriaClareGray

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