Alternative Realities with Vanna Grace

We’re back with another wonderful artist for our Alternative Realities series. COVID-19 has made these past few months difficult for all of us. Not being able to see or hug our friends, being stuck at home all day, feeling like you need to be productive, and when you’re not, feeling like you have somehow failed. This is a historic, once in a lifetime period where the world has come to a standstill and we all need to adapt to these new circumstances. We asked a diverse group of artists within our TITLE community to put what we all have been feeling to paper and make art out of our current situation.

Vanna is a talented, young artist from Central Florida who makes illustrations in her free time. She fell in love with oil painting when she was 13 and hasn’t stopped since. Most of her art is portrait art that revolves around nature and the way we fit into it. Sketches and doodles of dogs, frogs, fruits, flowers, and fairy-like faces fill her brightly colored Instagram feed. In this interview with her, we talk about self-growth, her being fired from her job, what inspires her most, and how she channeled the entrapment she’s felt during quarantine into the artwork she created for TITLE.

1. Please introduce yourself briefly and let us know what you usually work on. 

My name is Vanna and I’m a 20-year-old illustrator from Central Florida. My artwork is primarily centered around living things; people, animals, and plants. I really enjoy playing with textures, pencils, and gouache- a medium of choice recently.

2. How has the pandemic influenced you so far? Has the experience been very negative?

The current pandemic has definitely impacted me. I was furloughed from my part-time job in March and my freelance jobs were canceled. Most people would see this as a terrible thing, but I have thankfully taken it as a chance to develop my art, experiment, and work on self-growth.

3. What is your usual creative process, while working on a project?

My creative process is brainstorming, development sketches, step away from the idea, rethink, create, and finalize.

4. Could you explain how you handled the Alternative Reality project and what went through your mind that lead you to your final piece?

At the start of the project I was feeling trapped and confused by the lockdown and the alternative reality I was living. As an artist I tried to channel those feelings into the project. The world changed so fast, everything felt dark and hopeless, but I kept in mind that this won’t last forever. I tried to transfer those feelings into the final piece.

5. How would you describe the difference between your reality and the alternatives?

The artist in painting is painting hope on her canvas while coming to grips with her new grim reality.

6. Would you say you are a realistic person and good at self-reflection?

Yes, I am realistic and very introspective.

7. What inspires you the most, especially during hard times like these?

I’m inspired by motivational books, music, and the resilience of the human spirit. I also enjoy restoration projects-helping worn out things find new life. I look up to a variety of artists, not one in particular.

8. What is the first thing you will do after the quarantine?

The first thing I will do after quarantine is go thrift shopping and to continue to support the small businesses in my community.

9. Is there any advice you could give to people during this hard and confusing time to keep being motivated?

To stay hopeful, try to look on the bright side-things usually get better, stay connected to friends and family.

10. Is there anything you would like to add on your piece for this project, that you think people might not understand´?

My piece represents the past, present and future. The transparent cube she sits on represents her past stability. The paintings on the artist’s wall, represent the quarantine situation. She painted feeling trapped and hopeless. The future is the painting on her easel. She paints life coming from the box as she is growing from the situation that used to make her feel trapped. 

Thank you Vanna <3