Hey awesome peeps!

If you’ve found your way here from Katie’s blog as part of the Get Messy end-of-year blog hop, I want to extend and extra friendly “hihihi!” with bouncing, and grins, and probably a little hug too.

If you’re an old hand, I’m just as pleased to see you.

It’s been a true joy to be a member of the Get Messy creative team this year. I’ve been encouraged, extended, and inspired by that community in ways I could not have imagined. And one of the people who has been central to that has been Vanessa. I feel like V is a soul-sister. We have so much in common, and while our art and styles are very different, we share some fundamental loves and common values that make me feel like we were always destined to be friends. Here are five things I love about V.


ONE: She speaks in symbols.

Vanessa has a deep appreciation for the symbolic. She loves the tarot, she explores archetypes, and she’s continually investigating the magical relationships between people and signs. This makes her work endlessly fascinating to me. It has depth, and relateability, and makes me feel like there’s always something to learn from it.





TWO: She’s a feminist.

Women feature heavily in V’s work, and she consistently represents us as powerful, queenly, complex, and beautiful. She explores the many facets of femininity in her work, and I find that glorious.





THREE:She has a sense of the macabre.

As a forensic archaeologist, Vanessa spends a lot of time thinking about life and death, and dealing with human remains. This professional preoccupation consistently spills over into her art, resulting in anatomical details, skeletons, and other reflections on mortality and the beauty and fragility of life. It has become a defining feature of her style.





FOUR: She’s an experimenter.

V is never restricted to one artistic medium. She uses markers, paints, tape, chalk, old photos, staplers, magazines, pastels, playing cards, and more to create amazing art. Her work is filled with a glorious variety of textures and is often interactive and layered. She makes me look at almost everything around me as a potential art-making material, and I love her for that.





FIVE: She is an encourager.

She’s an incredibly engaged, and consistently present part of the GM community, and makes it her mission to uplift everyone around her. To be in V’s creative sphere is to be inspired.




If you want to spend some time learning from Vanessa about how to include symbolism and archetypes into your own artwork, you can sign up for her ‘Totems’ class here.

If you’d like to be inspired by her art, and see glimpses into her life on the regular, you can follow her on instagram.

Her blog is the next stop on the hop, so click here and hop on!