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Meet Valerie Veator

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Veator.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I think most people who make things as their livelihood have been making things their entire lives. In that way, my narrative seems pretty commonplace, but I do remember the moment that I decided to take myself seriously. I was living in Brooklyn and managing a gallery in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at the time, and became close with one of the artist’s we represented. He saw something in me that I could only fantasize about seeing in myself.

I decided to work my ass off so that I could move my entire life to LA and start an MFA that paid me to attend and teach. That was the moment I first tasted the freedom of self-determination, and it was then I realized there was no turning back.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What good story comes from a smooth road? No. It has not been smooth. Along the way, however, there have been some fantastic moments that have kept me creatively and spiritually nourished, and inspired me to continue on my path. Part of the struggle of being an artist is that you constantly have to advocate for yourself… even if you have crippling anxiety, or depression, or trauma! Not to mention, if you went to art school, as I did for undergrad, it most likely was private and très pricey.

Let’s not even get into the topic of $tudent loan$. I came from a very poor family, with absolutely zero resources, and an abundance of ambition. I worked nearly full-time since I moved to Brooklyn in 2006, while barely completing a BFA – I even dropped out my last semester only to return the following Fall. Doh. It was a long hard road, but it was hitting bottom that drove me to rise above. It took years, and YEARS, before I showed my work or even sold anything, let alone believed in myself. In my opinion, all artists tend to possess an element of doubt in themselves, and it’s that lack that drives the journey forward.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I make the paintings using watercolors, archival pigment prints on silk, and collaged textiles. All of my work functions within the gesture and language of abstraction. Each work usually consists of multiple layers, both physically and digitally, that simultaneously collapse and distinguish themselves from one another.

My work generally does not exceed human scale. It’s important for me to have my work really speak to a person intimately as if it were my surrogate. My subtle, loose-handed marks are distilled and bleed into other gestures to the point of near anonymity, and the hand, though blatantly present, is also removed. I love these contradictory moments in paintings when you can see a something like an image, a fragment, or a color or disappear and resurface in a single moment as if it happened right before your eyes.

In addition to painting, I also produce limited edition artist books, limited edition silk scarves, as well as an occasional custom silk ensemble, but only for someone I truly love.

Art making to me is the way I connect with people, most especially my loved ones. I make work for a very small circle of people, with the hopes that others will connect too.

Especially since 2016, in order to encourage an even more meaningful connection, I donate a portion of my sales to advocacy groups such the ACLU, The Trevor Project, No Mas Muertas, and Planned Parenthood. I feel that raising awareness, connecting with communities, and paying my success forward to those less fortunate is the most important thing I can do as a global citizen and as an artist.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is only knowing how to fail really, really well.

Pricing:

  • paintings = $250 – $1250
  • scarves (edition of 25) = $75
  • limited edition artist book = $5.00

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Katie Shapiro

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