MEET #7716 VANESSA MCKEOWN
Illustrator • London, UK
WNW Member #7716 Vanessa Mckeown is a newborn freelancer, having just left Fallon last week. The London-based art director/photographer divulges some delicious insights into her ongoing series playing with food, and reveals some of her pop culture influences.
Vanessa also shares advice she'd give to her high school self: "If you're moving into the art/design world, grades aren’t important. It’s the work that counts. Do what you love and everything will have a way of working itself out."
Also, sprinkles make her happy.
How long have you been freelancing?
I just started this week! I was working full-time at Fallon last week.
Is there a time or place that you feel most creative or have the best ideas?
It’s always when you least expect it. Like when you’re on the loo or when you're falling asleep. Basically when you can’t write it down!
What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
I take it as it comes so it’s always changing.
Do your parents understand what you do?
I don’t think so, they are very old school.
What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what three websites would you take with you?
Youtube - For entertainment
Google - It has all the answers
Tumblr - Keep my blog updated :)
What do you do when Not Working?
I usually work on my own stuff and try new things out. If I’m not doing that I usually go running, or watch repeats of The O.C.
Do you have a hidden talent?
Getting really good cheap holidays. I get really obsessed and search the whole Internet. So I guess I could be a very talented travel agent…
Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
Meet lots of people!
What's your favorite thing on the Internet this week?
I love this Instagram - it really makes me laugh
Any WNW members whose work you admire?
Where did the inspiration to work with food come from?
I think it comes from it being so visually appealing and I guess I tend to go towards what I think looks pleasing. I love strawberries and bananas.
Any favorite pieces of yours?
I liked the Good Gone Bad mushroom where it looks like a sprinkled doughnut. Sprinkles make me very happy.
Jessica Walsh posted one of your pieces on her Instagram recently. Did you know her before?
I’ve always been a fan of Stefan Sagmeister since art school, and I love their work together. I came across it by mistake and when I saw it, I had a celebratory cup of tea and cake at 10pm. Ha!
It made me really happy that someone I admire would like my work. It’s cool how she posts other people’s work. More people need to share the love : )
Bonus round time!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer. I thought I was really good at arguing. I’m not any more!
Two truths and a lie:
1. Once I made gingerbread house that was A3 sized.
2. I accidentally used eyelash glue in the shower.
3. I’ve got a cat called Yoghurt.
Last things you Googled:
1. Daily Mail (don’t judge me! )
3. Tesco Groceries
What’s in your bag right now?
Moisturizer, two hard drives, a t-shirt, keys, tea bags, USB sticks, and hair grips.
Top pop culture influences growing up:
Cities you’ve lived in, summed up in one word:
I’m from Wolverhampton, summed up in one word would be "sketchy."
Dream place you’d like to move:
I would love to move to California! I love San Francisco and Palm Springs.
Current music obsession: what do you have on repeat?
Death Cab for Cutie! Reminding me of being 17 again : )
Best social networking site:
I love Instagram
I love Steve Jobs quotes :D
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” I love this one. It’s a bit extreme but I think it’s important when showing work. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks because one day we won’t be here so you might as well just go for it.
And this one Alain de Botton wrote: “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.” I'm happy to say I'm very embarrassed of who I was last year.
You gotta love quotes.
Advice you would give to your high school self?
If you're moving into the art/design world, grades aren’t important. It’s the work that counts. Do what you love and everything will have a way of working itself out.
Anything else you'd like to add that we haven't asked?
Everyone should read Show Your Work! a book by Austin Kleon. It’s life-changing.