It's raining, it's pouring, and quite honestly, we're sick of this awful English weather! The sunshine cannot come any quicker are we right?! Luckily however, we have the perfect antidote to those grim grey skies in the form of Victoria Topping's vibrant artwork... If you love colour you'll most definitely love her - so it's about time that we let you in to our little studio chit chat!
Before becoming an artist, you began your career working as an illustrator… So if you could illustrate any book, what would it be and why?
I’m actually in the process of illustrating a book at the moment. It’s a large illustrated book on the Greek gods and Myths I’m so excited about it! It’s a perfect subject for my work…
We definitely agree – it’s a perfect subject for the mesmerising patterns and images you create! When it comes to producing these illustrations you use a combination of techniques, including the computer. Do you have a favourite tool that you use for this?
The swatches. It’s a little pallet of textures and patterns that I have uploaded from my photos and mark making. I use it to fill shapes and lay them over my drawing to add life and texture.
That’s so clever! You definitely use technology to your advantage which we love. Speaking of which, you’ve just started using the iPad… Do you find it hard to “draw”?
Not at all! I use a pencil which is incredible - it responds to pressure and even the angle of your pencil so you can shade. Once you get used to the texture of the screen it’s amazing how good it is. I’m always very keen to embrace new technology. VR and 3D Painting is what’s next on my list.
We don’t think we’d be able to do anywhere near what you can do on the iPad… You’re so talented! Aside from technology, you also use a variety of collage elements in your work too. Are there any that you’re yet to use but want to feature in your work in the future?
Absolutely I have thousands of photos and elements stored up ready for the right project.
That’s very organised of you! Speaking of projects, if you could collaborate on a print with anyone (dead or alive!), who would it be and why?
Probably Keith Haring as I’m such a huge fan; his boldness and expression perfectly encapsulates the time and the music that I love. He was also very good at dealing with important issues in his work in a way that was educating and empowering to the viewer. Love is the message!
We couldn’t put it better ourselves! On the subject of love and music, we know that your passion for 1970’s jazz is an important influence for your work. If you could design a promotional poster for any music artist, who would it be?
I’m very lucky to be able to do posters and records sleeves for some amazing artists but I am yet to do Grace Jones - she is my all time favourite muse!
She’s definitely inspirational! Now an all important question, if you had to pick one, what would the theme song to your life be?!
You can’t ask a record collector this question there is too much to choose from! The album I’m listening to most at the moment is Curtis Mayfield - Something to believe in, psychedelic soul, love and social justice that fills me with inspiration.
To be honest his album sounds right up your street and describes you down to a tee! Your other passion though which comes across in your artwork is your love for colour and vibrance. So would you rather a world without colour or a world without music?
Ha! No one has asked me that before....I think I would rather be dead!
Haha that says a lot! But finally, where do you see yourself in five years time?
Making bigger and better art!
We're always told to look on the bright side of life... Well, that most definitely won't be a problem now! We're jumping up and down with joy to announce that Victoria Topping is the latest artist to join the Eye Like family - and oh boy, what an entrance her prints have made! If you're looking for art to make your walls pop with colour and energy, keep on reading...
Last week, we visited Victoria's studio to meet the woman behind the eye-popping designs, and of course, to get the nitty gritty on her work. And well, let's just say that upon setting foot in her studio, we were immediately taken aback by the multitude of colours and patterns adorning the walls. In fact, due to the outstanding vibrancy circulating the entire room, it was difficult to know where to look first. Impressive to say the least! However, there was one question on our lips that we were eager to learn. How on earth does Victoria go about creating such distinct artworks?
In short, Victoria creates her work with a fusion of technology and traditional techniques, ranging from painting to photography, cut up collage (subsequently scanned onto the computer) to gold leafing. For those of you that love a bit of glitz and glam, on a selection of her prints she even hand applies Swarovski crystals as a finishing touch (taking approximately two days to complete). Rather snazzy don't you think! To excite you even further, as technology adapts, cleverly Victoria's work evolves with the times too. As of recently she's been using her iPad as a drawing aid - how uber cool is that!
However, it was apparent when we looked at her prints in more detail, just how eclectic these elements really are.. Victoria's mother is a world leading expert in historical wallpaper, and with her exposure to the interiors of amazing stately homes as she was growing up, it's no wonder that fabrics feature widely within her work. However, as well as different textures, the collage components of her prints also range from patterns and shapes, to photographs of soap bubbles and even a close up of an eye. (Her own eye to be exact!) In fact, many of these collage aspects act as recurring motifs within her prints, the idea of the 'third eye' being one of them. Animatedly, Victoria tells us how she loves the idea of her 'eye' looking out from her prints, acting as a surreal journey from her studio to their new homes.
The result of these diverse techniques are prints quite like you've never seen before. Totally distinct, her bold artwork is heavily influenced by 1970's jazz and her passion for music. (This influence is all the more obvious when she tells us about her background in the music industry as a DJ.) Indeed, it was whilst she was DJing and creating her own promotional posters, that she was scouted by record companies to produce commercial artwork for their music artists! However, as well as the influence of music, Victoria incorporates and emphasises elements of spirituality and culture into her artwork, giving the work a "unique soul".
If there's one thing that we can say for definite, it's that these jaw-dropping and spirited prints will most certainly turn heads on any wall. But is it any wonder really that these modern designs radiate her evident passion and vitality? Victoria's aim, as she said at her studio, is to produce artwork that will provide us all with happiness. Now, we certainly can't argue with that!
Spring refresh season is upon us again! The dark days are nearly over, meaning that your home is ready to say hello to a whole new rejuvenated look... But who has zilch ideas on where to start? Don't fret! Peek into the real homes of a few special Eye Like clients, and take inspiration from the hottest walls on the block...
The rumours are true - as you can see, wallpaper is truly back with a bang! And this gives you the perfect excuse to get totally creative... You can mix and match artwork and wallpaper displaying similar textures (or if you're feeling really brave, contrasting colours too) to create an eye-popping and interesting effect. The important thing to remember? Be bold to achieve the greatest impact!
Dare to be different! One way to achieve the x-factor on your walls is to team together a modern print with an ornate and traditional frame. Far from ageing your print, the contrast between the two styles creates a distinct and uber fresh look, guaranteed to turn heads. And after all, it's a well know fact that opposites attract, right?
Yes yes yes! Now this is how to create a gallery wall... Produce a jaw-dropping vision like this one by placing vivid artworks of different sizes and styles all across one side of a room. A top tip for you though? Go with your heart, display what you love and try to stick with your guns. This client is 100% led by instinct and just look at what they've created!
Doors, windows, cupboards, you name it. It can be difficult to display artwork when a wall is split into two. Or is it? If symmetry is right up your street, pair artwork of the same size by one artist, as this client has done, to create a striking mirror image effect. Your guests will be doing a double take with envy as they walk into the room!
Looking to liven up a monochrome room? Find yourself just one distinct and vivid print - the brighter the better! The contrasting colours will cause your artwork to be the centre of attention, but the break in tones will also lift the hues of the surrounding furniture. It's a win-win situation!
Hanging art on the walls is great, don't get us wrong. But we have to say there's something so fab about straying from convention... And we have just the solution in the form of a big art trend for 2018. Art blocks of course!
Whether it's for a print, lenticular or 3D art installation, box frames can truly make a smaller artwork stand out, with the other bonus being that it's super easy to move them around as you wish. After all, it's nice to have a change of scenery a once in a while! In our opinion, box frames are the perfect way to utilise the space within your homes and to get truly get creative. So before you get down and dirty organising your own, are you ready for our four inspiring ideas?
Uh oh. It’s that dreaded time of year again… We’re faced with dark mornings, dreary evenings, and worst of all, the festive season is well and truly over! And don’t get us started on getting out of bed in the morning…
Now, if your January blues are getting too much to handle, no fear because Eye Like is here to come to the rescue! Forget #MondayMotivation, we’re here with our #JanCan edit – seven super prints to seriously stir you from your sleep and help you to embrace the last weeks of the Wintery season. So go on, let art give you a good talking to - say bye bye to your bed, and hello to the day!
Dream of Flying - Alessio B
Come on, what’s not to love about this irresistible print from Alessio B? What better way to leap out bed in the morning than by dreaming of all your hopes and desires! Whether it’s ruling the world, climbing Everest or facing your fear of heights, this inspiring image ensures you’ll be fantasising all day long!
Have Faith - Courty
Sometimes you gotta’ have faith, faith, faith! And on cold, miserable days, that includes faith that the day is going to be awesome, right? This limited edition giclee print (produced from Courty’s original neon artwork) is so utterly vibrant that the words will almost certainly resonate with you throughout the day…
Everything Is Shit - Steve Powers
Because everyone wants a compliment in the morning… This rare print by Steve Powers is perfect for the cheeky ones amongst us, and of course, people who don’t take life too seriously! We don’t know about you, but here at Eye Like HQ we love a bit of humour, and this is one print that will no doubt get you chuckling... Now, if that’s not a good wake-up call, we don’t know what is!
I F*cking Love This Place - Dave Buonaguidi
Yes it’s a given, you probably do f*cking love your bed… But on the flip side, we’re certain there’s somewhere beyond your bedroom that you love even more! Get yourself geared up for the day with one of Dave Buonaguidi’s typographical prints, each printed on an intricate vintage map. Whether it’s a regular haunt, or indeed a place you can’t wait to visit, you’ll want to jump out of bed knowing a true adventure lies in store at this special place.
Bucket List - Lene Bladbjerg
One of our favourites is the simplicity of this print by Lene Bladjerg… How to get motivated 101: you can quite literally wake up to your bucket list every morning – a fantastic reminder of the incredible experiences to come! What we love about this print is that it can be customised if you wish by scribbling your own list on top, or simply leave it blank on the wall and leave your imagination to fill it… The world is your oyster!
Build What Really Matters - Lora Zombie
The most thought provoking print on our list is by grunge artist Lora Zombie, and yet again she manages to unite good old eye-candy with some much needed words of wisdom! We don’t know about you, but if we woke up to this kaleidoscopic colour and motivational motto every morning our outlook on life certainly would change… Mindfulness anybody?
Amusement - Ben Eine
At the end of the day, life is meant to be full of amusement isn’t it?! Even if you wake up feeling down in the dumps, this gorgeous and ultimately glitzy print by Ben Eine is likely to make you sparkle all day long… We’ll take that any day of the week please!
Eye Like Gallery.