Meet the Members: Vicky Budgett
Vicky’s illustrations are full of life, just like her. Every day Vicky brings her client’s ideas to life through her enigmatic characters and inventive storylines. Having worked with the European Space Agency, Mailchimp and M&S, Vicky’s knowledge and creativity knows no bounds, and we love having her as part of the Gather Round family.
We caught up with Vicky over at Cigar Factory, where she holds a Resident desk full to the brim with plants and stacks of sketchbooks, to chat about her daily routine, current projects and if she has any hot tips for those starting out in the illustration industry. Check it out…
Can you tell us what you do and what an average work day looks like?
I am very lucky in the fact that I don’t have an ‘average work day’. Each day is different from the next, with client’s either contacting me on the day or at the beginning of each week to discuss their up and coming projects. I can find myself working on storyboarding or any other form of pre-production work such as visualising, concept work and character design. I love my job as it can completely vary from working on a television commercial, drawing up a few visuals for the European Space Agency, to storyboarding for an internal explainer video for De Beer Diamonds.
Saying that, there are a few certainties in my everyday work life. The first would be picking up a sausage baguette from Parson’s Bakery, conveniently situated in between my house and Gather Round Cigar Factory. I enjoy them so much that embarrassingly I can find myself being lured in by the freshly baked aromas most mornings, so much so that I’m on a first name basis with a few of the staff members. They always have my order ready for me when I come in and continue my morning ritual by filling up my obnoxiously large coffee cup at regular intervals. This is a minor addiction I have picked up since moving to Bristol and I think it is fair to say that I’ve been fully converted.
What are you listening to/watching at the moment?
Whilst working I am a big fan of having a revolving door of various audible options. I often will start the morning off with my standard Spotify playlist. Big love for Joy Crookes and Sofi Tuker. ‘Summer in New York’ was my song of this summer. Then, after the emails have been checked, I lean into my collection of podcasts. This can be anything from a morbid episode from ’Sword and Scale’ (the best true crime podcast, in my opinion) to something a little lighter and interesting like ‘Stuff You Should Know.’
In terms of things I have been watching, I have just finished ‘Better call Saul’ which was great, a perfect prequel which doesn’t overshadow its predecessor. But I am now tempted to go back and rewatch the whole of the Breaking bad series. Last weekend I was told to check out ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’, which certainly put me off my dinner, and definitely required me to end the night with an episode of ‘The Great British Bake off’ to help me relax a little before bed.
What excites you most about the creative process?
Even though I offer a variety of pre production skills, my first love is storyboarding. Receiving a script with an open brief is my favourite and it’s definitely the thing that excites me most.
I love the challenge of visualising my interpretation of the script, figuring out the best way to sell the story and keep the audience engaged. I often then work closely with the art director to see if our visions are a match. And when they are, it’s the best feeling! But even if there are tweaks to be made it’s great fun to scratch our heads and work together to problem solve, creating new and better solutions.
Once the work has been signed off I rarely get to see the finished product, as the projects can often take months to make and will often get chopped and changed around a lot before making it’s way on to the screen. But every now and then you will catch a glimpse of your work and it is really great to know you helped steer the creative storytelling process of that particular piece of film or T.V.
Any top illustration tips or creative advice?
I’m guilty of not doing this enough, so this is advice for me to take note of as well. But keep drawing, try to always have a pen and some paper on you! It’s not about having a beautiful finished piece of work, it’s about capturing moments in time. Anything that inspires you, catches your attention or makes you think.
As creatives we need visual aids to help inspire us to create, so if you have a pocket book illustrating everything and anything that has caught your attention, you won’t need to keep hunting for inspiration when you need it.
Also, It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the vast sea of other immensely talented people. Try not to be intimidated by others. Keep your head high and remember you will always have something unique and valuable to offer. Sometimes it’s just about working with people that can see that in you, building your confidence and creating a brilliant working partnership.
What kit/tools can you not live without?
My go-to programme of choice is Photoshop. I begrudgingly had to learn it during university, back when I adamantly wanted to curb the need for digital art and be an advocate for hand drawn, traditional artwork for animation. But alas I gave in, and now I can’t imagine a work day without it.
I have now officially joined the army of new-age artists who will tap the imaginary command/ctrl Z button when drawing or writing the simplest of things in a notepad or birthday card.
Do you have a favourite artist/illustrator who really inspires you?
I have so many artists I follow and are in awe of. Miles Johnston is the most recent artist I admire and keep buying prints from his collection. But there is one particular illustrator, a woman after my own heart, called Cassandra Calin.
What do you love about her work?
Cassandra Calin’s posts are so relatable and real that each one will make me smile. She captures the simple pleasure of life’s trials and tribulations so effortlessly. I have my own character which I often like to illustrate, trying to capture my own day to day challenges, in the same way she does.
Anything you’re working on at the moment that’s exciting you?
In between my work I like to spend my time working on my short children’s book stories. During the pandemic I took an interest in writing short stories and developed a real attachment to three of them. I am in the process of illustrating them at the moment, as I would like to try and create a mock up version of the books and hopefully share them with a literary agent. I have a real desire to try and branch out into the world of editorial or print illustration. Hopefully, one day I can have my own books and artwork published and featured in shop windows.
Why did you choose to come to Gather Round?
When moving from London to Bristol back in the summer of 2021, I was excited to be moving in with one of my good friends and her beloved Dalmation ‘Beano’. As you can imagine working from home comes with many distractions, one of these distractions in my case had four legs and lots of spotty energy. I was also looking to meet new people and immerse myself with Bristol’s creative culture. After spending 5 years working from home in London, I really had an itch to find a studio environment to work in.
It was definitely safer for my pens, pencils and sketch books to have their own place to call home. Gather Round has also proven to be a lovely way to start my day. It gives me a reason to get up and out of the house each day and to meet fellow creatives in a friendly and warm atmosphere.
I was so lucky to find Gather Round only a four minute walk away from my house, which also helps reinforce the idea that Gather Round is not only a creative work space but also a beautiful community.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Vicky! If you want to see more of Vicky’s work you can follow her on Instagram.