The Incredible Artwork of Veronica Owens of Skyla J Creative Consulting
Sitting on my dining room table as I type this are pieces of Ms Owen’s designs – two books that feature her creative artwork on their covers. This was how I was first introduced to her work. My interest grew and I thumbed through her portfolio. This is when I found out how talented she really was. It is a bit demeaning to call Veronica Owens a graphic designer. She is an artist. Every since she was young, people gave her tasks and tools and she created from them amazing work even before she knew she could. Continuing with our Women’s History Month series, I’m happy to introduce Veronica Owens.
DOGG BLOG: The creative use of color and curves in your designs are entertaining to the eyes. Have you had any formal training or are you self-taught.
VERONICA OWENS: I am actually self taught! LOL. When I was in college in Florida (FAMU) I was working for Universal Music Group as a College Marketing Rep. One day I was approached by one of my managers who asked “Do you kow someone who can design a flyer?”, and I replied “I CAN!”, however I had NEVER designed anything in my life. I didnt even own a computer at the time. My manager gave me $200 “on the spot” to complete the design within a week, so I went to the computer lab and forced myself to figure out to how to use the Photoshop program and to create the flyer. Needless to say (lol) the design turned out GREAT, and I have been in love with the design industry ever since that experience.
DB: I see that you know your way around a paintbrush and canvas as well. How long have you been painting?
VO: Well I have always been artistically inclined. When I was small, around first grade or so, I would ask the other kids if I could do their art projects for them. Around 7 or 8 yrs old, I started drawing pictures and going door to door around the neighborhood selling my “artwork” to my neighbors (lol). Painting however wasnt even a thought in my mind until I was in highschool. I saw one of my teachers painting an Andy Warhol type of image when I was passing her classrom in the hall. I informed her of my curiousity and she let me have a set of oil paint and 3 canvas’ to take home with me. Ever since that day, I have not been able to put down the paint brush. Its somewhat thereputic. I think I get the talent from my mother. She, my brother, Robert (Rob) and myself all paint and have had our work featured in various art shows.
DB: Do you find physical art more or less of a challenge than digital art?
DB: When did you realize you had an artistic gift?
VO: Although I always had interest and derived pleasure from creating artwork (as mentioned above), I didnt really realize it was a skill until I started receiving recognition and requests for me to create artwork for others. Initially, I was always asking others if I could make something for them, and when I was about 12 or 13, I was asked to create a paper mural at the Little Company of Mary Childrens Hospital (lol). I remember it was a scene with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Eor. I remember thinkin “Wow, they want ME to do it?”. At around 15, I was asked to participate in a live art show featuring some of Chicago’s most well known artist, such as Melvin King. I think at that point, I really knew I was on to something.
DB: What are your favorite software and hardware tools to work with when creating digital artwork?
VO: I absolutely ADORE, Photoshop and Lightroom when creating digital artwork. I love the ability to create vibrant colors and eye catching scenes with just the click of a mouse. You can do SO MANY things with Photoshop – the posibilities are limitless. As far as hardware, although a Mac machine is known to be BEST, I can work with anything. In my opinion, its not about the hardwhere you work with, its about the the person working with the hardware.
DB: What type of clients do you generally deal with?
VO: I honestly get a very large variety of clients. Of course I get the typical club promoter that needs a “hot” eye-catching flyer. However, more than anything I deal with a lot of start up companies looking for logo’s and brand development and authors looking for book covers and illustrations for childrens books. I also get a lot of work from photographers that want to enhance photo’s and give their clients artwork rather than just a simple photo. Models also contact me often for photo retouching.
DB: Since we are celebrating Women’s History Month do you have any advice to women that may be trying to enter the male-dominated world of graphic design?
VO: I would just say stay true to your passion, and always remember it’s BUSINESS. Some people take business too personally, and that is where things can fall apart. Dont be scared of a little competition. Use that to fuel your fire and make you work harder! I’ve become very discouraged; thought this industry was not for me, but if you stay focused and continue to give out quality work, you will find your mark and be a success!
Veronica Owens is owner and founder of Skyla J Creative Consulting, a graphic design firm located in Chicago, IL.
To see more of Veronica’s work you can visit her at:
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