Featured Artist: Vonkowen
If you are looking for a “blend of humorous cute and weird, grim, creepy, devilish stuff” then Vonkowen’s designs are a perfect fit for you. The DBH artist jokes that her work is like “immortal souls of cuddly kittens wrapped in chocolate crepe seasoned with hot sauce and flambeed with Pelinkovac.” Her designs are a perfect blend of the sweetness of chocolate and the bitterness of the popular Croatian alcoholic drink, Pelinkovac. Her art — although seemingly dark and morbid on the surface — hides amusing elements as a reminder to not take life too seriously.
Vonkowen — who is currently living in Croatia with her fiancé and their dog Freyja — mainly pursues vector art. She loves that with vector art “the paint never dries and you can always come back to a design and improve it, make it into something new.” However, she would love to focus on improving her painting with oils and acrylics as well. She jokes that she’d love a DeLorean to travel into the future to see if she has “perfected her voice” with these new mediums.
Vonkowen admits that she is “never satisfied” with her work because it always feels like it can be improved upon and she can “get caught up in the details for hours” when she is creating. She’ll sometimes get the urge to delete her work after spending too long on it, but she has learned to walk away and take a break instead. In fact, taking time away is easier for her now because she’s mastered the ability to organize her design files. She jokes that naming a file something like “sr6gtesd68a4g_final_final2_imdone_final6.svg” wasn’t always the most efficient system and that her new organization has helped her improve her creative process.
She jokes that if we switched places with her then we should expect it to be “very noisy” in her head because her mind is always busy. She confesses that she has to have a book or a tv show available before bed to help calm the noises in her head. Vonkowen shares that “being creative is just a part of my life and personality, there’s actually no need to balance it – comes very naturally.” Although she also confesses that she can occasionally “get very caught up in my work and forget how to human” as well though.
Vonkowen shares that it can be difficult to get “caught up in the social media” element of being an artist in today’s society. She understands it is a necessary part of the job, but she also believes that it can “prey on your insecurities” and become an agonizing part of being an artist. However, she has learned that a “person’s worth is not measured in the number of fans, followers, and likes” and she is now able to focus on when her work truly touches someone instead. She acknowledges, “I learned to forgive myself for being imperfect” and encourages others to do this as well.