Joni Prittie April artist of month

I have just had the most wonderful conversation with Joni Prittie. She graciously allowed me to interview her as my artist of the month, and I would like to thank her very much for her time and wisdom. She is truly an inspiration to me and my work. Her kindness and generosity are much appreciated. She is originally from St. Louis Missouri, a fellow artist from my home state. She lived in England for over ten years and in the states in both California and New York state. She now lives in Oregon. She has worked with Andrew Holmes as both artist and editor.  She said that editorial for vector art meant cleaning up those tiny blue dots for endless hours. She used to close her eyes to go to sleep  and for a few minutes, see little blue dots moving around. His site still highlights her work and provides glass etchers like myself with a huge body of artwork.  vectorart She told me that Andrew got the idea for his vector art site at a car show watching the pin stripe artist. He thought wouldn’t it be great if I could help people pin stripe their cars. He went on to create a huge body of vector art in the Mega Art Collection series. Joni worked for Andrew as a salesperson for four years and it helped her to be out talking to the end users.

I was curious as to whether a vector artist would prefer to draw her art on paper or use the computer. Joni said at first she would draw on paper and then transfer to computer but later she began creating directly on the computer, however she still enjoys drawing. One of her favorite things to draw is horses. She told me a story I will share with you. While in England she was walking by a riding stable, and decided to go in and watch people riding their horses. She set next to a lady and struck up a conversation, and it came up that Joni was a artist. The lady asked if she could draw horses, and Joni told her she had been drawing horses since she was eight. The lady hired her on the spot to go to her friends house and draw her favorite horse for her birthday present. When she arrived at the designated address, it was Buckingham Palace! The horse belonged to Queen Elizabeth! A man met her at the gate and took her back to the stable where she set in the stall and sketched the horse, and was even served tea. She said it was an amazing reddish brown horse. I would go so far as to say it was most likely one of the finest horses in England. After she had been there for about five hours she had several drawings, and she met with the lady, who loved the drawings and paid her. They both went on their way. Later she realized that she had not kept a copy of any of the drawings.

We decided that that is what art is all about. Being so caught up in your passion about art that you don’t notice the little things like how did it get dark so fast and how could I not be hungry after all this time and why didn’t I get a copy of those drawings? I asked her if she felt that art was something that had not been created yet. Some say that fine art is something that has not been done before. That it must be original. I would love for some people to offer their opinion on the subject. Her response was that art is alive and it takes on a life of its own. It is always new because we are always creating it. When you create a piece of artwork, it has not been created yet, it is new to you, it is part of you and all of the influences that have created you. One of the things Joni recommends is facing your fear and going past it to create. Artists grow into the unknown and co-create. She said to stay with your heart and your passion and it would take you places that you had never planned on going. She said art gives us joy and it brings happiness into other peoples lives, and we have the responsibility to make use of the talent that we have been given.

Joni loves the idea that art can be connected to machines. Her father and both grandfathers were tool and die men, machinists. The vectors can be used by a whole host of machines, such as laser engravers, cnc woodworking machines for making wood carvings and of course my favorite, the plotter for making stencils. Joni is still creating vector art on her Macintosh G-4 computer, she likes the stability and says the older programs are perfect for drawing. She said she has moved from flowers to the more technical drawings.

Joni has given me permission to post a gallery on my site to show people some of my favorite designs. If they are my favorite then you know they would make awesome etchings. Joni says you should live life on the learning curve, to never stop learning and trying new things. She also says you should put your fear behind you, why be afraid of a little yellow pencil? She sees art and artists as translators. Each artist sifts and filters art through themselves and then gives it freely to the world.

Joni has a blog at prittie-illustration
She has a Etsy shop at VeryPrittie

Here are some of the questions I asked.
Do you prefer to create on paper or on the computer?
She prefers to draw on the computer now there are less steps and it is more satisfying.
We talked about how you could spend all day trying to get one line to look perfect.
On paper she perceives it differently than on the computer. Small imperfections are easier to notice on a computer monitor.
Do you paint to create vectors?
Yes, and then she doodles with them until they are perfect. She likes vector art because it is most useful to people.
Do you prefer a specific machine?
Yes a Macintosh G-4 . She uses a older version of Illustrator because its more stable and she likes the drawing tools, although she does have a newer version.
Do you have special pets?
She has a herd of deer that make the rounds to her back yard on a daily basis and a flock of wild turkey that come by too. A special deer she has been watching had somehow broken its leg. It is getting around OK and is raising her fawn. She seems like she is not in pain and appears to be enjoying life. Joni said she has learned a lot from watching the deer. It makes you stop and appreciate all the things that we have but take for granted. Her father taught her early on to be still and observe nature.
Why do you like the regency period?
She likes the furniture, the period gowns and architecture.
Have you had formal training?
Yes, She went to the Western art college in St. Louis, and Washington University for painting. For the most part, she is self taught. That is good news for me. I hope to be on the same level as her some day.
Are vectors your favorite art form?
Vector art has become her favorite because she believes in drawing art for the customer that she can use. She likes making art that people find useful.
What do you most want to be remembered for in your profession?
She would like people to remember that she never quit, she was able to draw every single day and that made her happy.

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