I have known Valleri Jillard for several years, having worked with her in our bookselling days in Birmingham. Since those days she has taken a different path and developed a new career as a talented textile artist. About three years ago I had an idea for a new section on my book blog Tales from the Landing Book Shelves, about booksellers who had moved on into various creative avenues. The long and the (very) short of it is that the section never progressed any further than its beginning, with a piece on Valleri’s work. Hence my momentous decision now to move Valleri (in a strictly virtual sense you understand) to grace the pages of Curiously Creatively instead. I have copied over Valleri’s original artist’s statement (2013) and pictures, then added a few of her newer pictures to create a fresh gallery. I have re-done the links given previously, so they should be current, but put a comment below if anything doesn’t work properly.
Inspired by Life and Journeys…
Since I was a child, I have loved colouring and doodling. But being an artist came much later. For years, I worked in bookselling and although I visited art galleries I never took it any further. Then about ten years ago, I decided to take an art foundation course and so it all began. My final piece had some basic stitch in it and I was eager to learn more about embroidery and textiles and enrolled on a City and Guild Textile Diploma. I haven’t looked back.
After finishing the diploma, I became part of a textile group Art-Upfront and we successfully toured with our collection of altered art bras in aid of breast cancer. I also belong to Artistree a group of artists from Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
My work is often based on journeys. These journeys can sometimes be literally inspired by walks by the sea, the Lake District or local to where I live. Sometimes my work is a much more personal journey using my own life as inspiration. I use all sorts of media to create my pieces. From fabric, often hand dyed, to painted handmade papers, maps and ephemera. I embellish my work using stitch, beads, sequins and found objects. Really, anything that takes my fancy.
I constantly use sketchbooks and journals as a source for recording information and samples that lead onto the bigger picture. I am currently working with another group of artists on a Travelling Journal. Each artist does two pages for the Travelling Journal: one an inspiration and the other what it has inspired. This is providing some light relief from my main work at the moment that is titled The Layers of My life, a very personal journey.
Valleri Jillard, 2013
Images are copyright and cannot be reproduced without permission from VJ.
Check out this link to Artistree to discover even more talented textile artists!