Friday, May 29, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Pamela Vale

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I feel like my informal, organic art education started pretty much from birth, with my teachers being two very different but very creative parents. Having a parent that was a recognized artist in the entertainment industry, another parent that is incredibly gifted with style and trend awareness and having lived in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, I was deeply immersed in an environment surrounded by creativity and fantasy.

Throughout my childhood, I always knew I was different where art was concerned. Anything creative or art related came very easy to me and I couldn't get enough of it. It was really some kind of involuntary force or drive that needed to be satisfied. Having parents that recognized and supported that drive made it possible for me to experiment with pretty much every medium or craft available at the time. In fact, one of the best holiday gifts I ever received from my parents (as a teenager) was a huge box filled with everything I had circled in a FLAX Art Supply catalog...EVERYTHING!!! It was amazing and almost 30 years later, I still use some of the tools that came in that gift.

I never thought I would do anything other than be some sort of artist as my profession and ended up going to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California, graduating with a degree in Fashion Design.

I am constantly learning and a lot of what I do now is self taught, building on a good foundation of more formal art education. I love to learn, I am very curious about new techniques and I enjoy finding unexpected ways to use common tools.

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

Over the years I have enjoyed working in many mediums. The majority of my career has been as a Decorative Artist, painting murals, decorative finishes and hand painted furniture and home accessories. For that part of my business I used primarily water based or acrylic paints. I have painted on every surface you could, paper, ceramic, wood, fabric, metal, etc...

I also use watercolors, Prismacolor colored pencils or even watercolor pencils. I am intrigued by the whole Copic marker phenomenon and while I have a nice set going, I haven't yet mastered the execution. For vibrant, translucent color, I really enjoy working with Dr. Martin Dyes. I use them with a paint brush like you would work with watercolors. I think there is something kind of cool when your paint comes out of an eye dropper!

Over the last few years, my whole creative life changed with the purchase of a Wacom drawing tablet and my continued education of Photoshop. Where have these tools been my whole life?! The realm of creative possibilities has no limit now...that's really how it feels and it’s marvelous.

So currently, I draw most items by hand, either on paper or more frequently on my tablet. I scan and color, edit, highlight, etc... in Photoshop. I also use my own photographs to build on.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

As far as inspiration on a bigger scale, sometimes, I am so inspired by my immediate surroundings, it becomes overwhelming. Again, it feels involuntary. I notice every detail of wherever I I write this at a local coffee house, every time I glance up, I see something new...some design element...the wood rails on the backs of the chairs, the stripe in the booth fabric, the stria in the floor tile, the way the branches in the potted tree make little "v" shapes, a pattern someone is never ends.

Pattern artists will get this....I was recently in a restaurant bathroom and as I stared at the tile border, my mind immediately did a "pattern repeat check" to find where the design repeats (does anyone else do this?) and I was annoyed when I noticed that in several places, the carved flowers in the border were not set using the correct repeat which made some of the same flowers end up next to each other instead of more random I'm sure the designer intended. I actually took a picture and had a brief thought of sharing the oversight with the restaurant owners. It's funny now and I know that most people would NEVER even notice. It's kind of a sickness.

On a smaller scale, when I need inspiration for a specific project or job, I first go surfing. Not on the water...but online. The amount of visual information available to working artists in this day and age is incredible. That's almost always my first point of attack. I google all kinds of phrases and words to begin to build a frame of reference in my mind’s eye. I LOVE Pinterest for this.

I am also supremely inspired by existing design elements and client briefs. I love to work with a random group of prompts and craft them into a cohesive image or collection. I love client feedback and really enjoy collaborating. That is one of the reasons that designing custom tattoos has been such a wonderful fit for me.

What are you working on now?
I am at a very exciting point in my career. After full time decorative painting for 20 plus years, I decided to take a break. I was having some physical issues related to repetitive motion, I was burnt out artistically and needed to refuel creatively. I took a couple of years off from having my art be my main source of income and focused on other things. About three years ago, those artistic embers began to smolder and grow until I couldn't ignore them anymore. I began designing the custom tattoos for an international website and within a few months became their top selling artist, where I have remained. This got me back in the art game and exercised my drawing skills.

I am so excited to return to art as my full time job with a new focus as I transition to art licensing and illustration. I believe that there are no accidents and that things happen for a reason. I know that everything I have done, all of my experience and training, has lead me to this point and this niche.

I am currently working on building collections for art licensing and to offer in my own online shops.  Also, in the near future, I am hoping to sign on with an art licensing agent for that division of my business.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I am very grateful for the advances in social media and technology. When I started my business, there weren't outlets like this to share current work, market yourself or even just to connect with fellow artists. Being an artist can be a solitary profession and these advances have made it possible to collaborate, inspire and support each other in ways that just a few years ago were not available.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I'm kind of flexible. If I don't have to get up in the morning and I am enjoying what I am creating, I can stay up all night and never even notice the time until the sun starts to rise...but, recently when my husband and I were having a conversation about where we might like to move someday, he asked me "do you want to see the sun rise or set?" And my immediate answer was "rise"...

What is your favorite food?
More of a food group.....but I LOVE vegan deserts!! Not having refined or processed ingredients tastes so much better and they don't "set me up" to want to binge, making it possible to really, thoroughly enjoy every beautiful bite.

This is a favorite recipe from The Minimalist Baker website “5 Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles” (

You can find Pamela:

Business Name: Veggiemuse
Veggiemuse on Facebook:
Art Licensing Show Portfolio:
Private Portfolio: please email me for access
Veggiemuse on Instagram:
Veggiemuse on Twitter:
Veggiemuse on Pinterest:

I am checking out the "Salted Carmel Peanut Butter Truffles"! YUM :-)

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