Today I am so excited to share with you my latest "Artists to Know" interview with two of the most driven artists I've ever met. Eight or so months ago I took Ben to one of their openings and he talked to Jacob about his work. After we left he told me that of all my artist friends he felt the most confident that Jacob would be successful, and I feel the same way about both him and Amelia. These two talented illustrators opened up their own studio called "BONFIRE RVA" which Amelia says "is a place where people come together to build the fire they have burning inside". This place has become a powerhouse for creativity, full of natural light and motivated, passionate artists. These two have big dreams and I have no doubt that they will accomplish them. So without further ado, please sit back with a cool and refreshing drink and learn how to be awesome, courtesy of Jacob Eveland and Amelia Langford:
First things first, who are the artists who belong to BONFIRE RVA?
"Our artist Jacob Eveland mainly works in black and white. He creates work that is blended from his past experience. He is heavily influenced by nature and when he spent time growing up in a antique shop.
Our artist Amelia Blair Langford is a multidisciplinary artist that works in illustration and graphic design. She has a concentration in pen, ink and graphite studies."
Above Image: "The Bloom" by Amelia Langford
21'' x 27'' Ink and Graphite on Paper
What is the driving force behind your art making?
Amelia: "Inspiration through experience. I have an illustration series called, "The Treasure Hunt Project" that I began in 2010. I travel and create illustrations based on the community, residence or town that I am inhabiting at the time and finding the treasures from within."
If you could tell the world one thing with your art, what would it be?
Amelia: "Never lose site of your imagination."
Above Image: "The Sith" by Jacob Eveland
8”x10” Ink on Illustration Board
Where is the place that you feel most inspired?
Jacob: "The place I feel most inspired is when I am out exploring."
How much time do you spend viewing other artists’ work?
Jacob: "I am constantly looking at other peoples art if it is voluntary or involuntary because of the fact I am looking at the world around me."
What is your favorite local gallery, and why?
Amelia: "Ghost Print Gallery here in Richmond, Virginia because of the continuous, illustrative atmosphere that is presented from our local artists."
What is your favorite medium to work with & why?
Amelia: "My favorite medium that I like to work with is Prismacolor 005 black pens. There a sense of visual pleasure using such a small gauged pen with my technique of drawing that is very rewarding to me."
Where do you prefer to buy your materials?
Amelia: "Miscellaneous local stores to support our local economy. I always try to buy local as much as possible."
Above Image: "The Push and Pull" by Jacob Eveland
11”x14” Ink on Illustration Board
What is the strangest material you’ve worked with?
Jacob: "Mixing tooth paste with graphite was strange but had some cool effects. "
If you had all the money in the world, what extravagant artrelated purchase would you make?
Amelia: "I would buy a 100 acres of land to start my own artist residency."
Favorite local art supply store?
Jacob: "Plaza because it is the only one we have. I miss Main Art. "
BONFIRE RVA Studio
Who chose the name BONFIRE? What was the reason?
Amelia: "Jacob and myself chose the name BONFIRE. We chose this name because this studio is a place where people come together to build the fire they have burning inside. The shape of the studio is a triangle which is also the symbol for fire and the streets around the studio create a triangle. "
How did you choose the location for the studio?
Jacob: "I was looking for a space that multiple artists could work in and this space was perfect for what we needed."
How would you describe the atmosphere in the studio?
Amelia: "It's a wonderful space to work in. Jacob and I renovated the space about a year ago and have transformed into a place we like to work at. We have huge picture windows that lets in beautiful natural light that lights up the studio and I find that very inviting and refreshing. "
How do you see BONFIRE RVA evolving in the future?
Amelia: "We see BONFIRE RVA growing and reaching out even further. We plan on taking Bonfire RVA on the road to do even more events than we currently do. We have so much support from Richmond already and very honored to call this place home. We are both very excited to see what the future has in store for us."
What is/was the process to become a BONFIRE artist?
Amelia: "To be a Bonfire artist, we simply ask to be passionate in being the maker or creator that you are. "
Above Image: "The Hunt" by Amelia Langford
18'' x 24'' Ink on Paper
Many artists say they spend 50% of their time creating art and the other 50% marketing themselves. If you could break up your work day into percentages based off of how much time you spend marketing yourself, marketing BONFIRE RVA studio & creating art – how would that look?
Jacob: "I used to work 70% of the day and 30% of the day was dedicated to marketing myself. Now 40% of my time is dedicated to teaching, I create art 40% of the day and 20% of the day goes to marketing myself. "
How did you come up with a profitable price point for your art?
Jacob: "Charge a piece by square inch. You only know what your work is truly worth."
What books, magazines or websites would you recommend to beginner artists/business owners for ideas?
Jacob: "Modern Hieroglyphics Magazine, Sterling Hundley Blue Collar White Collar, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, Juxtapoz Magazine, HiFructose Magazine and the list goes on."
Above Image: "Fly, Fly Away" by Amelia Langford
8'' x 10'' Ink and Graphite on Illustration Board
Many claim that college isn’t necessary to be an artist. Do you feel art school helped or delayed your path to becoming a professional artist? What were the best or worst things about art school?
Jacob: "It depends who you are and if you know how to work hard and network. The best part of college is building a group of friends that help push one another. The college professors give you insight on how to build your future. The problem a lot of students have is that they do not ask the correct questions and don’t take what they professors tell them. Some people should live in the real world away from their parents before they got to college. They will have a better understanding on what needs to be done to survive. Then when they go into college they will push harder to make something of themselves. College opens you up to mediums and people you would never meet otherwise unless if you go to networking events. These events can be expensive and you can sink yourself if you don’t know what you are talking about so no matter what you should take some form of art class. "
What advice do you have for those who want to pursue a career in the arts? What do you wish you had known before you got started?
Jacob: "Be as professional as you possibly can, and keep improving because you will never master what you are doing. You need to know the business side. Get yourself out there. You will learn and your work will change and grow over time. Before I got started I wish I would of known how to personally frame my work but I know how to do this now but it would of saved me money in the long run."
Above Image: "Tranquility" by Jacob Eveland
16”x20” Ink on Illustration Board
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever told you about your art?
Amelia: "The nicest thing anyone has told me is that Mr. Guion ( one of the greatest teachers I've ever had that passed away while I was in high school) would be very proud of me and what I've accomplished in my art career at a young age. It truly goes straight to the heart, whenever someone says that. "
What’s your advice on how to handle criticism?
Amelia: "Take it constructively and learn from what you have been told."
What do you think is the hardest thing about being an artist?
Jacob: "Finding a way to get the bills paid so you can keep doing what you love."
How do you maintain a balanced life outside of your art career?
Jacob: "Maintaining a life outside of my art career is hard because all I want to do is be in the studio working on my current projects. You just have to be well organized and have a schedule that will allow you to take a few minutes to get fresh air. "
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
Looking for new art? Click below: