SWIMWEAR DESIGNER AND MERMAID BASED IN BARCELONA: MEET VICKI JONES
"My soul is inspired when I am fully absorbed in something which consumes my whole being, like Surfing, art, music, dance and yoga. It’s something unexplainable, a form of meditation, a timeless, deep-seated, pure bliss.“
Hi, my name is Vicki and I’m from the UK. I am a graphic designer and recently launched my own ethical and responsible, handmade swimwear collection, „sand and palm.“ I have been surfing for more than half of my life! I first learnt on a school trip to Wales when I was 14 and have been hooked ever since.
I moved to Barcelona last October (2016) from Cornwall, to study a postgraduate degree in swimwear design at BAU design school. I’ve graduated now, but I’m planning on staying around for the winter, as that’s when the swell arrives in Barcelona!
What is your biggest passion and where did you first discover it?
My biggest passion in life is my artwork – my mum is an artist and textile designer, so it’s in the family genes. I’ve been drawing and creating things for as long as I can remember, and I can’t imagine life without it.
Is your work related to your passion?
Fortunately, yes! I am a freelance textile designer and graphic artist for fashion. I have also just set up my own beach wear brand „sand&palm.“Make sure to check it out on Instagram @sandandpalm or at www.sandandpalm.com.
I have been working in the industry for many years, since graduating from University College Falmouth, Cornwall with a BA (Hons.) Illustration degree in 2009. I have had the fortune to work with some of my favourite brands – Nikita, Hurley and Billabong among others.
What inspires you?
I know, it’s a cliché – but nature, it’s beauty and intelligence. My art is inspired by organic forms, patterns, plants, flowers, the animal kingdom. Also I am very interested in history, art, language, books, people, cultures, traditions, ceremonies and travel.
My spirit is inspired when I see other talented people making their own way in the world, who aren’t afraid to take risks, who do things differently, who challenge the norm, change perspectives. They are brave souls who stand up and make themselves heard.
My soul is inspired when I am fully absorbed in something which consumes my whole being. I’m almost sure we’ve all been there – it’s something unexplainable, a form of meditation, a timeless, deep-seated, pure bliss. Surfing, art, music, dance and yoga are all things that create that feeling in me and afterwards leave me whole, balanced and fully energised.
What kind of lifestyle do you currently live and is there anything you would change?
Relatively nomadic I would say! I love to travel, especially around California, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The longest amount of time I have spent anywhere in the last decade is one year – and then I start to get itchy feet.
The only thing I know is that I have to be near the ocean. Currently, though, I do love living in Barcelona, it’s a very vibrant and cosmopolitan city, with many creatives and independent designers and makers all doing their thing. With a beach and surf during the winter, topped with endless sunny days, it seems to have everything you could need for the moment!
How do you support yourself and your passion financially?
My freelance design work pays the bills. It was hard during the first few years, and I by no means make a fortune now, but it’s enough and the flexibility of my job allows me the freedom to design my lifestyle so that it is balanced and fulfilling.
I can go away if I want to and make up the hours another time, or equally I can take work with me. The nature of my job means I can essentially base myself anywhere in the world, which makes travelling viable.
What is your favourite quote, or do you have a motto that you live by?
"What you think, you become.“
What has led you to create swimwear? What is your biggest dream for the future?
For a long time now, I have had the dream to create my own brand of ethical swim, surf and beach wear. With my background in illustration and textile design, experience in the fashion industry, and my surfing lifestyle, I just needed to hone in on my pattern making and sewing skills to get me on my way.
I have been sewing and making clothes forever, but sewing lycra is a whole different board game! It requires specialist machines and knowledge of stretch fabrics etc. I have spent nine months studying, designing and making swimwear and I have finally released my first collection of „sand&palm.“ I’m so excited to take it to the next level. I’m currently working on my online shop, and I have plans for the next two years to find a studio/workshop on the beach somewhere where I can produce and sell from, too.
It’s very important to me to do everything in my life consciously and to try to minimise harmful impacts on the planet. For this reason, I’m committed to using environmentally friendly textiles and production methods on my journey.
I can’t wait to expand and create beautiful, stylish, practical swimwear and clothing for the modern beach-hopper, globe-lover and wave-seeker!
What would you recommend to somebody who wants to live like you?
Think outside the box, do things differently, be brave, be proactive. You never know unless you try! Make big goals, and small manageable steps to achieve them. Be organised and manage your time, and if you’re no good at that, find somebody who is!
Surround yourself with like-minded and positive people who love and support you. Create time and space for self-nourishment. If you have an idea, plant the seed, feed it with energy, love and passion, use your visionary skills, be patient, determined, focused and after time it will blossom and bear fruit.
Please check out my design work at www.victoriajonesillustration.com
Instagram: vicki_jones29 https://www.instagram.com/vicki_jones29/ and you can follow sand&palm at instagram.com/sandandpalm