We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanee Srikijkarn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanee, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We all need beauty and meaning in our lives. It’s common for us to think of our basic needs as just the those that keep us physically alive. But, as humans, the intangible parts of ourselves have genuine essentials as well. Both making and enjoying art are joyful, grounding practices that have the profound ability to bring one fully into the present, while creating space to process and contemplate.
When the pandemic hit and the clinic where I worked closed for a couple of months during lock down, I was already in a season of difficult life transition. I began sketching botanic treasures I collected on daily walks and illustrating homes in my neighborhood. I love taking time to notice all the little details and invite others to do the same through my art – to stop, and smell the roses, so to speak. I find great meaning in being a part of helping others honor special memories in their lives through commissioned pieces. I realized illustration is what I wanted to be doing for my career. Being a single mother of three boys, the idea of working from home was a major factor in starting my business. I founded Vanee.ink in 2020.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For the past couple of years, I’ve focused primarily on botanics, architectural renderings and mini sketches. Having been a life-long cherisher of small details, my drawings have a realism and exactness to them inspired by vintage illustrations. A lot of my commissioned art are illustrations of places or objects that are full of meaning for others. I feel honored to be a part of helping people preserve and cherish special aspects of their lives with my art
I grew up drawing for fun, and learned drafting for my college degree. After graduation, I was hired to illustrate local homes for real estate agents & architecture firms. I didn’t find technical drawing sustainable when I had small children and stopped drawing for about 10 yrs. I picked back up my pens couple of years ago and loved every minute of it. Starting a small business has been enjoyable for me, albeit full of learning curves. It’s a blessing to have work that I am excited to show up for every day and grow.
I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far are to prioritize the sacredness of my creative practice, and to focus on slow and steady progress in developing the business aspects.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There’s a seemingly endless amount of attractions in Colorado. But, I tend to opt for slow living, so here’s some spots I’d love to take a visitor in my neck of the woods (Boulder). We’d have to hit Otis, Moxie & Wonder for coffee & snacks. Little Horse & Thalken are my two favorite local shops to frequent. Lunch at Teocali, Community, Arabesque, Flower Child, Tiffin’s & Pica’s. I’d for sure take you up fly fishing & hiking as often as possible. Spring: Ann U. White trail. Summer: Water World. Fall: let’s just have a bonfire. Winter: hike to the Boulder star.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My fellow musician & friend, Latifah Alattas (Moda Spira) sent me Ira Glass’ interview on creativity to reminded me that art is a practice more than an accomplishment. I’m beyond grateful for them breathing new life into all of my creative spheres.
My fine artist peer, Hannah Beimborn has been source of inspiration and camaraderie in stepping out to pursue my own business. Emily Jeffords practical guidance in her teaching has proved invaluable. Hana Lash and William Conklin (Thalken) have encouraged me all along the way towards thriving in art. Adam Koble, thanks for making me read Mark Manson’s book (The Subtle Art..) which gave me just the timely little push I needed.
A huge thank you to Rick & Gloria Srikijkarn, Zef & Kate Houssney, and Dave & Ally Wilton for generously loving me.
Kelly Dudash, Vanee Srikijkarn