Our neighborhood has a distinct energy. That feeling comes from countless artists, musicians, and creators, all working to follow their passion. Inspired by the new year and Dry – or Dryish – January ahead, we packed up some Brooklyn Special Effects and caught up with some of the makers in our neighborhood to see what drives them.
Victoria Rose Adrian is a Brooklyn-based textile artist focusing on chain stitch embroidery, rug tufting, and tailoring. After years as a head tailor, Victoria started working out of her studio to continue exploring the boundaries of her art. Her style unites traditional techniques with modern styles and influences to breathe new life into clothing and fabric.
We caught up in her studio, surrounded by colorful textiles and an arsenal of sewing machines, to talk about creative life, thriving amidst chaos, and finding the time and clarity to focus on her projects.
Brooklyn Brewery: What does a normal day look like for you?
Victoria Rose Adrian: I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a normal day. Every single day is totally different. I can have projects that are five months out due or ones that are due in 5 minutes so I can wake up and by the end of the day my plan is completely changed.
BB: What sort of pace do you enjoy?
VRA: The pace that I like is just nonstop, project after project, putting a little bit too much on my plate at all times. But when you finish it, you just feel really, really proud of what you were able to accomplish.
BB: How do you find your focus when you work? Does it come naturally to you?
VRA: When I’m working on something that I really love, the focus is instantly on. It’s something that I’ll think about as soon as I wake up in the morning and as soon as I put my head down to bed, I’m just constantly thinking of it all the time. So my focus really comes with feeling good, doing something that I love, and being super inspired by it.
BB: What was it like to start out as a working artist? Was there a progression to your work?
VRA: It came to me definitely in a progression, but I really set myself up to be at the place I’m at now. I was definitely playing it safe for a really long time, and then I finally chose to break out and, you know, truly work towards who I want to be, clients that I want to work with, art that I want to create and it kind of just started to unfold.
BB: What are you excited to work on recently?
VRA: In the last couple of years I’ve started to make my pieces bigger and bigger, and I love working on a large scale. Obviously, with large scales it takes more time. So I like projects that take a really long time. You’re focused on it, you’re throwing into it for hours of the day, and then you wake up and you want to go right back to it. So I think what I’ve enjoyed the most more than a favorite piece is the scale that I’ve been working on, just getting bigger and bigger.
BB: Let’s talk about Dry January – what does Dry January allow you to do?
VRA: Taking a break from almost anything typically allows clarity to unfold. I find myself having to step away from art pieces all the time and for me distance helps from focus.
During Dry January, I definitely want to try and learn a new skill. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for years, especially after such a busy time with work during the holidays and social gatherings and going out and having late nights. I think that going into the new year fresh, I can definitely make some more time and have a few more hours added to my day to learn something new.
BB: Do you find a sort of freedom in choosing Special Effects instead of – or while – drinking?
VRA: Yeah, I feel like there’s a sense of freedom of not drinking because I actually have more energy so I can put longer hours in at the studio and then still follow that up with going to a party after, or, you know, watching a TV show. It just allows me to continue and have more hours of my day.
BB: Do you like the idea of still going out and being social when you’re not drinking?
VRA: Absolutely. I often go out and don’t drink, especially if I have work in the morning or if I’m on a project that I’m really involved with and I want to be my, you know, 100%. So there’s definitely a freedom of knowing that you’ll wake up with a super clear head and be ready to take on the day.
BB: How does Special Effects fit into those nights?
VRA: It feels similar to what it feels like when you’re drinking beer. It allows me to relax, but I also become a bit more energized and I feel a bit, like, goofier and playful, but I can completely focus because I’m having a non-alcoholic beer. I’m not having a beer. For someone that does drink and just wants to feel better in the morning, it’s a great replacement for me.
Follow Victoria Rose Adrian on Instagram to see more of her creations and find out how to buy her art or join for a class.
Looking for more stories from our neighborhood? Keep an eye on our Instagram for more Do More interviews soon. Plus, drink along with $10 off any $50+ Special Effects order from our Online Store this Dry January.