Badass illustrator, founder of Victory Brand clothing, and queer babe about town, Victoria Sin tells us about her collaborations with VogueFabricsDalston, drawing genitals and her involvement in this year’s Fringe! Film Fest.
How did you get into illustration?
I moved to London from Toronto at eighteen for a place at Central Saint Martins to study fashion. A few things got in the way of that plan so I worked in restaurants for two years, drawing all the time to keep myself sane and to constantly remind myself what I wanted.
I started a blog and then I started to draw for other people, eventually I began to get paid for it and left restaurants behind to start my clothing label, Victory Brand.
What are your influences?
Everything affects my work, mostly though you’ll find a lot about gender and sexuality. Recently I’ve been obsessed with the typically feminine notion of glamour, especially when applied to drag and trans culture.
Have your drawings always been a bit challenging/ erotic?
Not always. When I started drawing I just kind of drew everything, but I found that as my drawing style became more specific so did my subject matter.
Victory Brand is doing really well, but where does the passion lie; drawing, illustrating, or both?
The passion lies in both otherwise I wouldn’t do it! Drawing is kind of the base artistic language; I don’t think I’ll ever stray too far from it. Victory Brand started as a platform for my illustration work, but as my love for fashion crept in Victory Brand became more than a line of printed T-shirts.
What has been your best achievement so far, career-wise?
Victory Brand has just launched SS13, which I am incredibly proud of, and illustration-wise, the fact that I had my first solo exhibition with XOYO when I was 20. I would also say working with Sony and Paloma Faith to redesign her website was one of my favourite commissions.
Some of my favourite work has been in collaborations, doing wall installations and artwork for Club Lesley at Dalston Superstore, or creating penis-patterned wallpaper and curtains for an art space caravan with Vogue Fabrics.
What drew you to working with Vogue Fabrics?
I started working with Vogue Fabrics after a friend asked me to put up some drawings for a night there. Lyall Hakaraia saw them and asked me to do a window installation for the Diamond Jubilee, and then with projects like penis-patterned wallpaper… how could I resist?
And what drew you to working with Fringe! Film Festival?
I’d seen Fringe! Fest and all the amazing events they’ve held over the past few years. Queer Arts are right up my alley so I jumped at the chance to get involved.
So how are you going to be involved?
I will have a pop up shop where I will show and sell prints and items from the Victory Brand collection, I’ll also be teaching the best art lesson you never had on Friday with Lesbian Cringe! and Gay School.
What’s your favourite film of all time?
It would have to be a tie between The Rocky Horror Show and Paris is Burning.
And if you could have chosen a queer film for Fringe! what would it have been?
Maybe a Paris is Burning quote along? Peh-pah-labey-jah!
You've also started dabbling in film with your Domestic Kitchen project. What was your inspiration behind this?
The inspiration to start the Domestic Kitchen video project came first from watching too much Nigella Lawson and cookery programes in general. The kicker was watching a youtube video of Amanda Lepore making ice. I guess I'm trying to acknowledge the glamour of some drag queens and trans women like Amanda, but then adopting that glamour to how women who dress similarly in our culture can be perceived, and putting that in the context of how housewives in the 50s were portrayed as domestic goddesses before Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique... it's an ongoing experiment.
What do you think the importance of Queer spaces like Vogue Fabrics and Fringe! are?
These spaces are everything. They provide a platform for young artists, visibility and a sense of community, opportunities for collaboration and most importantly, a showcase for the amazing talent on tap in queer London.
What are you most looking forward to at Fringe!?
Interview by Amelia Abraham.