VERITY SMILEY-JONES

LONDON



Around the portrayal of candid characters staged within vibrant coulisses, Verity unbounds the purgatory between fine art and fashion photography with her kaleidoscopic work.


EDITION I ”YOUTH DISRUPTED BY THE FUTURE”


          



What did you do 13MIN AGO?


I thought about what I should be doing but then did something else instead.


How does a typical day in your creative life look like?

When waking up, I scroll through Instagram, start to question my whole career, chat with friends and get inspired. After my first coffee, I go to a café and get more coffee. Then I start to work, go through my to-do-list, send emails, work on projects and future jobs. After eating a sandwich for lunch, I start to question my career and worth again, do a bit more work, come home and cook dinner.

There are days I do not feel like being productive but then I try to not put too much pressure on myself. Everyone has their good and bad days. 


If you hadn't ended up doing photography, what would have been your plan b?

I don’t have a plan B.


How would you define your artistic practice?

As a mix between fine art photography and fashion photography. I set my focus on characters and personalities and visualise them through dress-up inspired styling, makeup as well as performative poses which I also use as a process of self exploration, of ways I see myself, emotions and experiences.


What is your survival kit for the creative industry?

Self belief and supportive people around you.


Your proudest moment

My proudest moments are definitely career based, reaching milestones, and these are forever progressing. I would have to say when me and my friends create something new and exciting that we love. However, I try to teach myself to appreciate everything I achieve, whether it’s big or small, I’m trying to be less hard on myself.


Do you think it's necessary for you as an artist to sell yourself as a brand?

Definitely, you can’t wait for people to approach you because you have to be the one to push yourself to get where you want.


What do you think makes a good collaboration?

Confidence of expressing ideas. There’s no point collaborating if you are too afraid to bring anything to the table.


Why is artistic collaboration important to you, especially in a world that demands meaning and purpose?

I simply couldn’t achieve what I envision without collaboration, it’s so important to my practice. Working with like-minded creatives is what’s pushing this new wave and aesthetic of art and fashion. It introduces conversation into whatever you do, and I think this is so important in developing ideas and concepts.


How would you define originality today?

Every creative is inspired, or borrows from others. It’s the product that comes from many borrowed ideas that is called the ‘original’. The building of thoughts and processes produce something new and individual. It’s not necessarily original in whole, but a different group of people, a different media, a different take on something previously explored.


Do you believe in the saying “Fake it until you make it?”

YES. I live by this! It also makes everything so much less daunting when you realise that the majority of people believe this too, and are probably doing it!


Tell us what it is like to be a young artist living & working in London? What keeps you stimulated?

Sometimes it’s really hard, because everyone is always doing stuff around you, and this can make you feel guilty if you’re not. The majority of the time I love it, it excites me. All of my friends are creatives and they push me and inspire me constantly. I wouldn’t be able to do this career if I didn’t have so many supportive people around me.


What do you think are the toughest ethical questions in the creative industry of today?

Why is there still such a lack of representation behind, and in front of the camera? And when will this move away from being tokenistic? When will people be hired for their practice and skill instead of what they can ‘contribute’.


As an artist, what do you feel the creative industry is lacking?

Me and my friends!