Interview: Veronica Dearly on Illustration, Paid Advertising, and Not Always Needing a Routine

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My friend Kathi and I basically spend all of our days sending Veronica Dearly illustrations to each other on Instagram. Her illustrations are smart, funny, and very real. When a motivational poster just feels like a kick in the teeth, Veronica is there for you with a dose of hilarious reality. Today you'll be able to read about her first foray into selling her illustrations and using art to send a message. I hope you enjoy hearing what she has to say!

Magic & Musings:
Thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions, Veronica! Would you like to introduce yourself and what you do? When did you first get into illustration? Is this something you’ve been formally trained in?

Veronica Dearly:
Hello! I’m Veronica and I run Veronica Dearly, an illustration studio selling funny greetings cards and gifts. It all started out as a wedding stationery business, and whilst I’ve always been creative I’ve never been formally trained. Over the years there has been a lot of change and growth as I learn what works best for the business and what I need to bring to it. 

Magic & Musings:
When did you first start selling your designs online and did you find yourself overcoming any hurdles regarding your confidence?

Veronica Dearly:
I launched my business online straight away and found the hardest thing was getting it in front of people. I did all sorts of experiments with paid advertising and after a little while with very little interest, I was approached by Not On The High Street, which was when I made the shift from wedding stationery to greetings cards and found an audience for my work and the sales really helped build my confidence and help me develop.


Magic & Musings:
On Magic & Musings I love talking about female artists and their work. Which female artists, if any, would you say have been influences on your work? Do you have any favourites to look to when you need some inspiration or motivation?

Veronica Dearly:
I am really motivated by the abundance of successful women out there killing it at the moment and doing stuff they really feel passionately about. In terms of art I really love Emily Coxhead and her happy newspaper, Frances Cannon, and Tuesday Bassen

Magic & Musings:
Of all of your illustrations, which are you the happiest with and why?

Veronica Dearly:
I like the ones that strike a chord most, and as someone that’s passionate about politics it’s always exciting to see them spread over the internet. My cat NHS drawing and ‘Fromage not Farage’ are the best examples of this! 


Magic & Musings:
I’m interested in knowing how people work and get things done. Do you have a particular place you work or find yourself the most productive? Are there a particular set of things that need to be in place for things to get done? A specific hot drink? A relaxing album?

Veronica Dearly:
We have just moved into a bigger office which I’m yet to spend a lot of time in, but my best work will always be done at home on the sofa. I’m very lucky to have the flexibility to do this so I try to make the most of it! I’m quite chaotic so there’s no real routine; creativity comes to me when it comes, usually when there is a looming deadline!

Magic & Musings:
What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?

Veronica Dearly:
Take a break! Do something else, get all of the boring, non-creative jobs out of the way that are building up, wait for it to come. It always does eventually. 


Magic & Musings:
What are your favourite tools you use to create your illustrations? Are there any books on creativity and/or working for yourself you would recommend to others?

Veronica Dearly:
I work with pen on paper, and the livetrace tool on Illustrator. My process is very simple and I’ve tried to add tablets and things into it but they never seem to last very long. I’ve read so, SO many inspirational life/business books that I can’t even remember – the one that really stands out is Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass – I read it on my first proper holiday away from the kids in years and it really lifted me up. I always think that these books are going to be magic that changes my life, but I think that’s too much pressure to put on a book. A little bit of a pick me up is always very welcome. 

Magic & Musings:
What one thing do you wish someone told you when you were first starting out working in this field?

Veronica Dearly:
Oh my goodness I don’t know, I think just that it would all work out in the end! There is so much information and advice out there to be taken so I don’t think I was short of that, but a bit of a confidence boost goes a long way when you’re working for yourself. 


Magic & Musings:
Fun question! Can you recommend everyone reading a book you’ve enjoyed recently, as well as a film and an album or song?

Veronica Dearly:
Book: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – a parody of the Marie Kondo tidying book (which I also think I should read!) Short, entertaining, and actually very helpful for people that are always worrying about doing someone or another. 

Film: I am afraid I’m very low brow and can only really sit through children’s films (maybe since I am a parent now and my brain is mush) – I took Tabitha to see Sing recently and it was lovely. 

Album: I’m hopeless at choosing music, we have Spotify Easy 70s playlist on at home on repeat right now so that’s basically the soundtrack to my life! 

Magic & Musings:
Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish? How can people find out more about you and your work?

Veronica Dearly:
Thank you for having me! Just visit my website veronicadearly.com

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