Vianne Venter


Something Wicked Issue 17 Illustrated by Vianne Venter

How long have you been painting?
I have a drawing I did when I was four which looks remarkably similar to stuff I was working on last week, but in seriousness, since High School.

How did you come up with this piece?
The original image of the figure in the abyss was painted in early 2000 when I had just moved to Cape Town, from Johannesburg. At the time runaway fires were burning on the mountains, so much so that the air was full of ash. It was a very emotive piece about my own feelings of displacement and drifting.

On the original image there is an inscription, which is not visible in this version, that reads, “something to hold on to, dear Lord, in this world aflame, this world adrift”.

Joe has always loved this piece, so when he decided that come-hell-or-high-water he was going to use it for this cover, I attempted an overlay layer of butterfly images at short notice, though in the end we decided to go without it.

The original image is acrylic ink on board.

You are actually Something Wicked’s fiction editor, but over the years you have occasionally illustrated stories. Which do you prefer doing, editing or painting?
Ooh, they are functions of such completely different parts of my brain. I tend to go through word phases or image phases. The last seven years have very much been about words, but the pictures are coming back.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Ink, whether pen or acrylic. I suppose it’s about the density of the pigment. It demands quite a definite line, but the flow of the ink is very conducive to the graphic style that I often favour.


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