We’ve got another fantastic feature in our series where we ask some of our favorite women what things they can’t live without right now.
Today, I’m excited to introduce you to my fashion illustrator friend Victoria and her picks…
Victoria-Riza is a fashion illustrator and founder of The Riza, an online editorial that fuses her love for art, fashion, culture, and creativity. Born in the Philippines and raised in the hills of Tennessee, she now resides in Springfield, IL with her two kids and her cultural psychologist husband, Jordan. Victoria is an aspiring chef and is best described as an introverted extrovert. She loves working to lo-fi music, waking up at six in the morning, and her current celebrity obsession is Fran Lebowitz.
I wanted to cut down on my TV time during quarantine because I knew with being home more my TV consumption would grow exponentially. Funny enough, the time I saved on TV essentially transferred over to Youtube. I’ve discovered amazing creative channels like Li Ziqi, Never Too Small, and Hindz. It’s been difficult not being with other creatives right now and Youtube has been my access to the creative energy I need. I’m mindful of how much time I’m spending on this social platform, careful to not waste my day just auto playing videos. So I treat this as a special ritual. After working out, I’ll make a cup of tea and watch one video while I cool down. Watching how other creatives work and what they’re creating helps me get in the right mindset as I prepare for my day in the studio.
With every member of my family being home these days, I find that at the end of the day, I haven’t really connected with my kids. So instead of fully cleaning the kitchen after dinner time, I’ll snuggle up with my five year old and watch one of his favorite cartoons like StoryBots on Netflix (the episodes How Do People Catch a Cold and Where Do Planets Come From are always repeated!). Some nights, we’ll snuggle up and read through the latest issue of Bon Appetit and he’ll help bookmark recipes we’re dying to try.
Currently reading six books at once. I just finished one, Normal People. By complete serendipity, I’m reading books that are speaking to the growing and processing I’m going through right now. The other books (only five left to finish) are Know My Name by Chanel Miller, In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar, A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women) by Danielle Krysa, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet. I’m also reading with my family Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets, the illustrated edition (I guess that makes seven books). No relation to my growing and processing, though it is fun to relive my childhood with my son!
Similar to not connecting with my kids, I haven’t been connecting with my husband. The other day I suggested we start doing lunch dates. We don’t go out of course, but we’ll find a time when we’re both free, meet up in the kitchen at said time, make lunch together, and eat at the table. Early in the pandemic, we’d eat lunch together in the living room and just watch TV. We’re making little changes that help us remember to spend time together because the mundaneness of this lock-in has made it so easy to overlook the people you love. We’re eating our lunches on these compostable fiber plates. There seems to be more dishes these days and these paper plates have been a time saver in our kitchen without taking it out on the planet!
My number one art supply is nideggen paper. It’s a German made paper with a wavy grain that you can see when you hold it up to the light. It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s made for printmaking, but I experimented with it and found that I love how watercolor, gouache, and pencil worked with the texture and natural tone of the paper. When a client hires me for custom portraits, it’s always done on nideggen paper! I also have scrapes from when I cut my paper to size and those scrapes make for a great handmade card.
I have 32 plants now and taking care of them is my favorite stress relieving activity during the winter. Each room that I spend a lot of time in has at least four plants. I’m working my way to creating an oasis in each space. My son once told me that my plants weren’t looking so good. That’s not true! Okay, I have two plants that aren’t doing so well. I think he was excited to learn about the Plant Kween (we read his feature in this February’s Bon Appetite during one of our snuggle sessions) and he told me that I needed to call him to get some help. Shade! Aside from Christopher the Plant Kween being my go-to plant influencer, Donna of The Ratchet Hipster (a long time friend) is where I love to shop for new plants and get some realness in plant advice.
Thanks Victoria! Find more in our series right here.