GUEST BLOGGER: Vesper Stamper – GTS People’s Choice finalist

Dear Lilla,

The Global Talent Search was one of the most amazing, tear-jerking and enriching events of my career. Allow me to share my experience with you!

I looked at the GTS as an opportunity to try something new and use the briefs to freshen up my portfolio. I had no expectations, and little did I know that I was in the running with over 1500 other artists!

For the Round 1 Journal Cover, I decided to go with my gut and draw fantasy characters in keeping with my love for fairy tale. So that was my twist on the “playground” theme—instead of bouncy horses and ducks, I went with bouncy unicorns and pegasus (Pegasi? Pegasuses? Ha ha).

I was so excited for Round 2—autumn is the season in which I truly come alive, so I went with my instinct on the Fall Market Tote. I’m so happy I did. It turned out that almost 700 people were vibe-ing with me on the tree dance. A bunch of people wrote to me and asked where they could buy my tote bag! It boosted my confidence to know that there was popular demand for my work.

The home decor assignment for the Finals was a dream project. I’m working on a graphic novel about the legend of the White Stag, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I decided to stay with what was already moving me. Through the home decor project, I have been inspired to try new techniques and new materials, including tailoring my embroidery and doll-making toward commercial work.

Contests are such an important part of an artist’s career, and it really has nothing to do with winning. I won a big grant this year for one of my books, but didn’t win the GTS — it really isn’t whether you win or lose. Contests serve to clarify vision, expose you to the greater artistic community (I’m so glad to know so many new artists and *hundreds* of new Facebook and Twitter fans!), get you out of your bubble, and push you to try new things.

This process has taught me the value of trusting my own individual voice and vision. Through all three rounds, I stuck to my instinct more intentionally than ever, and it paid off. I am so encouraged by my success in the GTS, and as I pursue the newly opened path in front of me, I could not be more excited and inspired. Thanks, Lilla and all the GTS artists, for helping to breathe new life into my process!



  • Congrats, Vesper!
    your work is so unique and classy. Can’t wait to see what is next! I want a farmers market bag, a few journals and definitely a fox! So adorable!

    by cassie
    November 11, 2013
  • Beautiful!! Love love love Vesper’s work. Always have.. And where can I score one of those bags??;)

    by Morgan
    November 11, 2013
  • GET THIS WOMAN SOME FUNDING/BACKING, SOMEONE! Ms. Rogers – Can you in any way look into which of the finalists have already an obviously strong foothold in the financial/commercial market, and which do NOT yet – and try to give a leg-up somehow on those who haven’t yet been able to get their foot in the door? I feel for artists who don’t yet have a start in making any money from their art, who lose out to artists who are already making a nice living… It is discouraging to watch financially viable artists win financial help or resources, when those who are struggling for a start do not win. Thoughts?

    by m
    November 13, 2013
  • I am so in love with the images in your head, Vesper! It’s whimsical without being fluffy. I very much respect that you went with your instinct and let the audience be just a part of (rather than the focal point of) your final creation’s “goal.” I think that’s what makes your work so very Vesper.

    November 13, 2013
  • Hi Lilla, Beth and Vesper,
    What a great read. I am at the very beginning of a rebirth in my creativity and have enrolled in this year’s Bootcamp. I have an enormous amount to learn (if you read my new blog on my website you’ll see why). Very, very excited to see what is still in me and what will come out of doing these briefs. Happy holidays. Pie and sausage roll making for me today!
    Angela x

    December 19, 2013

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