Vinson learns new style through internship

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Ivey Vinson of Clanton was looking for a way to learn a new art medium, and fulfill some college credit, when she approached Diana Hiott of the Chilton County Arts Council about an internship.

Vinson had admired Hiott’s work and met her at the annual Chilton County Arts Festival in the past. Hiott specializes in cloth dolls with hand-painted faces, and agreed to having Vinson as her first intern.

“From the beginning, she was asking very interesting questions,” Hiott said.

Hiott showed Vinson her basic doll pattern, and Vinson asked how she might make a doll appear slouched, such as a teenager’s posture.

Hiott said they worked on it together, “So, it was beneficial to me, too.”

She said it gave her the opportunity to see the project from a new perspective.

Vinson will be entering her senior year when Troy University resumes classes later this month.

She is working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts.

“She isne of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with,” Hiott said.

Vinson said the internship was a way to see “the daily ins and outs of what being an artist would realistically be.”

“Art has always been something I’ve done in the background in the evening,” Hiott said.

Art became a focus for Hiott after retiring from a career in social work.

Hiott had given sewing classes before, but this was the first time someone was interested in lessons based on the art aspect of her dolls.

“I wanted to make sure I covered as much as I could about the process of being an individual artist,” Hiott said.

This involved showing her how to make a pattern for a doll, all the way to selling pieces at an arts festival.

Vinson said she has been interested in art since she was a child. She said her mother had studied ceramics at the University of Montevallo and encouraged her to pursue art, especially drawing.

“Both of my parents are very supportive, which I am thankful for,” Vinson said.

She said she wanted to study art in college to experience different types of art that she could not learn on her own.

Her degree focuses on two-dimensional art, such as painting and drawing, but it also includes some study of three-dimensional mediums.

Sewing was something Vinson did not have much experience with when she started the internship with Hiott.

“Diana is an amazing teacher … She has shown me so much generosity and patience in helping me develop this new skill,” Vinson said.

She drew inspiration for her dolls from the fabric, characters she enjoyed and people she knew.

“She was coming in with a whole skill set of being very artistic. She had a grasp of color and use of line in drawings and just by her sketches I could tell she could work well in a 3D aspect.” Hiott said. “For me, it was exciting because she did have that background.”

Vinson helped Hiott stuff some of her dolls for the arts festival, but Vinson also had her own completed dolls on display for sale.

“It was an enriching experience for me, especially meeting the other artists,” Vinson said. “I think that was my favorite part.”

Vinson said she sold five items that day.

As a part of the internship, Hiott also introduced Vinson to other local artists.

Hiott said the artists welcomed the opportunity to speak with a younger person who was passionately interested in art.

After graduation, Vinson hopes to travel the country selling her work at different art shows, do commissioned work and start a web-based comic.

Vinson said she enjoys the interaction with other artists made possible through art sho