Vivian Bull may just be the coolest 13 year old you’ll ever meet. But not necessarily for the obvious reasons when you first lay eyes on her. Sure, she has a shaved head, and is strikingly beautiful for her age. But she’s also wise, kind, and inquisitive beyond her years. “I feel like I need to know what’s going on in the world, so I read a lot and pay attention to the news. If I’m going to argue about politics or try to defend my beliefs about something, I should know as much as I can. I’m only 13, so I feel like this is the only way I can serve the world right now.” And her talent and passion extend further than art, as well. Beyond being a brilliant artist, Vivian also loves math and science, astronomy specifically. And in fact, she’s currently torn between attending an art school like Booker T. or SEM (School of Engineering and Math) and has applied to both. She draws while surrounded by her family watching television, and buries herself in her parents’ copy of Cosmos by Carl Sagan when they’re out and she has time to herself.
Vivian comes from an incredibly creative family – Mom was an art director for 10 years, Dad is a creative director and writer – and Vivian has been interested in art since she was very young. “I have been drawing for my whole life. It has been and always will be my way to channel my thoughts positively, whether it’s on a sheet of notebook paper or a canvas.” When words fail to capture or fully communicate her thoughts on a given subject, Vivian turns to art. “I get my inspiration from things that happen to me every day and just random thoughts that I need to tell people. I don’t think I will ever know what made me start drawing. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing.”
Art Conspiracy discovered Vivian’s talent earlier in the year and eagerly sought her participation for our Spring event, PHOBIAS, but little did we know we were already on her radar. “Last year, my parents went to Art Con and bought our friend Hobbes Vincent’s sculpture. I was very interested in the idea of Art Con, but I never thought I would get to be a part of it.” She accepted our invitation and is now officially one of us. “Being in Art Con makes me feel really involved. It is such an awesome thing that I get to be a part of, and I love telling people that I am an artist for something as cool as Art Con.” And as for her first event, “I loved it! It was so cool to see other Dallas artists and have my piece be up for bidding. I was nervous at first, but everyone was really supportive, and I totally look forward to the next one.”
Getting to see other artists creating and living out their dreams has been affirming for Vivian, and Art Con has certainly played a role in that. “What keeps me going still is seeing other amazing artists and how they can create whatever they want. That really motivates me to try to improve every day and know that one day I might be able to also.” Beyond the artists that she’s met and spent time with in her own family and community, Vivian’s artistic energy has been influenced specifically by Jamie Hewlett, the co-creator of the virtual band Gorillaz. “He created the entire band on a sheet of paper and does the animations for them to this day. I love his work so much, and I think it is awesome that he gets to use his art to create something like a band, which I would love to do even though I don’t really have any musical talent. I also love that he has kept drawing his entire life, and he inspires me to do so. I want to someday inspire people the same way that he inspires me.” (By the way, Art Conspiracy is positive she’s already doing just that.)
As with so many of our artists, Vivian is really excited that Art Con affords her the opportunity to give back, even at her young age. “I think that Art Con is really vital when it comes to having a great community of artists and a way for me to make my art into something that benefits others. I love that the profits go to charity, and I get to help people by doing what I love.”
Written by: Martha Elaine Belden