Vixon Sullivan is a ceramicist and artist from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. From a young age, Vixon was creative. He would create things to decorate his space, his clothes, and to give as gifts. While he was always talented in art, he didn't recognize it as more than a hobby or a source of fun. He decided to use his talents differently, as he graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in advertising and a minor in art.
His first job out of college was as a media consultant, but his creative outlet and side hustle was drawing portraits. He soon realized that advertising was not the perfect fit, and he yearned to make something different, something more. After he resigned from his job, he settled it in his mind that he would become a full-time artist.
He wanted to create functional art pieces that met everyday needs. While portraits were beautiful, they were time-consuming to make. He focused on making ceramic essentials, like coffee cups, jewelry, and other household items. Vixon didn't want his work to be like any other, so he personalized it uniquely.
"I attach positive messages to each piece, and my work says the things that I need to hear, too. I hope that it makes people slow down to see the beautiful things right in front of them."
Since then, Vixon has bought a kiln and studio space to create and store his artwork. His parents even work in his studio, help him make new work, and assist him in business.
"They're a big part of the team. My mom makes suggestions on things that I should make, my dad helps with making the pottery, and my mom helps with the glazing. We've traveled together all across the south."
Vixon never thought he'd be in a career that would include his parents, but he's pleasantly surprised to see how his passion has become a family business of sorts.
"After moving home to Hattiesburg, my parents were so supportive. I purchased my kiln and got involved in the community there; everything became about art. Since then, my parents have had the closest look at what I do, and now they are also really passionate about it."
Vixon has since developed a line of southern-inspired pieces that show pride in his home state and a dream to make it better than before. The Magnolia has become a staple of his signature pieces.
"These pieces just stemmed from the personal acceptance I have of Mississippi and loving Mississippi. My grandmother's yard had a large magnolia tree, and it is symbolic of my childhood. We used to play on that thing all the time. It's about finding gratitude in where you are and where you come from because, honestly, I grew up always wanting to move somewhere else. But I felt a sense of responsibility to stay, to not turn my back on Mississippi, and thrive here and create with other people. That's what the Magnolia means to me."
We're so grateful that Vixon is a Mississippi artist, and we're honored to support his work at Mississippi Made. Be sure to check out his pottery on March 12, 2022.