Whilst being an over-zealous literature major, Anna decided to try her hand at a double-major in amateur illustration. Well, not really. She taught herself most of everything she knows. She is now an adequately skilled digital artist running her own art page, DeviantArt. She writes too. Some of her work, in fact, has featured on SparkLife and CollegeHumor. “My dream is to combine these two interests, and someday be a children’s book writer and illustrator.”
Art is something that Anna has always been very passionate about. “I remember drawing squiggles over every blank space in the house as a kid…much to the annoyance of my mother. Drawing was always kind of a way of escaping reality, and entering a world created by me, wherein all the things I wanted to to get rid off could be removed as easily as with an eraser.” Anna has definitely come a long way from that first crayoned squiggle to the growing artist she is today. Art is no longer just an escape, but the very essence of her life.
It all started when a good friend asked Anna to draw a caricature for her. “I did…and soon, everyone wanted a drawing of themselves. I would love to moonlight as a freelance artist, take commissions, the whole shebang… one step at a time. I always considered art to be more of a hobby rather than something I could pursue as a career. Also I always thought if I received a formal education in Fine Arts; or forced to study art and the history thereof, I would start to hate it. Grave misconception, guys! I used a mouse for the longest time, with no problem at all. Meticulous watching of YouTube videos, gallons of coffee, and tons and tons of practice.”
“I cannot say this without sounding all artsy fartsy pretentious; inspiration is everywhere. All you need to do is look. Devour life and in the midst of it all you will find your inspiration- be it tea cups, street signs, kittens, your favourite book, a song, whatever. Starry Night is one of my favourite paintings! In this painting, Van Gogh, transformed the way he saw the world in its ecstatic exaggerated beauty- making it seem almost fantastical, even heavenly! The swirling wind, the stars, the moon! Emphasizing the complex magic of nature, through his strong command over colour. I too tried incorporating a similar idea, by drawing upon the thin line between fantasy and reality…”
Some of the, now very famous, artworks of great artists like Van Gogh, El Greco, Paul Gauguin, etc. were once rejected during their time. “I’d like to think that if your art is overlooked and goes under appreciated, worry not, because it’s probably just a mark of true genius. To quote Phoebe Buffay in Friends “I would give anything to not be appreciated in my own time! Art is subjective. So what is pleasing to one pair of eyes is more often than not, unpleasant to another. I think art is not equally recognized by the masses as, for instance, pop music is. The world is weird when it comes to art, some people want the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, while others find beauty in the cinematics of video games.”
What does it take to become a true and authentic artist?
“My command over art is constantly evolving as I grow as a person. So the trick to improving your style, and being the artist you wish to be, is to just draw, draw, draw. Any form of art is the most authentic when one draws from their own experiences and their own passions. It’s why a movie and the book it is based on are never the same. Because the movie director and the author see the work of art differently. There are thousands of budding Picassos and Michaelangelos out there instagramming their brilliant artwork. And then there’s me…trying to keep up.”