What is your artist background?
I've always drawn since I was a small child. My parents told me I never really wanted toys, just art supplies, I was obsessed with coloured pencils and pens. Though I wasn't a big fan of high school art, I had a fabulous teacher in my senior years who is now a recognised artist in his own right, he encouraged me to keep up my studies and try for art school. I ended up studying at Elam School of Fine Arts where I was lucky to be surrounded by fabulously talented art peers, gifted tutors and mentors.
Where in New Zealand do you live?
I live in the beautiful Far North.
When did you start doing your art?
I've always made art, so from the age of 3 haha.
When did you start your entrepreneur journey?
I became a freelance artist and sole trader in 2007.
How do you describe your artwork style?
I would call it neo-surrealistic, psychedelic - disruptive colour
Have you always done your field of art or was there other types of art that you have done? If so, what types?
I work commercially as an illustrator, and have made large scale murals which is one of my major loves. My field of expertise is quite wide, I dabbled in sculpture during my art school days, and ten years ago had a flirt with ceramics... which I adore and hope to get back into, but so far have no access to a pottery studio here in the Far North, but it's a goal of mine to set one up.
What is the best/ideal environment for you when creating your artwork?
I have a studio but prefer my living room. I like to listen to music, audiobooks podcasts, and even, dare I say it some trash TV.
Who is your hero? And why?
I always appreciate stories of endurance, resilience and perseverance. I found Chuck Close and Frida Kahlo inspiring because they never let their physical disabilities cease their creation, in many ways they transcended, overcame and produced better works in spite of their hardships. I think that shows their work resided somewhere beyond their physical form and that is magical to me.
What values are important to you?
Love, kindness, compassion, endurance, growth, gratitude and passion.
Any advice for aspiring NZ artists?
Ride the tides of fortune and appreciate the sway. Love what you do, do what you love and forever be thankful. Have faith in yourself and your own process.
What was the inspiration behind your artwork for your PieceHouse puzzle?
Summers, humming skies, buzzing insects, sweet smelling nectar and the morning chorus of dawn's birdcall. Anna is the artist that created the Electric Bloom puzzle.
What do you do to help keep your mental health in a positive place?
I practice gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for, I find beauty everywhere I fill my soul cup with my love of nature. Im fascinated by the veins on a leaf, the fold of a flower and the skies ever-changing cloudscapes. I follow the serenity prayer. Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom the know the difference.
Some amazing other work by Anna. Follow Anna's instagram here.