Annie has a bachelor degree in Visual Communication from Monash University in Australia.
The creative process starts with a bit of inspiration and searching. Annie pins up photos and images found in books or online, and then starts sketching elements that might make it into her final piece. When she’s settled on an a composition, she draws over her sketches with a fineliner and adds texture and detail.
Colouring is important to her, and this is done in Photoshop using layers. She tweaks the colours to bring balance to her palette before the image is complete.
Her style is based around a naïve, hand-drawn look and feel. Mainly, Annie uses line work, adding heavy patterns, detail and flat, digital colours. Her subjects are usually quite whimsical, and her drawings offer viewers an escape into another world. Sometimes, a dash of watercolour comes into play.
Annie also makes paper dioramas for certain projects. This involves hand painting the key elements, cutting them out, then assembling them into a scene to be photographed.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Annie: I used to love drawing as a kid and my mum is a professional artist so she has taught me a few tricks along the way. She and Dad used to take me & my brothers to a lot of exhibitions growing up and we've always been surrounded by art.Question: Do you have any formal design training? Annie: A Bachelor of Visual Communication at Monash Caulfield University in Melbourne.Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Annie: I live in Kew, Melbourne in a loft style apartment which has beautiful heritage gardens and sits next to the river, so there are heaps of great walking tracks and a great view of the city. It's close to the city but kind of feels like you're in the country.Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Annie: I swap between working from home and a shared studio in Windsor called 'The Windsor Workshop'. My home studio is in my loft style apartment and has a big drawing board, lots of fairy lights and a pretty view. The Windsor Workshop is a large light-filled open-plan space that's shared between about 10 creatives who come and go.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Annie: My mum is a massive inspiration as she's shown me that you can make a career out of being an artist if you're willing to stick it out and work hard. Question: How do you get your ideas? Annie: Lots of different places but usually from nature & flipping through other artists' work whether it be in books, on Pinterest, at exhibitions or exploring. Common inspirations include; Japanese woodblock prints, under the sea scenes, crazy plants, the jungle, old botanical sketches and funny kids' books.Question: Do you collect anything? Annie: I have a lot of plants, design publications, toy dinosaurs and kids' picture books.Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Annie: Yes, but I tend to have my sketches on loose sheets of paper all over the place.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Annie: I recently created the advertising artwork for the design market 'Finders Keepers' which goes to Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane. The design included lots of bright watercolour gemstones that also got turned into beautiful hanging installations - which was very cool to see on display in the Royal Exhibition Building a few weeks ago.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Annie: Probably a fun picture book, big shop window display or maybe doing textile designs for a creative fashion label.Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? Annie: I'd go to Japan in cherry blossom season and visit tea houses and beautiful gardens in Kyoto. I'd go to the city of Nara where deer roam around the streets, go for a ride in a swan boat on Lake Kawaguchi, walk through the wisteria tunnel at the Kawachi Fuji garden, hike to Nachi falls, and explore the Sagano Bamboo forest!Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Annie: Maybe the 50s - when kids played outside and people walked everywhere and there were no iPhones or computers to waste time on! And less rules.