10 Minutes With: Artist Anna Wright
We’ve always been big fans of artist and illustrator Anna Wright, who hails from South West Scotland. Her work is a celebration of rural life, packed with humour and colour. Animals are her main focus and she uses bold inky lines to capture their character , adding fabric and feathers to bring texture to her work. We caught up with Anna to find out more…
Do you come from an artistic family? And how did it all start?
There are no artists in my family but a lot of keen gardeners, which I feel is also an expression of creativity. My aunt also worked in interiors which exposed me to wonderful wallpapers and textiles. I never actually believed I could really draw until I went to art school and everyone encouraged me to try illustration after seeing my sketch books. Drawing and painting does require practice though. I believe everyone can do it if they want to.
After I left Edinburgh College of Art to start life in London, I struggled to find my vocation but people and galleries were asking for my work, so I decided to go back home to Scotland and give it a go. I do need a sense of order in my life and I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the typical unpredictable existence of life as an artist, so from the very beginning I was looking at ways to stabilise my income as much as possible, which is why I did prints and cards. It’s been 10 years now and the product range is much bigger but I feel incredibly lucky that there is still interest in my work!
What inspires your work? Tell us a little about your passion for the subjects you paint
I have always loved animals and growing up in the countryside in Dumfriesshire I think cemented a love of nature from an early age. Growing up in a rural area means creating your own fun and I was always very happy making things to keep myself entertained.
I think people like seeing recognisable characteristics from human behaviour in the animals I draw so I always try and get that across where I can. It always amuses me to add a little caption to sum a piece up if I can too. If I can do both of those things in a colourful way and it makes people smile I’m happy.
Do you have to deal with distractions?
Absolutely. It is a lot better now I feel we have systems in place and everyone knows what they are doing but there were very much growing pains of learning about the business on the job, painting was the last thing on my mind. The biggest distractions now though are probably the fellow creatives I share my studio with! The temptation to chat all day is too much! Recently I’ve been working on artwork from home a couple of days a week and coming into the studio to work with my team on new product development & catching up on everything else that comes with running a business in the rest of the week. I’m finding the balance helpful and I know I’m very lucky to be in a position to split my time between the two.
You’re renowned for your beautifully distinctive portrayal of animals and birds- how do you go about your creative process?
This is tricky to answer. It can start from an idea I would like to illustrate, or just something that I think looks beautiful or funny. Sometimes a sketch just happens that fits perfectly and other times it can take a lot of trial and error to get on paper what I am happy with. I can find inspiration in most places, the thing I find hardest is trying to focus on one subject without jumping around too much. Animals are my favourites as I am constantly amazed at the variety of species out there and the incredible different ways they communicate and live. The colours in nature are also astonishing so I especially love adding real feathers to my bird illustrations because I just think the patterns and colours are so beautiful.
What plans do you have for 2019/20?
We will soon be launching a couple of fabric designs which I am really excited about. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time and many customers have enquired about it over the years so I’m pleased it is finally coming to fruition! I’m really looking forward to seeing what people use it for- I think it will look especially lovely as blinds and curtains. I’d love to do some more collaborations with other brands so that’s something I’m hoping to work on very soon.
When you’re not creating how do you like to spend your time?
With friends and family and visiting new places. I find it a great way to get inspiration if I’m stuck in a bit of a rut creatively and then I can return to work with a clearer head and better focus. I always love going back home to Dumfriesshire though- being in the countryside there will always feel special to me and if you’re lucky enough to get good weather there is nowhere better!
For further news on Anna’s work visit https://annawright.co.uk or head to instagram @annawrightillustration
To enter the Anna Wright, Rosanna Lonsdale and ibbi Spring giveaway this month click here: https://ibbidirect.co.uk/june-prize-giveaway/