See more of Anna’s work at: www.atomic-artifacts.com
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I am a 28 yr old, mother of one from Birmingham UK. I’ve studied art most of my life and it has never ceased to be a passion.
I love to experiment with art. I dabble in all sorts, from painting to metalwork, fashion design to sculpture. In an effort to put the skills I’ve gathered over the years to good use, I’m in the process of setting up my own business.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
Until a few years ago I was working as a sound engineer in a recording studio and just doing a bit of art on the side. When I fell pregnant I left my job and found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands so I decided to start focusing my efforts on art.
The more I did, the more ideas came to me and it’s just grown from there. I’ve also had a lot of support and encouragement from friends, family and fellow artists.
What training did you have?
I studied art throughout my school years, culminating in a GCSE in Art & Design. I then went on to study Art & Art History A-Level at King Edward VI Sixth Form College. I completed the first year then decided to move to Stourbridge Art & Design College to pursue a Foundation Art Degree.
Since then I have spent countless hours of my spare time reading about my particular favourite forms of art and art history as well as visiting galleries and exhibitions and researching new artists and art forms.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
I guess there hasn’t really been one high point worth mentioning… yet. I have however, been incredibly happy and flattered to have people admire my work and request commission pieces from me.
What’s your favourite quote?
‘If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records tapes and CD’s and burn them.’
– Bill Hicks
Who is your favourite artist?
My favourite tattooer/ artist is Angelique Houtkamp. My favourite traditional artists are Jake & Dinos Chapman.
What are you aiming for?
My main goal is to become a tattoo artist. But I’d be happy to just be recognized as an artist.
How will you get there?
I’m putting most of my energy into building a strong portfolio of my work so that I can use it to find a great tattooing apprenticeship which would eventually lead to me becoming a fully-qualified tattoo artist.
Is anything holding you back?
Not really, only myself and the speed at which I work.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
I don’t really ‘expect’ any particular reactions to my work, after all, all art is subjective. I am always pleased to hear that someone would like my art as a tattoo though. It’s a wonderful compliment.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
Usually an average piece will take me 4-5 hours spread out over a few days. I have had tiny pieces that have taken way longer though and some pieces that have taken months to complete. I tend to keep about 10 works on the go at once so I always have something to work on.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I listen to all sorts and I have very eclectic tastes. I do find that Bjork’s music helps me to be more productive though.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I have several different paintings on various themes on the go at the moment. I generally finish 1 or 2 new pieces each week.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
I find myself mostly inspired by tattoo artists and illustrators these days. Not any one individual.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
Nature, science, religion and history. I have a deep passion for each of these subjects and I feel that really shows in my work.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
The painting titled ‘Flame Lily’ on my website. I have had plenty of positive feedback on this piece and I love how it turned out myself.
I completed it in 1 day which is very unusual for me and it felt like such an easy painting to complete. I guess I was just having a ‘good day’.
an artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
I think focus and practice is the key. As an artist you can only improve with practice but you also need the drive and ambition to put yourself out there and find work.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Promote, promote, promote! Find yourself as many outlets for displaying your work as possible. Sites like this one and DeviantART are a great way for new artists to find a following but you can’t just expect people to come to you.
Get on to forums and chat pages and talk to fellow artists. Share your work but also take the time to look at other peoples work and share your opinions with them. Just like so many industries these days, it’s one big popularity contest and all too often it’s ‘who’ you know, not ‘what’ you know that counts.