ARTIST FOCUS: ANA
With a wit as sharp as the Spy’s blade and a self-described style that’s “near-Disney drawings with too much stiffness of form to be cartoons and too little realism to be portraits,” Ana’s art is sure to leave an impression on you. It was this mixture of realism with slightly deadpan humor that caught our attention and what makes her this week’s Artist Focus.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I’m from a town slightly south of London, which is not London but may as well be. Currently I live in Oxford, though I’ll have to move soon since I just finished my degree and as such will be shortly ejected.
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What got you interested in art?
Since I was about seven, though not in any official capacity. I always basically drew concept art for games or comics my friends wanted to make, and nothing very much has changed in that respect.
Who/what influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
Victorian portraiture, the macabre and cartoons. I love Sargent, Leighton, Justin Cherry and Heather Campbell, and I tend to drift between the former’s grand manner sort of realism and the latter’s combination of fresh color and expression. Though not with as much success as they themselves, damn them.
How would you describe your style?
Standard near-Disney drawings with too much stiffness of form to be cartoons and too little realism to be portraits.
What medium do you typically use when creating art?
In terms of volume of work, pencil; in terms of actual proper pieces then digital paint. Though whenever I come across an artist who uses a different medium or a different style I have a spree of copying them in an attempt to absorb their technique, much like a warrior eating the heart of their enemy to gain their courage.
What is your approach when creating new illustrations? Do you plan out the illustration ahead of time or do you just start drawing and let the experience guide you?
I very rarely plan anything out, which is not a mode of working I’d recommend. I sort of go from having an image in my head to putting it directly on paper, but the result never matches the mental image. Plus, pictures tend to change while I’m doing them, so no amount of planning is effective in that respect.
What is your day job?
I’m a student at an institution that actively discourages day jobs, but I worked in publishing for a week once. It did not go well.
Tell us about your current projects. What are you working on? Any upcoming art shows?
I’m halfardedly working on a comic about robot cowboys and Paradise Lost, which is marginally less stupid than it sounds, and cover illustrations for a Doctor Who audio series by the Radiosonic Workshop, which is substantially less stupid than it sounds. I’m also planning on exhibiting at the next MCM Expo, just like literally everyone else in the country, it would appear.
Has video game art, concept art, or fan art influenced you at all?
All three, immeasurably. Concept art and game art, by design, has this ability to convey character and place alongside beautiful and novel imagery in a way that’s just as resonant aesthetically and in terms of how it fires your imagination about the thing depicted as any old master. I think so, anyway.
I keep trying to capture that enigmatic glimpse into a world or a person in a single picture that concept art has by default.
Fan art attracts an immense amount of talent, and it’s one of the few open arenas for playing with and adding to existing properties around now. I’d say most of the artists who influence me are fan artists, and not just in stylistic terms - I’ve bought games before purely based on how entertaining some fanart made it look.
Are you an avid gamer? If so, what are you currently playing?
For a given value of ‘avid’, meaning ‘plays nearly every day but wouldn’t sell a kidney for a Wii U’. At the moment I’m juggling a couple of Skyrim playthroughs, and replaying Telltale’s Sam & Max series, which happily hasn’t caused any confused pointing-and-clicking on Forsworn thus far.
If you could be any video game character who would it be? Why?
Probably the large threatening moon from Majora’s Mask. Who hasn’t wanted to crush a city with their big giant face?
What do you do for fun?
Aside from drawing and playing games? I read more than I could but less than I should, and make Steampunk costumes and props.
If there’s one thing that you want people to know about you, what would that be?
Despite all evidence to the contrary, my hair is not a wig.
Want to keep in touch with Ana or see what she is currently working on? You can see all of her work or contact her at:
deviantART || Tumblr