Local lass Annie Everingham was gracious enough to answer a few questions with us about her work and life as an Artist and Designer.
Have you always aspired to be an artist? How did you find yourself with this gig?
I dusted off a Bachelor of Fashion & Textile Design at UTS in Sydney last year, majoring in illustration and digital textile print design, which is the design of fabric surfaces through digitalising artworks and patterns. I’m still practising what to call myself when people ask me what my title is, because I consider myself a bit of mix. I was always conflicted through school between studying fine art and studying design, but eventually chose design because I miraculously got accepted into the UTS program, which is a notoriously tough gig! So I thought I better step up to the plate and see where it lead to. I really value my design education because it gave me a number of very specific but also versatile skill sets (like marketing and digital design), while also allowing me the freedom to develop a really unique practice that combines my interests in fashion, interiors, textile design and art. I get to do a bit of everything!
What has inspired you for your latest series? What themes did you explore?
Colour! A lot of people don’t realise that until recently, my focus was illustration and fine drawings rather than painting and abstract artwork. Getting experimental in the print room in my last year of uni with inks, dyes and paint got me really obsessed with textures and colour. My lecturers always tried to steer me away from pastels, so the second I graduated I jumped straight into playing with colour and totally revelled in the freedom of creating those textures and surfaces with whatever colours I wanted to, without a brief, without concept, and just enjoyed being really intuitive about it, without all the ‘design’ consideration. I like finding that balance between the discipline that design calls for and the total unconstraint of art making.
Tell us a bit about the Newcastle art scene?
It’s small and a little bit underground, but so nurturing! I moved here towards the end of my degree to be with my boyfriend, Chris, and start our business together. There is a thriving little creative community here, which seems to be growing all the time. I’m really passionate about contributing to that and I think that this is a really exciting time to be a creative, regardless of where you are. The digital age means you don’t have to be in the major cities like Sydney and Melbourne to be a big player in the game. I’d love to see more opportunities for creative people to stay here and build their careers, it adds so much to the culture of a city and Newcastle has all the potential in the world to be on a level playing field with other cities.
What processes do you use to create your prints?
I start with hand work using watercolours, acrylics, hand drawing, and ink on fabrics. Then I photograph various artworks and textures that I’ve created by hand and digitally combine them using Photoshop. Some of my wall prints are just straight scans of artworks on canvas and paper, some are combination pieces. I’m experimenting with everything I can at the moment.
Whats next? Do you have a dream project?
I’m currently in the process of designing a new range of digitally printed cushions which will hopefully be out in time for Christmas! There’s an endless list of products I want to apply my textiles and artwork to, but I’m also getting a lot of people asking me to do large scale original artworks on canvas, so I’m heading down that path as well which is exciting.
My dream project would be to collaborate with a fashion house in developing signature prints for a range, seeing my artwork on the runway would be the ultimate combination of my pursuits!