Featured Artist: Renee Anne

FK talks to Sydney based artist, Renee Anne who is also one part of collectives Leeloo & Twin Set.

How would you describe your style of illustration?
Hard to describe?… I would say that my style is “natural and organic”, in the sense that I try to not over think concepts and my technique.  I prefer to let the marks and lines form as they should, not how they should.  I love using a technique known as “blind contour” where I look at the subject I am drawing, and not the paper!  That way you are drawing what you actually see, as opposed to what you think you are seeing.  I like to keep my work playful, light, and fun, with a pastel, vintage-y, eco aesthetic.

What or who most inspires your work?
Without going for the cliched response, I really think everything inspires me.  I love looking, and I love seeing.  Most often it is a thought that “inspires” me to get creating, and from there I like to draw on other influences, be they music, art, food, photographs to come to a finished product.  I am ALWAYS the most inspired after a good yoga class, which often means working late into the night!

What is your background and when did you start illustrating?
I have always been a “drawer” (what is the difference hehe!), sketching things in my bedroom for hours as opposed to watching tv when I was young.  I guess since I became internet obsessed and space limited a lot of my work then moved to the computer, however I try to keep traditional methods of drawing in my work, even if I am doing so digitally.  I was studying Art Teaching at COFA in Paddington for 3 years, so I guess I learnt some of the more “technical” things along the way there… however after lots of thinking and realising, I decided that teaching wasn’t for me and went on the pursue all things creative!

How would you describe your creative process?
I don’t think I have a very strict process when it comes to creating.  I have so many blank notebooks and visual diaries, purchased with the intention of plotting and planning ideas, but I never seem to fill them.  Instead, when an idea pops into my head I tend to JUMP at it, unpack all my tools and dive straight in.  I would probably save myself a lot of time and effort if I planned such creative spurts (I live in a tiny apartment and everything needs to be packed up in boxes after I have finished working), but I find such things hard to plan, and when an idea hits me, I can’t be bothered waiting!

Besides from being an illustrator what other ventures do you have?
As much as I would love to be a 100% full time illustrator, I find that my creative ADHD keeps me from sitting still for too long.  I work a few days a week with the fabulous Angela from Leeloo.com.au, helping with many aspects of the business including photographing the gorgeous products!  We (Angela and I) also decided to start a little vintage online clothing shop {twin set} to help channel our love for vintage styling and clothes.  We co-ordinate all the photoshoots, source the clothes and run the store and it is so much fun! I also have been working as a styling assistant at Real Living magazine, working on lots of shoots and fun projects with them.  Interior styling is something that I would LOVE to get into more, and I think it works well with my illustrating side of things, getting me out of the house and working those muscles with all the heavy lifting!!

What do you love most about running your blog?
Being able to use it as an outlet for when I want to buy something but know I shouldn’t.  Instead I just blog about it and I feel like then it wont be lost in the deep abyss that is the online world.  I also love the community and interactive side of things, being able to communicate with like minded peeps from all over the world!

What has been your favourite project/exhibition to work on and why?
Oh my, honestly all of them!  I think it would have to be the first exhibition I coordinated and co-curated with Angela last year titled Once Upon, where we invited 38 emerging and established artists from around Australia to create works representative of a fairytale.  Despite the many many late nights, hundreds of emails, and all hard work, the end result was truly magical. We had over 300 attend on the opening night! Absolutely worth every minute. Since then we have continued to ride the exhibition wave and are loving it. We are taking our second show DisBand (which was held in Sydney in May) to Melbourne, which opens on the 26th August at No Vacancy Gallery.

What new work or projects are you working on at the moment?
Ahhhhh, it seems like I have too many to even think!  Apart from working on my artworks for DisBand (as mentioned above!) and getting everything sorted for our first Melbourne show, I am also in the process of preparing my portfolio (harder than you would think!) and working on getting agency representation (hello!!? anyone!! hehe).  I recently had the pleasure of illustrating and designing Jason Grant’s website and as a result have a few more projects in the pipeline. Always seeking more though 🙂



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