Visual artist Anna Campbell is from Perth, Western Australia and runs online Etsy shop Inkbotanica. Todays’ post is for aspiring artists. To find out more about Anna and her work, check out her Etsy or Tumblr.
Tell us about Inkbotanica and how you first got into art.
Ink Botanica is my Etsy Shop which is home to a range of ink & collage drawings.
I was interested in making and selling prints to begin with but ended up listing the originals. I like the idea of someone owning the ‘real’ product of a moment of creativity!
I first got into Art as a child. I was (and still am) a compulsive drawer. Illustration was the original spark. My books had images that I would get lost inside of. Not necessarily big colourful pieces either, moreso the small ink drawings that would be scattered
throughout Blyton and C.S Lewis books. I’d devour the story just so I could reach the next drawing. Funny thing is, the more simple the illustration, the more it would inspire my imagination.
What does art mean to you?
Art, for me, is an escape, a lifeline, a thought, an interpretation, a gift.
I love that Art makes you observant and can ‘stop the clock’ on reality. I love those lost (or found?) moments when you walk through a gallery and you catch sight of something that immediately pulls you in. You can’t walk past it. It’s a certain power only Art holds. It might be a song too, or a film, or a sculpture, but for me it’s usually a painting. The first time I laid eyes on an Auerbach painting I swear time froze!
What is your favourite piece of art you have ever created and why?
One of my favourite pieces of Art is a large Oil on Canvas, titled ‘Mike’. I did after the death of a friend. I attacked that poor canvas with layer upon layer of paint, stripped it bare dozens of times and laid all my grief on it.
On a more cheery note, I also have a soft spot for a drawing I did as an entry into the Kokoblack Drawing Prize. I was selected as a Finalist and got to eat copious amounts of delicious Kokoblack chocolate in Melbourne and meet one of my favourite illustrators, Elise Hurst. Not bad for a drawing which I did in one evening to meet the deadline! It’s a great reminder to have fun with Art. It doesn’t all need to be serious heady stuff.
How did it feel to sell your first print?
Selling my first drawing through Ink Botanica was a bit surreal to be honest. All my previously sold work was either oil paintings or portraits. It’s easier to understand the appeal of either of these forms of visual art. The reality of selling a postcard size drawing of a Puffin was more liberating than I expected! I enjoy drawing objects that are overlooked or ordinary at first glance. To think you may’ve caught a little flicker of magic that someone appreciates and wants hanging in their homes…that’s a good feeling!
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
I go up North, down South or if I’m desperate, my garden. Having a big family makes getting away challenging so anywhere that has dirt, trees and relative silence does the job. It used to be busy places and faces that’d get me inspired, now it seems to be twigs and rusty half broken things!
What stops artists from being successful?
Fear can be crippling at times. I don’t think that fear stops artists from singing, painting, filming, expressing themselves…but it may stop them from showing their creations.
What are your hopes for the future of your art?
My hope is that I just keep doing. Draw draw draw!
I’d like to really chunk out Ink Botanica with work that uses every part of the page. The style so far has been more simplistic, more like you are looking at an object of science. I love white space and uncluttered images but I’d like to play around with something different. I’m also playing with the idea of illustrating my favourite parts of classic children’s Literature.
Then again I’ll probably come across a beautifully dishevelled vegetable and draw that instead.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Learn the rules, then break them.
Find balance between what you want to do and what you need to do.
Most importantly, be kind to your fellow artists!