Annie Hamman is a mixed-media artist from South Africa. She is 38 years old and resides in a beautiful tourist town by the sea, Hermanus, with her filmmaker husband and a toddler artist Tallulah Jade Rainbow.
Carrie: Welcome Annie, how would you describe your art to Artist Strong readers?
I think of my art as slightly surreal, soulful, thought provoking, and emotional.
Carrie: Can you describe your creative process to readers?
Often it’s a storytelling process. I go through many inspirational images of other artists’ photography and I get inspired to create a story. Then I combine in a collage a face with a hand, adding specific background, dress pattern and other storytelling elements, like a bird or an apple.
The process is similar to a digital artist except that I re-interpret other people’s inspirational images to make them distinctly my own. Basically once my collage is done I paint it in my own way: creating a totally different work of art to the images that I originally got inspired from.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
I never thought of myself having a specific style and never aimed for it. I always tried to paint in many different styles, but recently I noticed that people started recognizing my work. I am always in the process of creative research and I think artistic style must constantly evolve and change.
Carrie: What has been one hurdle you’ve overcome as a creative and how did you navigate that problem?
My biggest problem was to start creating regularly. I used to go for a long stretch of intense creativity and then for a long stretch of doing nothing (several months long stretches). Eventually I came to realize that I cannot sit and wait for inspiration to come, I have to show up at my studio every day and art will happen. And it always does. I’ve managed to produce my best art while having a flu or being depressed.
Carrie: What do you hope viewers take from your artwork?
I hope to inspire and to evoke the emotional feeling of a story; that is, one for me and a different one for you.
Carrie: When did you first realize the arts were an important part of your life?
When I was about 7 years old I was forced by my musician parents to go to music school 3 times a week while all I wanted was to paint and draw. I put up a massive fight over the course of several years, where eventually I was allowed to drop music and go to study arts at the age of 13.
Carrie: What is the first thing you do when you feel stuck working on an artwork?
I browse through my beautiful photography references to see if some element inspires me to add to my work: it could be a tree, a wing or a different background.
Carrie: What does your workspace look like?
Carrie: What other projects are you working on at the moment?
I am releasing my 1st online workshop on 7th September 2015: “Creating Soulful Art With A Story.” It is a 1 week e-course where I teach my process step by step in 6 comprehensive video demonstrations. More info here.
Another constantly evolving project of mine is called “Fearless Art.” I’ve encouraged my 3 year old Tallulah Jade Rainbow to create large abstract paintings since she was 1 year old. At 3 she had her 1st successful solo art exhibition here in Hermanus where 30 large canvases were displayed. More info is on her blog.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
Talented photographers and artists working with many different themes and ideas. I am more inspired by modern, living artists than from the artists of the past. I have especially high regard for the talent and work of my online teacher Misty Mawn. My 3 year old inspires me too: she teaches me Fearless Art.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Creativity is a natural longing of the soul to explore the unknown; we physically combine necessary tools in order to achieve something from nothing.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Have you been aiming for an artistic style? What do you think about Annie’s quote, “artistic style must constantly evolve and change?” Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
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