ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

WEEK 6

ANNIE WALTER

Who are you? Introduce yourself.

Hello! I am Annie. I am an illustrator, cat lover, hobby enthusiast, currently living in Melbourne. 

Give us a run down of what you do and your background.

I create artworks for bands. A lot of shirts and posters. I think I designed my very first shirt 13 years ago now. It was really terrible! I made shirts for a few friends bands, these designs were probably also terrible, and then somehow other bands asked me to create something for them, and on and on. 

 

I originally wanted to be a fabric designer. I studied fine arts at Tafe, then switched to a textile design course at an art school. Before I’d even finished I realised how difficult it would be to get a job in this field in Australia so stumbled into a graphic design job, and then a few more graphic design jobs. This whole time designing stuff for bands on the side. At some point I got a part time job designing band merch for a merch company, and that was my last in-house job. Have been solely freelance for the past 7 years.

Why did you get into design? Any influences?

I’d always been very creative. I drew non stop as a child. My grand mothers fridge was covered in pencil illustrations of Australian birds. I’d also make clothes for my toys. I’d take beaded and sewn items apart so I could work out how they were made and then reconstruct my own versions. I always knew I’d do something creative but I didn’t know what. It took me a very long time to know what I wanted to do. I just kept following different creative paths till something stuck. I was always good at teaching myself skills. I never studied design, I taught myself how to use all the different software and how to prep files properly. I also taught myself how to animate, retouch photos, build simple websites, simple coding, and a bunch of other things so I could try different career paths early on. Basically I just kept experimenting till I found something I enjoyed and that I could progress in. 

 

I’ve been influenced by so many people, things, and all the talented artists out there. My family is pretty creative, and definitely played a large role in my creativity. All my clothes growing up were made by my grandmother or mum. My parents could play a variety of musical instruments and we always had a flourishing garden and cooked a lot of different foods. My dad would let me paint a new mural on my bedroom wall every few months. Which led a friend in high-school to ask if I would do one on her bedroom wall. I guess she forgot to ask for permission because her dad came in and painted over it in white that same day. I find inspiration in so much it’s really hard to narrow down. But comics, cartoon, vintage fabrics, visiting museums, gardens and a bunch of other stuff always gets my creativity going.  

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"I drew non stop as a child. My grand mothers fridge was covered in pencil illustrations of Australian birds."

Your favourite piece you've done?

I have two, well I probably have a million but I narrowed it down to two. 

 

One of the screen prints I designed for Courtney Barnett. It was when her “Tell me how you really feel” Album came out and she played a show at the Sydney Opera House. I asked people on facebook to “Tell me how you really feel” and used all the responses as a background pattern to the illustration. The illustration itself represented the peeling back of layers and emotions. 

 

And an artwork from earlier this year for an exhibition called Herding Cats. My very talented friend Glenno Smith put’s on the show to help raise money for The Cat Society of Newtown. He’s an incredible illustrator who’s work you will have seen around a bunch, and a very proactive member of the art community. He puts on a lot of shows and is incredibly encouraging of artists small, and large. I created this piece based on combining my two cats together. I’d been looking at a lot of amazing Japanese and Korean art at the time and was really into that aesthetic. I still am.