Anna Stiles will be exhibiting drawings and prints in ‘Drawing the Unknown’ at The Wild Goose Bakery, on for the entire Trail.
We asked Anna some questions about her art practice and ideas.
Julie: Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the Leytonstone Arts Trail in 2016.
Anna Stiles: I’ll be exhibiting colourful ink drawings, portraits, and some new 3D illustration.
Julie: This is the 9th LAT. Have you taken part in the Trail before and what did you do?
Anna Stiles: In 2012 I took part in a group show at Norlington Road Studios and last year I showed two drawings at the Red Lion.
Julie: Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education.
Anna Stiles: I’m self-taught. I was always drawing and creating as a child. I studied French at University which allowed me to spend a year teaching in the Loire Valley and I spent most of my spare time there drawing. A few years after graduating and leaving a job in Westminster, I embarked on a 7-month road-trip of Europe in a camper van where I began to focus on drawing and building a portfolio. Being away broadened my horizons and gave me time to develop artistically. I’ve been working as an Illustrator since I returned from to the U.K in late 2009.
Julie: How would you describe your art practice? What kind of things inspire you to create art?
Anna Stiles: I make detail-rich, hand drawn illustrations. I’m obsessed with detail and mark making, and mostly work in ink. I love drawing faces and adding dreamy forms or psychedelic elements. Mostly I hope the details in the work will reveal themselves over time and that their meaning will be ambiguous and open to interpretation. Travel, music and reading are the things that influence me most.
Julie: How would you describe a good day in the studio?
Anna Stiles: I start every day by making a playlist, depending on what needs to be done. The best days are the ones when everything comes together and I can express an idea that’s been in my head.
Julie: What challenges (if any) do you face in preparing yourself and your work for the Trail?
Anna Stiles: Time! But sometimes the pressure is good and gives you the impetus you need to surpass your own expectations.
Julie: Do you collect art?
Anna Stiles: I’ve swapped pieces with friends and other creatives over the years.
Julie: Please tell us something you really like about Leytonstone.
Anna Stiles: We are so lucky to have green spaces like Hollow Ponds, Epping Forest and Wanstead Flats. There’s a really good community spirit here and lots of interesting people.
Julie: Besides the Trail, what is coming up next for you and where can we see more of your art in the flesh or on-line?
Anna Stiles: For the last few months, I’ve been working on a film for 20th Century Fox which will be out next summer and I have two 3D colouring books being published towards the end of the year. Over the past 18 months I’ve been learning animation, it’s cool to see 2D ideas come to life and something I want to develop in future. I’d like to do some further large-scale, 3D work before the end of 2016.