I’m pleased to present one of our newer creatives to join the Art Wow family – Rock and Rose Creative. Anna, the amazingly talented designer behind Rock & Rose Creative, designs unique celebrity portraits of all our favourite TV and Film characters, as well as other bold and fun designs including animals and landscapes. As a relatively new designer, Anna is constantly experimenting with her subject matter, but she has a clear style which shines through in her artwork. But don’t take our word for it, below is a Q+A with the artist herself… enjoy!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based? What does a
typical day look like to you?
Hi! I’m Anna, the face behind Rock & Rose Creative. I currently live in Birmingham but have moved around a few times, including living in Devon and beautiful Chamonix in the French Alps. My freelance day job is social and digital marketing for small companies, but in my spare time you’ll find me taking photos, playing my guitar and creating new illustrations. When coming up with new designs, you’ll find me sitting somewhere comfy, listening to music and drinking coffee!
How would you describe your style of work?
That’s a good question! As a new designer, I’m constantly experimenting. I like pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and trying different techniques which can be trial and error at times. I use a digital pen for illustrating and I like the freedom it gives me to play around with modern and abstract designs. For my card collections I like to add humour, and whimsical and strong fonts. When designing this way, you have to be quick as trends come and go so fast.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?
I’ve always tried to live by this piece of advice: “Treat others how you want to be treated”. I think being kind is so important! I’m really lucky to have wonderful family and friends that have supported me along the way, and I like to reciprocate this. Especially in current times, kindness goes a long way.
What inspires you?
So many things can trigger a creative idea for me. I tend to go with the flow of whatever inspires me at the time – this might be memories, a show on Netflix, songs or popular culture to name a few.
Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?
Yes, my ‘Bridgerton’ piece is particularly special to me as I designed it for my mum – she really loves the show! When she was taken to hospital very poorly, I needed a distraction as it was a really tough time. Drawing characters was a big challenge for me, especially ones from a hit show that needed to be instantly recognisable. She absolutely loved the card, made a full recovery (which is amazing) and the design became my bestseller.
If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?
My music choice is very eclectic! I think it would be the kind of music you listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon, chilling out at a beach bar, or going out for a drive. I often listen to The Paper Kites when I’m designing as they are so relaxing.
What artist, past or present has inspired you?
It’s so hard to choose but two artists stand out for me. The first is the amazing photographer Steve McCurry – his eye for colour and capturing human emotion from a single photo inspired me to train as a photographer. The second is the illustrator Becky Bettesworth – her vintage inspired travel posters always take me back to my favourite locations. They are simple, soft and have lovely colour pallets.
Who are your biggest influences?
My friends and family! I’ve been surrounded by some very creative and talented people. My dad is an artist, my mum is a creative writer, my sister-in-law was a theatrical props designer and my brother worked as a TV producer.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I love giving handmade gifts from small businesses and designers. For my brother’s tenth wedding anniversary I bought a print of his wedding song lyrics, which were printed in a spiral to form a shape of a vinyl record – they loved it!
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I’ve always loved looking at illustrations and one day I thought, why not give it a go! I bought an online course for £10 and just started playing around on my laptop and iPad, designing for fun to improve my skills. A year later I’m so flattered that people are purchasing my designs. My recommendation for anyone who wants to start a new hobby is to just go for it.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I think I would be a cat. I love food, enjoy company but have a very independent streak!
How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?
The first step for me was learning the digital software. I get so excited by ideas that I try to run before I can walk sometimes. Once I got the hang of how to start illustrating digitally, I then began playing around with colour, fonts and textures and from there I just draw when I feel a burst of inspiration.
What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?
The hardest thing for me is having an idea in my head and then it not turning out the way I would hope – I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Sometimes I have to just walk away and then come back to a piece with a fresh pair of eyes. Drawing people is such a challenge for me!
In one word, describe how art makes you feel.