Dogs We Dig #7: Anna May
Meet our mate Anna May. Illustrator, DJ and fresh tattoo artist with talent off the charts, this dope babe walked into our lives a couple months ago and we’ve been frothing ever since. Anna has been a DJ under the Pelican Villa label for a while, but recently shifted her focus from sounds to sights. Her true aspirations lie in the tattoo world, and, friends, she’s gonna be big.
You’ll find Anna’s neotraditional, psychedelic doodles so visually satisfying, you may as well just close your eyes for the rest of the day. Just shut ‘em up. Anna’s bold aesthetic translates easily to tattoos. One of the JFO team may already have one of Anna’s inky little friends on their flesh forever.
Who are you?
I'm Anna. I'm a tattoo apprentice at Heretic in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
What are you into?
I'm into the idea that people want my art on their bodies forever. I'm very lucky to have been welcomed into such an awesome studio where so many clients are willing to hand a lot of creative freedom over to the artists, so it means I get to do lots of really fun stuff.
What’s your quest?
To do this for the rest of my life.
What’s around the corner?
I'm pretty happy and comfortable where I am at the moment. I guess the only thing around the corner is me constantly learning and improving my skills as an artist.
What do you wish would fuck off forever?
When did your love for art begin?
I really don't know. Since I could hold a pencil? It's the one thing in my life that I've kept coming back to. Up until recently I was always trying to find time for both my art and my music, but in the end my art always won.
What influences your work?
A lot of things, it's hard to say really. I'm a very linear artist, so I'm always trying to find patterns in things as opposed to using colour and shading. All of the people I work with atHeretic are huge obviously huge influences as well. I think the main thing that drives me is knowing that there is no other career I'd rather be in, so I need to constantly be drawing and improving.
How would you describe your art?
Like I said before, I consider myself a very linear artist. I like using heavy contrasts and thick lines, as well as including abstract patterns to make simple things appear more interesting. When I draw now, I try and think about the possible placement on someones body as a way of influencing the shape and flow of my work.
What styles and mediums are you experimenting with at the moment?
I almost always draw with a thick fineliner on textured paper - I love the way it looks. I've just recently acquired a drawing tablet as well which has been a huge aid for tattooing. It's great for drawing up clean stencils and I can get down ideas super quickly. Obviously I am also still learning how to tattoo as well - it's all very new to me - but every time I pick up the machine I learn something new and I can feel myself improving with every tattoo that I do.
On Heretic Tattoo Studio, where Anna apprentices:
"It's a beautiful studio filled with some of the most crazy talented people I've ever met. I'm always nervous but never short for inspiration when surrounded by some of Melbourne's best artists. We focus primarily on custom work and being tucked off the main street means that we don't get a huge amount of walk ins - and the ones we do get are usually people who have done a bit of research to find out what we're all about."
We’ve been lucky enough to work with Anna on some neat little projects. First up was the Comity Act pin, designed as a gift for the participants at Burning Seed 2016. A deep space theme meant a deep space pin (our second favourite kind of deep). Heartbreakingly, the site was flooded and Seed cancelled. Those rain clouds, though, are lined with silver. We’re determined to persevere with the gifting ethos of Seed, so all proceeds from sales of these babies are going to Kiva.
Anna was also an intrinsic element of our recent Christmas Pop-Up Store, Yule Be Right. She pumped out some NSFW illustrations for anti-Christmas greeting cards. Instant classic was crowd-favourite May All Your Christmases Be Lit.
The future is bright: we’re hoping to cook up a bunch more delicious idea-pies with Anna. Whet your appetite with a browse of her portfolio here.