Interview: A Conversation with Illustrator Anna Higgie

by Julija Kaselyte

Anna Higgie’s fascinating journey into illustration began at an art schools in Australia. Today it continues – Anna is living a creative life in Bristol. While asked about fashion, she answers that it’s one of the most interesting forms of art which inspires her to express herself artistically and is frequently reflected in her work. Work that lets her particular kind of magic to come alive.

Julija: Anna, tell us about yourself. How did you become an illustrator?

Anna: I always drew when I was younger, and I also painted, so after high school I went to Art School in Australia and studied oil painting and traditional drawing. When I finished, I realized that I wanted to become an illustrator. I moved to London and studied illustration and typography there. I have been working freelance as an illustrator ever since.

Julija: How long have you been working in this field?

Anna: About 5 or 6 years more or less.

Julija: Some of your works seem to be related to the fashion industry. What attracts you to fashion?

Anna: I’ve always been drawn to fashion imagery. I think that some of the most interesting art in the world right now can be found on catwalks and in the pages of fashion magazines. It’s not recognized by everyone as a serious art form but personally I have always found great inspiration, drama and beauty in the world of fashion.

Julija: Do you use digital images in your illustrations?

Anna: Not digital images but I do sometimes add color digitally to my images using Photoshop.

Julija: What kind of computer tools do you prefer most?

 Anna: Photoshop! Nothing else.

Julija: Can we find your works in any galleries?

Anna: I have some work in an upcoming show in Los Angeles. The gallery is in West Hollywood and is called Wonderland. The show is called ‘I want to be first’ and the unifying theme is women who or are pioneers in their field. I created a portrait of Coco Chanel because of her pioneering work in fashion in the 20th century.

Julija: How do deadlines and contracts influence your creativity?

Anna: I find that they have a positive influence on my output. To be honest, I have a lazy streak and tend to find myself procrastinating quite a lot, even at my studio. So having a client to impress and a deadline to meet forces me to get on with it really. I never miss a deadline so it definitely encourages me to get to work and get things done.

Julija: What would be your ideal working conditions?

Anna:  Actually, I really love the studio where I am now, it’s my happy place! So really my situation is ideal now. The one thing I would like is a little bit more space so I could make paintings again – right now my studio is quite small and is primarily set up for illustration and I worry that if I started making oil paintings it could end in a (messy) disaster if the two mediums clashed.

Julija: Do you have a favorite artist?

Anna: I have many: Paul Noble, Laura Laine, Egon Schiele, Daniel Clowes, Adrien Tomine, Jillian Tamaki, there are many more but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

Julija: What are you currently working on?

Anna: Well today I’m working on an illustration for Amelia’s magazine for London Fashion Week. I’m also working on a couple of album covers for musicians that I know here in Bristol and a poster for Berlin electronic music producer Kuedo; and I’m about to start an unusual commission – a wedding portrait of a newly married couple.