Artist Spotlight: Anissa Aouar
Anissa Aouar is an illustrator based in London. We got to chat to Anissa about her life, work and what inspires her.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your work? I’m originally from Paris and now based in London. With a fashion background I’ve always been inspired by the social aspects of our bodies and ways of expressing ourselves with it and through our appearance. After studying fashion at the Antwerp Royal Academy and working as a fashion designer for a few years I changed career to focus on illustration.
Reflections, Anissa Aouar
What inspires you? Do you have any influences? I’m a very visual person, I fall in love with images. I use a lot of photos, art history references, anything that catches my eye and gives me some sort of emotion as a start to create an image. I’m often inspired by things that touch modern feminism, surrealist and psychedelic arts, dreams and pop culture. I love as well just observing people, relationships and connections between us and with our world, animals and nature.
Disco Trance, Anissa Aouar
How does your work reflect your lived experience? My work often reflects my emotional state, it’s quite representative of my moods. It’s visible in all aspects; the character I choose to draw, his face, posture, the elements that surround it, it can be done in black and white or flashy colours.
Smoke Me Tender, Anissa Aouar
What do you wish for viewers to take from your work? I hope people get some sort of excitement or emotion watching it. I often hear varied interpretations around the same image and love the fact that everyone approaches it so differently. I like when an artwork ends up saying a story that belongs to them and shows something about them and their personality.
Water Fire, Anissa Aouar
What is your process? I usually start with sketching the main idea, character and shapes and continue working on illustrator. I like to improvise and let myself do as I feel at the moment. Mistakes can bring interesting and unexpected adds up. Most of the time I build a first raw image and go back later to the artwork with a fresh mind and see things that I didn’t see before and improve it. I try to follow my intuition and not overthink it.
Give Me a Break Snake, Anissa Aouar
How did you develop your style? Through my studies and in the past I’ve always been drawing things that were quite oniric and humoristic. Often using these types of pop colours, drawing mostly women and their bodies that I find so varied and so easy to work with. Before starting working as an illustrator I was sketching lots of people in the tube and public places with a simple black line and more recently started to experiment with vectorized images. It gives me such freedom and options seem infinite as I’ve just started exploring that. What’s next for you? I’ll keep focusing on my illustrations and develop a strong handwriting, showcase more and get more attention and hope one day I can fully live from it.
Blue Monday Paysage, Anissa Aouar
Any advice for artists starting out on their creative journey? Be true to yourself, follow your intuition, don’t stay stuck in one style, especially at the beginning it’s good to explore. I find it really interesting to look at other artists’ work and see their process and how they’ve built their own style. However try not focusing too much on comparing yourself either. There’s a lot of talented artists out there and it can sometimes be quite overwhelming but don’t beat yourself down anytime you create something you don’t like or feel you’re not good enough. We’ve all been there, most artists have moments of doubt and are not just born like that and just make amazing stuff. It’s a matter of getting to know yourself better, trust your instinct, relax and enjoy mistakes and the process, because that’s what makes you grow. It is a slow process and requires a lot of patience and practice. Ideally drawing on a daily basis will help a lot, if you can make it happen. The more you do, the easier it will get to make stuff.