Hello! I’m excited to add some inspired art by Annie Mae Herring to the Inspiration series. She draws a lot of human subjects, especially celebrities- but what makes her art striking- is that they all really capture the essence of the subject.
This girl has talent! She’s also pretty up to date on popular culture, and I like how her subjects capture it (you’ve got to follow her on instagram for the details) along the way. And on the ever-changing landscape of fashion and entertainment, she captures precise moments and they hold their ground as distinctive pieces of art!
Looking at her artwork, you can see something much deeper of Annie herself there. An artist who can reveal so much in herself indirectly with her art is a rare thing. Her perseverance and grit as an artist truly reflects in her work.
Read on to her what she has to say!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Annie Mae Herring; I am 22 years old from England. I am a Fine Art Student in my last year at Norwich University. I specialize in fashion portraits and some large landscape acrylic canvases. I am fascinated in what people perceive ‘Beauty’ is and how society portrays them.
What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?
My interest in art started from a very young age, I must have been 18 months old when I started “painting”. Colours have always fascinated my practice and me; I love how colour is found even in the dullest things. A road could be dark blue; a shadow on a face could be purple etc.
How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?
I am always looking at other artists work to inspire my own practice, and I constantly go down to London to check out new exhibitions, my favourite place is The National Portrait Gallery. There are always new shows on which is great to see what new artists are creating. Also by having a social media account, it motivates me to produce more art works so that my followers can see what I am up to each day, they definitely motivate me to do more!
What is your general process while creating an art piece?
When creating a new piece, I like to find the image of whoever takes my artistic fancy for that day, choose a medium that I feel I need practice on, and I will usually sketch it out and work onwards from there. I love starting with the eyes, to me it’s the best bit. If you get the eyes wrong, the whole expression can be ruined. So I like to take my time with them! I hate hair. Hair makes me so depressed. SO MUCH MARKMAKING!!! Haha!
What keeps you motivated to draw?
My family, friends and my Instagram followers keep me motivated, I wouldn’t be here without them (sounds corny but its really true). Also, watching films, reading fashion books/magazines. Pinterest is also a brilliant sight to get inspired. I feel I’m quite tenacious with my art; I’m always striving to out do my last piece. I recently found out that I have a famous painter in my family John Fredrick Herring, who painted Queen Victoria’s Horses and all of the Racehorses of the day. That inspired me greatly to achieve that kind of respect (in the art world).
(Barbara Palvin by Annie)
(A very creepy Jared Leto as Joker by Annie)
How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?
The time it usually takes me to complete a piece, depends solely on how motivated I feel that day. One of my flaws is that I am an incredibly impatient person, so if I don’t finish a piece in under a day, I usually never look at it again. (so many unfinished works piling up on my art table !!! )
Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?
One of my personal favourite paintings I have ever done is one of my mother. She suffered a really horrible car accident at the age of 26, and lost her hair. There are no photographs of her as she is, so I asked her to sit for me. I feel like I really captured her uncomfortable shyness at actually being looked at for so long whilst sitting for me, but also that beautiful warmth in her eyes. It is something I will always treasure.
(Annie’s beautiful drawing of her mother. Wonderful expression.)
Do you plan to pursue a career in art? Or is art just a hobby you love?
I am truly hoping to become a freelance Illustrator, or work within a company that would allow me to just be creative! It would be a dream come true. That, or a chef. Food is something I am incredibly passionate about. My family is incredibly food based; my earliest memories are of my Dad and I cooking together. Be it eating, creating dishes, experimenting with new flavours, and learning different ways of achieving tasty dishes or even illustrating it! I love to learn about food. It’s a bit like art really! Lots of practice and trial and error. I love it.
(Cara Delevingne by Annie)
Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?
A typical day for me is getting up, walking my dog Hector then I get straight into my ‘art studio’ and draw. I usually cook twice a day, I have to always be doing something otherwise I just go crazy!
(Edie Campbell by Annie)
Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?
My outfit staple is a black blazer. It looks so good with everything, and it’s so day to night if you add chunky wedges to the OOTD. That, or red lipstick. I think it suits everyone. If I had to be a flower, it would be a Tequila Sunrise Rose. My mum grows them in her garden, and the smell is INCREDIBLE, and I have to always smell nice (one of my weird habits). The multitude of red, pink, yellow and orange colours is just so quirky. It’s my favourite.
(Also, here’s some great abstract work! I like how Annie explores different art styles as well)
What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?
The idea of beauty as a whole. What even is beauty! It’s all in our minds, what the wonderful but fickle fashion industry dictates to us, what society says is right is apparently the norm in our culture. Which angers me. I feel like older faces have so much more expression, depth and history. Every scar, wrinkle tells a story! I like the idea of reproducing these glazed over faces into a different medium. They are already beautiful on film, but I have transported the medium. They are like Dorian Grey Images to me. I have captured them on paper. So they will never age and become ‘ugly’.
What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?
My favourite mediums are coloured pencil; I use Prismacolor Pencils (which are wax based so I can blend them easily to create a smoother surface), or Pastel/ Pastel Pencils. They give such a different look to any picture. When I’m painting my preferred choice is Acrylic Paint. I love Liquitex paints. They are really smooth and creamy with a good colour pigment.
(And here’s Cara again!)
I love the realism and the clean lines in your artwork! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make realistic and precise drawings?
It’s going to sound terribly cliché, but practice everyday. Even if it’s a scribble on a page that could turn into an awesome doodle, just go with it, and even if you feel like it didn’t work, that is good! You won’t do it in that way again. You are constantly learning in art. Also, try your hand at different mediums to see what you maybe good at.
What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?
I usually hang out with my friends, family and boyfriend. They are all incredibly important to me and they inspire me a lot. I never tell them that but hey! I am now, I guess. I love going to London, it’s one of my favourite places in the world. So full of culture, smells, foods! You almost don’t have to go anywhere else in the world!
What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art?
An artist is never fully satisfied with what they do. They always strive to make their work better than before in my opinion. Rarely do I ever say to myself that I am happy with it. But as long as you can put your brush/pencil/whatever you use down and think” yeah, I really tried and It looks good”, to me that’s the best, haha!
Thanks Annie, for a glimpse into your creative process! Wishing you the best ahead!
You can find more of Annie on her Instagram.