Annita Maslov talks about 'Moon Fire' opening at Outré Gallery September 05 2016
Annita's beautifully magical characters feel like ghost souls of strong, female artists Vali Meyers and Frida Kahlo.
In her drawings she weaves snakes around eerie, doll-like girls with flowing hair and endless space for eyes. Skulls are drawn on a black background adorned with roses and overflowing treasure. She also draws scenes of planets orbiting around the all seeing eye, cushioned with deathly bees and alluring roses.
We caught up with her to find out how to get in as an illustrator wanting to be a tattoo artist, how social media is making life easier for artists and what drives her insane creations.
What inspires your illustrations?
This is always a hard question. It’s quite hard to pinpoint any singular aspects of inspiration. A lot of the imagery in my work are things that I simply find aesthetically or symbolically pleasing, or sometimes, without influence, a concept would just pop into mind that I would think would make an interesting illustration. Most recently I’ve gained quite a bit of inspiration from listening to history podcasts, so some of my more recent work has been of historical figures or based on historical anecdotes.
The pen lines and shading are delicately refined, how did you develop your skill to draw?
I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, so just years of practice I guess. I remember a few years back I completed a drawing of a girl surrounded by flowers, and I was stoked with the amount of detail in it. Looking at it recently, it’s so simple and underworked (and honestly, not that great). I realised I hadn’t only progressed in technicality, I also got better at seeing my work subjectivity to find areas of improvement. Ironically, the more I draw, the more things I find to improve—but that’s definitely a good thing because my perception is getting better. I think the day I find my work perfect is the day I should stop doing art.
Heretic Tattoo in Fitzroy is your current place of work. How did you get into tattooing?
I did freelance illustration for a while, and quite a lot of the commissioned work I was getting were custom tattoo designs. So that gave me the idea. I then found an apprenticeship and off I went!
Could you talk about the work you’ve created for the ‘Moon Fire’ Occult show next Friday at Outré Gallery?
For the most part I’ve exercised the theme in its literal sense. One of my pieces, ‘Mercy’s Heart’, is based on a famous incident in 1892 where an entire family was accused of vampirism. Mercy Brown (depicted in the illustration) was the most well known, and there were rumours and sightings of her wandering through cemeteries and farmlands during the time. The story is quite sad and interesting. Worth reading into if the theme interests you.
Another piece, ‘The Coward’s Curse’, I’ve taken on the theme in a more metaphysical sense with the subject of being cursed. It’s based on The Order of the White Feather, a campaign during WWI where women were encouraged to present a white feather to men not wearing uniform to shame them into enlisting. A lot of men given the feather had reasons not to enlist – health, age, or otherwise – but would then lie about prerequisites to enlist in order to negate the perception of cowardice. It just seemed as though upon being presented with the feather, you’re pretty much cursed into a negative situation; you’re deemed a coward and mentally tormented if you don’t enlist, or you deal with the horrors of war if you do.
For someone looking to get into tattooing, would you have any advice?
Definitely find an apprenticeship—do not buy a kit online and attempt to practice yourself! This rarely ends well, and it discourages tattooists to take you on as an apprentice if you decide to find one.
To get an apprenticeship you definitely need a substantial folio—develop one that shows versatility in style and technical application. Though it definitely helps if you have a developed style that the majority of your folio can consist of.
View full Article via Acclaim Magazine: http://acclaimmag.com/art/interview-balancing-the-dark-and-delicate-with-annita-maslov/