I interviewed Annie Ruygt, an Artist and Illustrator who likes to draw things of whimsy, humor, and beauty. . She attended Cal State Fullerton and currently lives in Fullerton. You can check out her website here.
- What is your artistic process? I have always found myself to be inspired by the art that others create. For a while it was movies, then children’s books. More recently it’s been poetry and quotes. I am in awe of the amazing things people say.
- What have you been working on recently? Recently I’ve been working on block printing and using symbols in my work. Like my quote paintings, I’ve been basing an image off a text but now I’m writing my own poetry. It’s been rewarding and challenging. The block prints are fulfilling my need right now to try a different medium and branch out of my realistic tendencies- to think graphically for a change.
- What were your first artistic experiences? What made you interested in the arts? I was stunned when I saw the little mermaid for the first time. I had already enjoyed drawing, but I wanted to draw Ariel. I wanted to draw with the ease and intelligence of the best Disney Animators.
- Where do you draw inspiration for your work? I am inspired by so many things but mostly by other’s creativity and what they share with the world. Growing up, I never understood quotes. Teachers would write them on the white board and I’d read them like they were riddles. I went through a life changing experience and understood for the first time that I can learn a lot about this world by listening to what other people say and by paying attention. My art dramatically changed when I realized this.
- What artists influence your work? Who do you look up to in the art world? I love Tim Burton for his individuality, Glen Keane for his raw skill, Mary Grandpre for her color and shapes, and so many others. I’ve always admired Chris Van Allsburg because he makes reading a book feel like living in a book.
- What was your largest career leap? When I decided to start doing art shows, a lot of things changed for me. I had to make more art than ever before, I had to value my art, and I had to sell my art. The best thing you can do is get out there and show the world what you do- not just on the internet- but in person, face to face.
- When did you decide what you wanted to do for a career? I’ve always loved music, but I wanted to be an artist from 1st or 2nd grade.
- Do you feel your job gives you the opportunity to inspire others? I do! And I’m so glad to do it! I was inspired by so many artists and I hope the good energy shines on through me and everyone else out there, trying to do something they believe in.
- What are some specific challenges you’ve faced in your profession? You hear “starving artist” a lot, and it’s true. But if you strive to make art for yourself, you’ll be much happier for it. It’s not stable, it’s not easy, but most artists would agree that it’s the only thing they really want to do with their lives. So do it! Put your guts into it and keep your day job- it’ll pay off. And use your brain- you can make a business out of your art as long as you keep trying to build it.
- What single piece of advice would you give to an artist who would like a career like yours? Best said by Mark Twain, I think: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
October 22, 2012