By Jonathan McMahon
One of the many joys of fooling around on the internet; is that occasionally you find some artists that are pretty spectacular. We got chatting to one of these artists, and thought it would be good if we gave you the scoop on Annee Schwank.
Often creating art with a sultry vibe, that’s caught on the cusp between modern and implicative, Annee has been balancing her time in and amongst her passions and serendipity, but while that’s been happening, she’s gotten a little internet fame in doing so.
Sometimes expressing herself with a hint of seduction, a touch of hidden implication, but never scared to challenge issues that are glaringly obvious and contemporary. Her work can be well thought out, while objectifying the normal such as ‘Denture Pool’, or on the other hand it can be simplistic, yet rich in texture, temperature and colour such as ‘Pink Lips’.
There is of course sometimes, a grafting hand at work to point out the subject matter which isn’t very topical, certainly not in the realm of current artists, pieces like ‘Bullies’ highlight and question the majority on who should be pointing the finger, quite literally.
Impressed with and loving her creative works, we sat down to have a chat with Annee, here’s what was said when we did:
First of all, what have you been up to lately? Was 2014 a good year?
2014 was an amazing year; it was the year of change for me. Not the planned kind where people make resolutions, but things just happened and fell into place in my business and personal life and I am really excited about where things are heading.
When you’re working away, what sort of stuff puts you in your Zen?
When I am working on a piece, it’s all about preparation for me. I like to have my materials ready, have some good music or podcasts ready to go, and be wearing my most comfortable aerodynamic pair of sweatpants. It also really helps to have some sort of plan with the piece I am working on. Too many times I have had pieces where I thought it would turn out one way, and it went in the complete opposite direction, and I got overwhelmed and gave up.
What’s your go-to vice, to get away from all the humdrum of work?
Well, I have five cats, for those times when work is monotonous or I can feel it becoming too much, sometimes I just lay down and a few of the cats come up and lay on/with me for a few minutes, and then I am ready for work again. I work on the computer a lot too, so I really like to be away from it in my down time.
If you had a dream project, what would it be?
I have given this a lot of thought. My dream project would be to do an illustration for Rolling Stone about Bruce Springsteen. It combines ALL of my favourite things. Maybe one day. I also have this pipe dream side project I have been working on. There is no working title really, but it is an illustrated book about all the fucked up things about Florida. I am born and raised in Florida, so I can do this. I understand.
Favorite place on this Earth? And what tipple would you be drinking while there?
Oh man, well over the summer I went to Portland, and it was the most beautiful area of the US I have ever been to. If I was there I would be drinking some fancy craft beer. I like to find things around me that make me really happy. Like a decent authentic Mexican restaurant, on a hot summer day drinking a huge margarita makes me PRETTY happy. It’s sort of like a vacation, right?
What do you have to say about the old “struggle of the artist” adage?
I think if you decide at whatever point in your life that you want to be an artist, you have to make that decision knowing that it’s not all free-spirited, drinking, debauchery, and suddenly someone creates something beautiful. Choosing to be in the art business is as serious as it is to be a lawyer or a doctor. It’s paperwork, it’s a lot of meetings, weird tax forms that you don’t understand what they mean, and even the way you make work becomes pragmatic. At least it does for me. There is no such thing as coincidences or luck either. You work to be in all the right places at all the right times, just on the off chance something happens for you. Making art is WORK.
What’s been the biggest eye opener for you when it comes to art?
My biggest eye-opener and underlying issue I consistently deal with is confidence and staying true to you. I don’t want to sound all preachy, but it has been proven that if you do the work you want to do, and you don’t give up on it. Whether you become world-renowned or not; you did something. And you were excited and happy to do it. To me, that is what matters. Success is important, but life is short and I would rather be making work I am happy with than to try to get famous by being something I know I’m not. I am going to get off of my soapbox now, haha.