Get to know Anna Tsvell ー a unique contemporary artist at DressX
DressX Anna Tsvell Art collection is now live at DressX! A special collection features 4 abstract prints created exclusively for DressX, narrating a story about peaceful and productive unity between human and nature. Prior to the launch of the collection we asked Anna about her distinctive artistic style, love for fashion, importance of sustainable living, and her fist experience designing a collection in digital with DressX.
Your artworks have a very distinctive and unique style, which makes them easily recognized among the others. If you could describe your artistic style in just a couple of words, what would they be?
Black lines. My art (both portraits and abstractions) is about black lines which are coming together and forming the world as I see it. If I could add some more words, I would describe my art as black lines, hedonism, symbolism and a little bit of grotesque.
In one of the previous interviews you mentioned that you don’t have formal education in art. How did you decide that you want to choose art as your main career path?
Boredom is my life engine which makes me move and go ahead. I was extremely bored with my «normal» job, so I decided to quit it and to try something new, which turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life. I’ve always had interest in art but I was an amateur, with no technique, no style and no idea how it all works. Nevertheless, I decided to try it anyway and here I am now.
Do you consider art education necessary at all?
I am 100% self taught but I think that art education is important just to understand how it works, and here I mean art history, anatomy, technique etc. Although some of my friends, who have art degrees, think that it was a waste of time. To be honest, I am happy that I learnt it all by myself ーmy art is my experience, my happiness and my pain, my success and failure, it is 100% me.
You have been working on developing your own methodology for creating a unique artistic style from scratch. How did you develop yours and could you share some insights from the methodology you have developed?
Nowadays an artist's style is much more important than the skills. I was quite successful in developing my personal style from an absolute zero, so I am trying to systematize all my knowledge and experience and create something like a methodology for other artists, which would help them to do it too. Long story short: we are all different, and each of us has our own taste, preferences, favorite artists, fears, fixations and other unique features that shape our character. What you need to do is just to listen to yourself and understand yourself, find your own uniqueness and grow it as a tree.
What does your creative process look like? What inspires you to create new artworks and do you actually need to wait for an inspiration to come up with the new ideas?
I am lucky, as my inspiration is always with me and I am almost always in a mood to draw. Of course I am having artist blocks from time to time, but I always remember that I will take out something useful for myself and my art when it’s over. I can listen to the music while working or I can also draw in absolute silence. It all depends on my mood, but usually music is one of my strongest inspirations. Also I am burning candles while painting, drinking coffee or wine.
Do you create your artworks on paper or using digital tech? And if you tried both, what is the difference between the two approaches?
I am trying not to put any boundaries on myself and my art, and so I am working in all mediums I can. I am painting on canvases and paper, and I also use digital tech. I adore all the directions, because they are different and give me an opportunity to experiment with my art materials and techniques. The difference between paper/canvas and digital is huge. I adore working with traditional art supplies because they give me the happiness of the touch. It is an unconditional pleasure for me to paint with watercolors ー I am using high quality materials and watching how the texture of the paint meets the texture of the paper. It’s just mmmm! On the other hand, I adore painting digitally. The possibilities in digital are endless, allowing me to work everywhere - on the rooftop, near the pool, on the airplane. Moreover, I can draw with any lighting having no fear of hurting my eyes. And if one day I will need to choose only one direction (I truly hope that that day will never come) I really don’t know what I will choose.
Throughout your successful career in art, your work has been intertwined a lot with fashion. Specifically, you’ve worked with fashion media like Harper's Bazaar Korea, and world famous brands such as Dior and Tiffany&Co. Could you tell us more about these collaborations and what does fashion mean to you?
I adore fashion and it is always such a pleasure for me to work with fashion brands and media. Of course I have some favorite brands and usually they are somehow connected with art. Dior, Tiffany&Co, Lampoon Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Korea etc wanted to work with me because of my style and gave me a total freedom to create, because they wanted to see my artworks in their collections or campaigns. Moments like these are when I feel the power of my style and strong confidence that I am on the right path.
I’ve illustrated the article on Dior 2017 campaign for Lampoon magazinу, which was connected with surrealism. I was so pleased to do it, because it was totally about my inner condition at that time. I’ve painted the portraits of the most influential Italian women wearing Tiffany&Co collection for the Italian Literary Award, and it was an amazing experience. I was one of 24 artists from all over the world who were chosen to paint the cover for Harper’s Bazaar Korea anniversary issue and it was a great honor to me.
These are just a few examples of my works, which I am proud of, and there are so many yet to come! My connection with fashion is strong and I am extremely happy and proud to create an art collection for DressX, which ideas I am 100% supporting.
Tell us more about the prints you’ve created for your ‘Intertwined’ art collection for DressX. Were they made exclusively for the collection or did you use the already existing artworks? What is the main idea behind the collection?
My ‘Intertwined’ art collection for DressX is exclusive. As soon as we connected with Daria (Daria Shapovalova, co-founder of DressX) to discuss the possibility of collaboration, I already had an idea to create something special, as DressX values are so close to my own.
I created 5 designs for basic clothing under one main theme ーhumankind and nature unity. I believe that as long as we are a part of nature we should live in a good balance with it and respect our planet’s resources.
The patterns of silhouettes and floral patterns intertwine with each other and dissolve one into another as a symbol of a peaceful and productive unity between human and nature.
Could you tell us more about the sustainability aspect behind your collaboration with DressX? You cover this topic a lot with your art, using nature as one of the main characters in your artworks. Do you think that digital fashion could tackle the environmental issues traditional fashion has created?
Yes, I am painting green leaves and floral elements in my works very often as they are symbols of life for me. Nature = Life. There would be no life without nature. Digital fashion is very much needed from an ecological point of view, but also from cultural ー it is our future. I am thinking about making my art more and more digital and creating new forms and perceptions of art, that’s why me and DressX are both looking in the same direction. Of course digital fashion can and will tackle the environmental issues, it is one of the ways to solve the problem of excessive waste from clothing.
What do you think about digitizing art? Does it make art more accessible for the people? And do you actually think that art should be more accessible for everyone?
As I mentioned before, I am seriously thinking about turning my art to digital direction. Of course I won’t stop creating analog art, but I have an idea to create something 100% digital, which couldn’t be printed or have any physical form. I don’t think that art should be more accessible for everyone because not everyone needs it.
What do you think about the future of digital fashion and the place of art in it?
As we all can see, fashion and art are becoming closer and closer: brands are collaborating with artists, because they know that this would result in a truly unique product. Art makes everything better! Digital fashion would become more and more popular, and I think that even people who don’t care about environmental and ecological problems would like to purchase some digital outfits because it would be a big trend. It is a great tendency ー fashion can and must be more ecological before it is too late.Shop DressX Anna Tsvell Art collection.