We were lucky enough to sit down with Annie Everingham @annieeveringham, an Australian visual artist and creative. Her intuitive, feminine and colour-driven practice combines a love of design, fashion, photography and pattern to encapsulate the elements of beauty found in everyday life across a range of mediums. Alongside her visual art practice, Annie enjoys engaging in collaborative projects with designers and businesses across a range of creative industries, including fashion, interiors & textiles.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an artist and creative living and working in Newcastle/Awabakal Land, a coastal city north of Sydney NSW. I live here with my husband Chris, our 2 year old son Augie, a King Charles Cavalier named Max, and we're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of another baby who will be joining the chaos in November.
I've been running my creative business full time since 2015, painting and selling original artworks and prints, and in addition collaborating with other brands on art and textiles based projects. I originally studied fashion & textile design and have a love of interiors, so my job is a very lovely combination of all my interests and there is a bit of crossover between it all.
Many artists develop a unique artistic style over time. How would you describe your artistic style, and what steps have you taken to nurture and refine it throughout your career?
People often tell me I have a distinct or signature style, and while I'm certainly drawn to certain colours and subjects, I would say my style is ever evolving and not really rooted in anything in particular - it's really at the whim of whatever I feel visually drawn to at the time. I don't take ever-evolving art too seriously and simply enjoy the process of creating imagery that pleases me.
I'm a visual sponge and like any creative I just instinctively look for layers, colour, textures and patterns in my environment, whether that's in nature or inside four walls. I love taking photos, travelling and feel inspired by places and spaces created by other people. My practice is very much rooted in the decorative and I have no shame in celebrating things that are beautiful or bring joy to people visually. Accepting and embracing that I can create art that is unapologetically for the sake of making life more beautiful has given me the drive and confidence to keep doing my thing. Sometimes you make bad art, and you keep going!
Art can be a powerful form of storytelling. Have there been any personal experiences or life events that have deeply influenced your art, and how have you translated those experiences into your creative work?
Being a commercial artist, there can sometimes be a bit of an internal tussle between creating work that speaks to me personally and making work that can ride alongside whatever is happening culturally at the time - just like fashion, music, and interior design, the success of my business and art is inevitably influenced by trends. It can be a tricky balance, creating art that sells and art that you personally want to make.
In the last few years I've moved inconsistently between painting still life and abstracts, which I think represents me most authentically at this particular point in time. As a creative and a mother, really in the thick of those early parenting years, the perpetual tug of war between chaos and order is invariably present. Spending more time at home during the pandemic, renovating, and starting a family has in a way made my world smaller and my lived experiences in this season of life are largely home-orientated. I find joy in the simple everyday rituals of a morning coffee, buying flowers and spending time with my family in the home we've created, and this no doubt inspires the work I feel drawn to creating.
For me, my abstract works represent the more spontaneous, adventurous and disorganised elements of my identity and life outside of motherhood, and true to the contradictions felt by most mums, there's always a bit of wrestling between both playing out.
The creative process can be both rewarding and challenging. How do you overcome creative blocks during your artistic journey?
The pressure to resolve those tricky creative funks can be tough when your livelihood depends on it. It's still a work in progress and definitely trips me up from time to time, but I'm learning to accept the ebbs and flows of creativity and trust in the process. I'm in a very fortunate and privileged position, in that my business is well established now, that my husband and I have another business together run by an incredible team, as well as his full-time income outside of that so that definitely helps and gives me breathing space when I need to work through a rut.
Again, becoming a mum has really challenged my ability to 'hustle' but it's also forced me to slow down, rest when I can, and manage my time more consciously, so when I do get time to create, I feel more energised. These days I also take more time to exercise, spend time outside and accept when it's not happening. It's not a tap you can turn on and off, but I try to ride the wave. In preparing for maternity leave for the second time, I've been focusing more on creating products that I can sell instead of relying on painting alone, which frees up time and mental space for me too.
How does your personal style reflect your personality?
Like my art, I'm not sure I have a particularly distinct sense of style, it changes all the time. I'm more pared back and neutral in my everyday clothes and prefer keeping things pretty staple but injecting a bit of fun with my accessories. But then I kind of flip that approach around and LOVE a statement print or a block colour when I'm dressing up for an occasion. I tend to keep the accessories and makeup simple but feel my most confident and put together in a beautifully designed statement dress. You're more likely to find me in pilates pants or my paint jeans at the moment, but when I do dress up it brings me so much joy. Stripes, florals and comfortable, flowing silhouettes are go-tos of mine.
How do you practice sustainability in your everyday life?
In all honesty this is an area I could do better in, particularly as a consumer of clothing and as a parent. Buying more consciously with small businesses versus mass-produced, investing in designer clothing or buying and selling pieces on second-hand clothing platforms, and being mindful of packaging and waste within my business are all things I try to implement in my everyday life. I think it's wonderful that more brands are actively working to be accountable and transparent in their sustainability and manufacturing practices. Small businesses are leading the charge when it comes to change and leave the bigger companies with a lot to answer for. I really hope that I can keep educating myself and improve in this area.