Below is the third of three Aesthetic-led conversations with inspiring women who are carving out a career for themselves and their art. Every conversation is centered around a different theme, but each conversation will hopefully enable you to find your own art-infused application. For more on this collaboration, check out our previous posts here.
ANNIE SWIDERSKI is an artist currently residing in Portland, Oregon. Her work offers a compelling sense of color and play. Originally from Long Beach, California — Annie’s work pulls from her west coast surroundings and emphasizes fabricated bliss. Posing the concept of “within” and “without” amongst many of her paintings, she creates compelling imagery which draws the viewer in. We were eager to hear more about her daily life and how it influences her work.
AES: What’s the most important aspect of art to you?
Annie Swiderski: Continuously learning and unlearning.
AES: What role did traditional education play in your journey as an artist? Is it something you would recommend to journeying artists?
AS: I’m not sure I’d definitively recommend any one way of being an artist. You definitely don’t need to go to art school to be an artist, but one thing it can provide is a sense of community and a motivating environment, which isn’t easy to find everywhere. You also learn lots of big words and how to sound like you know what you’re talking about, which is a valuable skill in any field.
AES: Are there specific people who pushed you to be who you are today?
AS: Pretty much every artist whose work I’ve ever liked, every human I love and some wizard teachers along the way. The only specific one worth mentioning is my Mama, who is not an artist but is a badass and has always been supportive.
AES: Do you find your work to be calculated or spontaneous?
AS: A little bit of both, I hope. Maybe that means it’s neither.
AES: How often do you find time to rest in your week? What does the act of leisure look like for you and how do you separate it from your work?
AS: I’m not very productive when I’m stressed, so rest and leisure are both really important to my work flow. I like reading, gardening, yoga, skateboarding, throwing pots when I have the time, going to the river, sitting in the sun on my porch with a beer and a friend. I try to give myself as much rest time as possible but I’m lucky if I have one day in the week dedicated to it. Definitely need more of that.
AES: What do you think is more important than the work you’re doing?
AS: Being nice to people.
AES: If you weren’t in the field you’re in now, what would you be doing?
AS: Gardening, herbal medicine, carpentry. Never enough time!
Find more from Annie on her website, annieswiderski.com, and on Instagram @annie.swiderski.
Images via Aesthetic