Es un lujo para Visualmente tener hoy a la ilustradora Annie Wu a través de un reportaje exclusivo. Ella nace en 1988, estudia en la Universidad de Maryland, en su Institute of Art. Se pasa todo el día dibujando, escribiendo, o haciendo cosas que le dejan poco tiempo de vida social. Entre sus clientes podemos nombrar DC Comics, la revista Elle, la revista Lacrosse y Coca-Cola de Brasil, entre otros.
1. What techniques do you use?
Usually, I draw something out in pencil and then ink it on paper with a dip pen. This drawing gets scanned, and I do clean-up and color in Photoshop. Every once in a while, I'll also scan in some textures and layer those in.
2. What are your artistic influences?
I have a lot, because my interests are extremely varied. Off the top of my head, there's Gustav Klimt, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Jamie Hewlett, Robert McGinnis... And then there are a bunch of people in the fashion, music and animation industries that constantly inspire me. I'm probably a bit safer with so many influences... I hope it means I'm less likely to subconsciously emulate a specific artist's style.
3. Where do you find inspiration for works like The Birds?
That piece came about after I watched Hitchcock's' "The Birds" one night and thought it'd be funny to translate the imagery into surly people wearing feathery outfits and perching on playground equipment. Honestly, most of my personal work is created just because I either think something would be really funny or cool to look at. Or both. I also like drawing figures so I occasionally get the urge to sketch out an interesting pose, which can turn into a more complete illustration further down the line.
4. How is your work process when you have to find an idea for drawing, for example, Justice League of America punk redesign?
The JLA illustration developed from a prompt on Warren Ellis's Whitechapel forum. The idea to turn the group into a band branched off a connection I made between Wonder Woman's golden lasso and a microphone cord. So I thought, "Okay, if Wonder Woman has a mic in this imaginary film by Malcolm McLaren, then she's totally in a punk band. And if she's the lead singer of a punk band, then Batman's got to be on bass. And if Batman can't wear a cowl, then he needs to have pointy hair to resemble his costume..." It's just me improvising against myself until I develop something bigger, I guess. I rarely go in with a complete image in mind; it's more "If [this], then [this]..."
5. How long does it take you to make one of these drawings?
It depends on what it is. If it's a personal piece (as in, not for a client or assignment), then it tends to go by a lot faster, because if I don't like something or suddenly don't feel like drawing it, I can change details as I please and no one would care. Work I do professionally generally takes much longer; there's an audience and intention to consider. I've finished illustrations in an afternoon of non-stop working, but I've also taken months to complete a drawing.
(Autoretrato de Annie Wu)
6. How to define your style?
It's so weird; I have no idea what to make of my work anymore. I've heard it described in so many conflicting ways that it has muddled my own views... Dark but humorous, "looks like it was probably drawn by a guy" but also vaguely feminine, expressive but deadpan, cartoonish but also with a hand in realism... I guess all of those are fair assessments. I've always kind of felt my work was kind of quiet and skimming some bizarre underlying tragedy (in an amusing sort of way), but maybe that's just me.