I'm very excited to share a short interview today with Annika Wester, another one of my favorite fashion illustrators.
I love that her feelings about fashion are so in keeping with the Trust Your Style philosophy--in a recent interview Annika said she believes "fashion is something that follows naturally if you have faith in yourself."
You may have seen Annika's illustrations, which have been animated for TV and appeared in major ad campaigns for clients that include FANCL Cosmetics, Clairol, Knoll International, Penguin, Chronicle Books, Elle UK, Elle Decor, Cosmo Girl, Budget Living, and many others.
Her limited edition packaging for FANCL Cosmetics have become so popular that they're selling out in Tokyo.
Annika grew up in Sweden making ink drawings and gazing at the hundreds of comic books that were piled around her home. She first studied painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest and then print at Hovedskou School of Art in Gothenberg, Sweden.
Last year Annika received a grant from the Swedish Society of Illustrators and her beautiful girls and illustrations of fashion accessories were featured in a solo show at Gallery LeLe in Tokyo.
Her work is represented by cwc-i/cwc tokyo and along with other CWC artists, Annika will have a special piece she created exclusively for the debut show of Gallery Hanahou November 30-December 28 in NYC.
mj: How would you describe your own style?
annika: Delicate, playful, feminine.
mj: Besides illustration, do you do other work, such as painting, etc.?
annika: I make my own uncommissioned drawings.
mj: What is your favorite project that you've designed so far?
annika: I did illustrations for Japanese FANCL cosmetics packages in 2005 which turned out jolly well!
mj: Your style is so interesting. Sometimes it reminds me of Edward Gorey (the black and white) and the color work--it's fantastic--unlike anything I've seen. Who are your influences and how did you develop your style?
annika: I have never heard of Edward Gorey before. I will take a look. A lot of cartoonists influenced me since a child, especially Disney. I read a lot of comics like Spiderman, Tarzan, Modesty Blaise, football comics, and much more! I was amazed by the world of cartoons so that is where it started. I like looking in magazines that I find inspiring, for example, Italian Vogue, Giant Robot and Nylon. I love to work with thin ink pens and just draw things that comes up in my mind. When I niched into fashion and beauty illustration it was somewhere there that I knew how my images should look. Changes inspire me too, like my move to Paris, it has effect on my work.
mj: Do you have new projects that you're working on?
annika: I will finish a piece for CWC-i's upcoming Hanahou show in NY. And I am making a bookcover for a teenage story.
mj: What would your ideal project be?
annika: I would love to illustrate more posters & ads, and also I would like to do more work for packaging.
Here's a few THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ANNIKA WESTER:
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
1 Oscar Wilde
2 Marlene Dietrich
3 Debbie Harry
4 My cool friend Linda Sandberg who has her own fab look
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE:
1 It requires effort and motivation, it is not too easy to get.
2 You can choose what you want to look like, and that is who you are.
3 There is a reason why it worth the time, effort and research to get THAT nail polish, hat or necklace. Details like that are so much fun.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS:
1 Yves Saint Laurent
2 Edith Head
3 Anna Sui
4 Lina Bo Bardi, an architect
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
1 Waitress at cafes
2 Photo editor
3 Assistant at a kindergarten
4 Substitute teacher at a design school
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
1 Fantasia by Disney
2 Kika by Almodovar
3 La Notte by Michelangelo Antonioni
4 Don't look now
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
4 Ullasjo, in the countryside southwest in Sweden
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
1. The Simpsons
2. Smack The Pony
3. The Office UK
4. The earlier episodes of Absolutely Fabulous
H) FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS:
1 New York
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
2 Svenska Dagbladet, a Swedish newspaper
3 Map Quest
4 Face Hunter
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
1 Homemade cheeseburgers with french fries
2 Sushi & sashimi
3 Thai food
4 Lebanese food
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
1 On a nice beach by the Carribean Sea
2 New York